With gratitude to South DaCola for the opportunity…
South Dakota law enforcement have arrested a person for possession of “marijuana” every 90 minutes since at least July 1, 1998. The total number of arrests is 82,402. The average number of possession arrests per year is equal to about .05% of the population of South Dakota.
Even though only 24,637 of the charges led to convictions, that’s still somebody convicted of possession every 5.5 hours. For 14 years. For what?
Even the 57,765 not convicted were punished. For what?
Cannabis is more available, better (in most folks’ minds), and cheaper (counting inflation) than it was 14 years ago. And more folks are using it. W? T? F?
Take a look at the numbers.
We don’t know how much it costs to arrest someone for possession or distribution. We don’t know how much is recovered in the form of fines and property forfeitures to offset that cost. If it costs more to arrest someone for doing something that doesn’t hurt someone else than we, as taxpayers, get back, we should stop doing it. If we, as taxpayers, make money arresting people for doing something that doesn’t hurt someone else, we should stop doing it.