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Marijuana Prosecutions Nose Dive After Legalization

Prosecutions down,  DUI pot arrests skyrocket in Washington state
(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

Since I-502 was passed,  people being prosecuted for marijuana possession has dropped 98 percent in our state.

Under the “old” laws, possession of 40 grams (1.41 ounces) was considered a misdemeanor,  more than 40 a felony.

Since the passage of I-502, it is now legal to possess one ounce, provided you are 21.

The Spokesman Review newspaper checked with the state Administrative Office of The Court, which tracks all types of criminal prosecutions across the state. The Office reports the number of pot cases dropped from 5,531 when pot was legalized in 2012 to 120 in 2013. These figures were for misdemeanor charges.

The ACLU claims this is a positive sign as it means law enforcement officers are being  freed up from having to chase those who smoke pot, and can focus on more “serious” law enforcement issues.

By the way, the number of DUI marijuana related arrests in Washington have gone UP  33 perecnt since pot was legalized. According to data released last November, the latest figures available, some 745 drivers had tested positive behind the wheel for pot during the first six months of the year, compared with 1,000 total for each of the calendar years 2011 and 2012. At this rate the final 2013 figures will probably land around 1,490 to 1,500.

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