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Chicago Marijuana Decriminalization Diminishes City’s Arrest Rate


Chicago decriminalized marijuana possession in 2012, and marijuana-related arrests have declined drastically since.

The Chicago Police Department revealed it only made 3,168 marijuana-related arrests in 2017; whereas, a decade ago, they made roughly 25,350 marijuana-related arrests, according to WBEZ Chicago. Narcotics arrests are down as well, from 58,808 in 2010 to 11,417 in 2017.

Decriminalization is a growing trend across the nation as more local law enforcement agencies prefer to spend their resources enforcing serious crimes such as murders, rapes and burglaries, instead of simple marijuana possession and use.

More than a dozen states have decriminalized marijuana, while nearly a dozen states have legalized marijuana. Over 30 cities throughout the U.S. have decriminalized or depenalized marijuana possession and use. Dozens of cities have also deprioritized marijuana arrests to further focus on serious crimes.

Many law enforcement officers nationwide are increasingly criticizing prohibition laws.