Dramatic Decline In Marijuana Arrests Since Adult Use Was Legalized
Arrests for marijuana-related offenses in Washington, D.C., began falling in 2011. But since city residents legalized adult use in 2014, the decline has been dramatic.
Total arrests in Washington, D.C. have fallen 95% since 2011, and arrests for marijuana possession have fallen 99% over the same period.
Concerns about the social and economic impact of the city’s arrest rates were a major driver of support for legalization in 2014.
According to the ACLU, in 2010, Washington, D.C. had the country’s highest number of marijuana arrests per capita, and the second-highest racial disparity in arrests, with black residents being eight times more likely to be arrested for possession than whites.
Marijuana legalization for adults has helped address a long-standing concern about the effects of prohibition, especially on the city’s minority residents.