California Felony Drug Arrests Plummet Following Prop. 47

Felony arrests for Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs reduced by 68.2% and 73.6% respectively in California between 2014 and 2015, while Felony Marijuana arrests reduced 33.3%—from 13,300 to 8,866—according to data released by the Attorney General’s office (see Table 2, p. 25 of the “Crime in California” report).

The reason given by the report is:

“In November 2014, California voters passed Proposition 47 which reduced numerous state statutes from felonies to misdemeanors. Caution should be used when comparing felony and misdemeanor arrest data to prior years.”

Misdemeanor drug offenses are up from 92,469 in 2014 to 163,073 in 2015 (table 26, p. 29). Presumably, many of these would have been felonies without Prop. 47. The number of misdemeanor drug arrests has been slowly rising in California since a drop between 2010 and 2011.

Arrests for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUIs) are down from 151,416 in 2014 to 142,604 in 2015, continuing a downward trend (tables 23-25, p. 26-28).

See historical marijuana arrest data for California.

Also see: Felony Marijuana Arrests Drop In California East Bay Express, July 7, 2016

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