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Number of marijuana arrests increasing across US

According to a report released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the number of detainments related to marijuana consumption, sales or possession has increased throughout Maryland and across the United States. This comes despite the number of states that have legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal and/or recreational purposes. The FBI report estimates that every 48 seconds, another person is detained for marijuana-related charges.

The report states that there were 653,249 marijuana-related charges in 2016; this number jumped to 659,700 in 2017. The majority of the cases were due to alleged marijuana possession in both 2016 and 2017. Both manufacturing and sales charges showed decreases. There were 65,734 alleged charges for cannabis sales and manufacturing in 2016; this dropped to 60,418 in 2017.

Many advocates believe that the limited resources used to target those with marijuana possession, sales or manufacturing could be better spent on targeting other crimes, such as opioid cases. Opioid overdoses are estimated to cause more than 100 deaths per day while marijuana has not been found to be a cause of overdose or death.

Drug offenses carry serious consequences, which may include incarceration, fines and/or community service. When an individual is detained on suspicion of drug possession or sales, it's important that a proper search warrant was obtained prior to the incident occurring. Most of these cases rely on the drugs as the primary evidence of possession or sales. Without this evidence, it may be difficult for an individual to be charged. A person who has been detained for marijuana possession may be able to have the case dismissed if the proper search warrant was not obtained prior to the search. Legal counsel could look over the search warrant. If it was not obtained legally, the prosecutor might not have enough evidence to bring charges against the individual.

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