Unless you live in Colorado or Washington, you can still get arrested for possession of marijuana. Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, DC may follow suit soon with legalization but that leaves 46 states (not to mention other parts of the world) where pot is going to stay illegal for the foreseeable future.
Merits of legalization aside, it is important to remember that law enforcement officers get paid to do one thing, and one thing only: enforce the law as it stands.
Marijuana Possession Arrests Are More Common Than You Might Think
Many of you I know have gone around for years with pot without getting arrested. You were careful; you were not obvious about it. Good. I’m right there with you. I never got arrested either despite carrying it around and occasionally smoking in public.
On the same token, I’ve known some otherwise law abiding citizens who have gotten arrested for possession under the most innocuous circumstances like smoking behind a building at a concert or having the smell of fresh, un-smoked, dank weed wafting out of the car at a routine traffic stop. In the latter case, they were not stoned but did get arrested for possession under probable cause.
You probably know of or have heard of similar cases. No matter how careful you are, you put yourself at risk when you have it on you. If congressmen, athletes, and movie stars still get busted from time to time, who are you to get special treatment?
Marijuana arrests have gone down in the last couple of years as public attitude has softened but the law is still the law, no matter how silly it is.
Here’s the nine year trend on marijuana related arrests:
As you can see, marijuana arrests have indeed decreased but there were still over 600,000 arrests last year for possession alone. That’s one possession arrest about every 51 seconds.
Why Deal with the Legal Ramifications?
My best guesstimate is that pot will be legal in all the states within the next 10-15 years. The Bible Belt will be the last to fall.
Until then, who needs the headache of getting arrested? Oftentimes, the judge is the easiest person to deal with in the whole process. All they do is hand down the sentence.
Try explaining to your employer that you missed work because you were arrested for possession. Try dealing with the family that bails you out. Try living with an arrest record for the next some odd years. All this trial and tribulation because of a bag of weed. Who needs it?
Food for thought. That’s all.