Monday, December 9, 2013

Marijuana arrests drop 65 percent

The number of people jailed for marijuana crimes is down 65 percent in Larimer County one year after Coloradans voted to legalize it.

A pro-legalization campaign in the 2012 election advocated to “regulate marijuana like alcohol,” and that largely appears to be happening.

Pot remains illegal under federal law, and the sale of nonmedical marijuana continues to be a crime until the first stores begin opening in early 2014. Even so, fewer pot dealers are getting busted.

“It’s more of a licensing issue than it is a criminal violation, from where we’re seeing it,” said Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith. “Trying to prosecute any of the violations that weren’t massive has not been a good use of resources.”

He said his investigative unit — the one that made headlines the past several years for busting marijuana grows across the county — will often find marijuana at the scenes of other drug crimes, but resources and priorities have otherwise shifted mostly away from marijuana.

“The citizens have made it more legal,” he said. Continue Reading...