No further ado, baby, here’s your weed NEWS for the week:
According to a report from the VA State Police, arrests for marijuana possession are at the highest level they’ve been in twenty years. Nearly 29,000 in 2018! AG Mark Herring has renewed his call for decriminalization & legalization of cannabis in the uproar.
- Marijuana account for nearly 60% of all drug arrests in VA
- More than half were for people 24 years old or younger
- while a high, 2018 numbers are only 3.5% higher than 2017
- highest arrest rates are in Colonial Heights, Emporia, Rockbridge County, Buena Vista and Martinsville
- Arrest is not the same as conviction- many cases are plead out or sent through a diversion plan. A study from the Virginia Crime Commission found that only 31 people were in jail in July 2017 solely for a conviction of possessing marijuana
So, let me get this right. VA is arresting 29,000 per year- or roughly but only 31 go to prison for it? Some get other charges tacked on, sure, but 31? From a budgetary perspective alone, that’s lunacy. Why would you even bother arresting these people, mostly very young adults, for a nonviolent crime they won’t be prosecuted for? Could the state possibly be making enough off of court fees and so on to even balance out the cost of enforcement to the taxpayer?
Let’s put it another way. Virginia, how much are you willing to spend to support systemic racism? Cuz 60% of all drug arrests over the entire state has gotta take up significant man hours. What if we cut it back to, like, 30% racism and spend the rest on a pizza party for the office? Is that a good compromise?
- DC’s new pot-infused tourism takes renting AirBnb space to another level (CHICAGO TRIBUNE) in-depth look at how the various businesses operate
- Colorado Comes to D.C. to Push Legal Pot Banking at Senate Hearing (WESTWORD) cannabis & banking industries testifies before Senate committee on the SAFE Act
- Sen. Kamala Harris Introduces Law to Federally Legalize, Tax Marijuana (ROLLING STONE) “The MORE Act would not only decriminalize marijuana on the federal level, it would also authorize a 5% federal sales tax on marijuana to create a trust fund for three grant programs, which would provide services to the “individuals most adversely impacted by the War on Drugs,” as well as loans for small businesses in the cannabis industry owned by people of color.”
- Proposed cannabis lounge in Fells Point spurs support and concern (BALTIMORE SUN) GT broke this story back in May.
- Wright warns marijuana likely to be legalized in Md. (MY EASTERN SHORE MD) a drug addiction counselor that doesn’t like cannabis. Oh, what a surprise! A veritable shock! Be a dear and fetch my fainting couch, Harold.
- Large companies dominate PA’s marijuana industry (PA BUSINESS CENTRAL) you’ll recognize some names from Maryland