July 5, 2019 – The number of marijuana arrests in California continued to decline toward new lows in 2018 according to data released by the Criminal Justice Statistics Center. The total number of felony arrests was 1,617, down 22% from 2017 and the lowest since the 1950s. Misdemeanor arrests totaled 3,835, down 4% since 2017. Total arrests numbered 5,452, the lowest since 1962.
Whites accounted for 25% of marijuana arrests, Hispanics 44% and blacks 16%.
DUI arrests rose slightly by 2% to 128,053, interrupting a decade-long decline, but still over 40% lower than their peak in 2007.
Felony drug arrests of all kinds totaled 28,276, down 5% from 2017 and a staggering 79% since 2013 due to criminal justice reforms that downgraded many offenses to misdemeanors. Misdemeanor drug arrests totaled 191,706. up 4% from last year. Total drug arrests have held nearly steady since 2013, with misdemeanors displacing felonies.
The violent crime rate was down 1.5%, homicide down 4.3%, and robbery down 4.5%, refuting predictions by reefer madness theorists that legalization should cause a surge in violence.
Also see: Past-Year Marijuana Arrest Data