Uh... I suspect those charts are for reported crimes, not arrests.
I don't care what the FBI says, violent crime isn't down, arrests for violent crimes are. I can't say for sure that this is directly related to law enforcement's preoccupation with drug busts, but it could be.
Unlike most violent crimes - especially in urban areas - drug crimes are actually something they can get a conviction for. It doesn't surprise me they're targeting those cases.
over 2100 busts PER DAY? wow. just wow.
east coaster @1 is correct. The data in the graphic is for reported crimes, not arrests.
Methinks accusations of violence in pot smokers is a rather strange 'projection' of alcoholics.
The link between that drug and violence is undisputed - I personally suspect that violence in pot smokers is soley a result from abuses of authority, including that of the drinking 'gang'.
from the McKinley Neighborhood CoffeeHouse, Tacoma
Actual violent crime has fallen dramatically over the past 25 years -- we're talking like more than halved. This is not based on arrest statistics, but on report statistics. (If you really believe that people just decided to stop reporting half the murders, assults, and burglaries that they were reporting before, you are beyond hope.)
Furthermore, real criminologists and real statisticians have done a heap of work to try to ferret out the causes: community policing? economics? population aging? abortion?
There are still many controversies, but I'm afraid that your ideology is going to have to come to terms with one element of consensus: the fact that we are locking up significantly more not-too-well-socialized people is a significant part of the explanation.
Next time, go read some of the serious work that has been done in this area before going off about how, if you ignore the statistics and wish really hard, you can convince yourself that your preferred policy might have worked better.
I agree with David, Dominic; you need to read way more government propaganda before coming to your conclusions.
This report proves one thing for certain: if crime drops because we arrest people who do drugs, then we are perfectly justified in restricting individual freedoms.
@7: i suspect that's ironic humor, but the "tampa" makes me unsure. awful lot of buckeye emigrants in tampa.
@ 1) I believe you are correct. However, the arrests for violent crimes has also decreased while arrest for pot smokers have increased.
@ 6) I'm being a little tongue in cheek here. Note the headline. But I do stand by the gist of this post: Pot busts are going up, when those law-enforcement resources should be directed to violent crime.
If it makes the bitter pill of truth any easier to swallow, Dominic, I actually share your policy preference: I'd like to see drugs legalized. I just recognize that, even if drugs were legal, we would need to continue to lock up the 3% of our population that won't respect the life, liberty, and property of others.
! 10) Agreed, and we could lock up more of those assholes if we legalized pot.
WTF does "forcible rape" mean? As opposed to "consensual rape"? "Ticklish rape"? "Friendly rape"? I don't get it.
But guys, you're not thinking of how your policies would affect poor, working-class members of the Incarceration Industry!
"Sorry, Billy. Daddy can't buy you an iPhone for your birthday this year, because the government has decided not to lock up all the evil pot-smoking hippies anymore, and Daddy's for-profit penitentiary can't turn a decent margin just by locking up murderers, rapists, bank robbers, and psychopaths. So, you're just going to have to settle for one of the cheapo freebie phones Daddy gets with his family account."
Seriously, is that what you WANT to see happen?
Think of the CHILLLLLLDDDDDRREEEEENNN!
Yes, Dominic @ 11, agreed, in principle. But in practice I have a worry.
First, there is a lot of overlap between those two populations. While I'm sure you could find an annecdotal counter-example, the vast majority of those locked up for drug crimes are not upstanding members of their communities who happen to like to take the occasional private toke. The vast majority of them are people with few useful skills, poor impulse control, and little respect for others -- the kind of people that we agree are going to eventually need to be locked up.
Second, what if drug crime laws give us a way to identify, prosecute, and lock up those people before they go on burglary, assult, and murder sprees? If we wait for them to progress to these more serious crimes first, we are going to have some people burgled, assulted, and dead that we otherwise wouldn't have. This is kind of the idea behind "zero-tollerance policing": take some minor but easily observable thing that really doesn't need to be illegal, like jaywalking or public alcohol or drug consumption, and prosecute it mercilessly; the bad seed can't cope and get busted, the rest of us just buckle up and fly straight. You've sorted your population and no one had to get burgled, assulted, or murdered.
Either of these assumptions might be wrong, although I suspect there is some truth to both of them. In any case, there are questions of justice that arguably take precedence over my practical worries. But aren't you the least bit worried about the practical effect?
one would have to analyze whether pot smoking and other drugs give criminals the inclination to commit assault, robbery, and theft that they would not if sober. If so the case could be made that these crimes that could have been committed are not being committed because the would be criminals are in jale for drug convictions. Recreational pot users usually don't end up in jail. It is hard core mass consuming druggies that end up there.
Cops get to keep assets for all drug arrests, so they do that instead of their jobs.
Arresting rapists and murderers just costs the county or city money.
Republican ideals in action.
Which, naturally, are BAD FOR AMERICA.
@14; I think you are talking about ALL drug use, where the rest of us are talking about marijuana use. Yes, I agree that a great number of the criminal/ underclass use hard drugs [Cocaine, Herion, Meth, etc.], but the argument does not extend to those who use marijuanna. Are some marijuanna users criminals? Yes, but you can say the same thing about people who wear cotton shirts. Does it make sense to lock up people who use marijuanna for medical reasons? No. Does it make sense to lock-up people who use marijuanna as a substitute for alchohol? Again, I say no. I realize that you disagree, but a "No Tolerance" policy for marijuanna doesn't work [or at least it hasn't worked], costs a society more than it benefits and is [in my opinion] unethical. Let me bore you with the story of my aunt who starved to death because her cancer made her too sick to eat - marijuanna aliviated her symptoms enough that she could eat small portions. When she ran out of pot, she died, not of cancer, but from STARVATION. You watch a loved one go through that and then talk to me about "No Tolerance" policies.
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