October 19 – Marijuana arrests in 2008 rose to their highest level in California since the state’s 1976 decriminalization law, according to the latest data from the Cal DOJ Bureau of Criminal Statistics.
The state reported 17,126 felony marijuana arrests in 2008, up from 16,124 in 2007, while misdemeanor possession arrests rose to 61,366 from 57,995.
After 96 years of prohibition, the state’s war on marijuana is no closer to success than when it began. Cal NORML estimates that the state currently spends over $200 million per year to arrest, prosecute and imprison marijuana offenders. Cal NORML advocates that marijuana be legalized, taxed and regulated along lines proposed in Tom Ammiano’s bill AB 390, which would generate over a billion dollars in tax revenues for the state.
– D. Gieringer, Director, Cal NORML