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People still arrested for marijuana despite lax laws

A report released in August showed that approximately 9,000 felony arrests associated with weed were made in California last year. The numbers were surprising due to the fact that California has traditionally had lax marijuana laws since 1996 when Prop. 215, a law allowing patients to get a prescription for medical marijuana, was passed.

The report found that black and Latino individuals were far more likely to be taken into custody on marijuana-related charges, even though black, Latino and white individuals sold marijuana at similar rates. According to the report, black individuals were more than twice as likely to be taken into custody for marijuana than white people. They were five times more likely than white people to be taken into custody for felony marijuana charges. Latinos were also more likely to be taken into custody, though the numbers were not necessarily known as police officers often classified Latinos as white.

In November, California residents will have the opportunity to vote on a proposition that would reduce the severity of consequences for marijuana-related crimes. If Prop. 64, is passed, those who are already incarcerated for marijuana-related offenses could be released.

A person who is accused of being in possession of marijuana could potentially face serious consequences depending on the circumstances. A person with previous convictions could potentially face\ hefty fines. As a result, people who find themselves in this position may want to meet with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible in order to construct a strategy to combat the charges.

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