Though the country seems to be moving in the direction of ending marijuana prohibition, weed smokers still have a long way to go before having to look over their shoulders whilst blazing an L. In most places in the United States, if you are caught by law enforcement smoking bud, you will be arrested for it. In a report by Philly.com, it was found that the state of Pennsylvania has been locking up folks in possession of marijuana at a far higher rate than those with cocaine and heroin combined.
In 2013, 20,698 adults and juveniles in Pennsylvania were arrested for having less than an ounce of marijuana. There were 10,255 arrested for possessing cocaine or heroin according to the Uniform Crime Report. There was little difference in 2014 when police arrested 20,347 for trees and 11,045 for coke and dope.
This year, things are looking a little different in PA. In the first six months of 2015, 465 people have been arrested for weed, compared to 2,083 arrested for heroin and cocaine combined. This is largely in part to the decriminalization of marijuana in the city of Philadelphia, where police are forced to give fines of $25 for possession and $100 for smoking in public. Philly weed arrests are down 70% due to this. Philadelphia differs from the rest of the state due to “home rule” powers that allow it to operate independently from the rest of the state.
There is a racial element to the marijuana arrests. Though there has been a significant decline in arrests, Blacks are five times more likely to get fucked with for weed than Whites in Pennsylvania. In contrast, White folks make up the bulk of cocaine and heroin arrests.
Gov. Tom Wolf has supported the decriminalization of marijuana statewide. Doing so would reportedly save local police and courts $26 million annually.