Sacramento marijuana citations, arrests down five times

Though the rules on marijuana have changed in the past year, according to police data, the number of marijuana related arrests and citations in Sacramento are way down. (April 20, 2017)

April 20 is a day of celebration for pot smokers around the world. In California, pot lovers will do what they’ve always done, but with loosened rules state-wide there are fewer arrest.

Lines were out the door at the Sacramento medical marijuana dispensary on the high holiday “4/20.”

Daya Daniels is a medical marijuana card holder who said she feels more comfortable having marijuana than ever before.

"I feel more relaxed, I don't feel like I'm doing nothing wrong,” said Daniels.

Julio Vela, 23, says he’s been smoking marijuana since he was 14 years old. Before 2017, he said his run-ins with police were aggressive and officers made him throw out his weed. Vela said he was recently smoking on his front porch and officers went along with their business. 

"You know you can't smoke it in public, you can't do this and that, but when they see it not worth their time anymore,” said Vela .

MARIJUANA RELATED ARRESTS OR CITATIONS DOWN FIVE TIMES

ABC10 News took a look at Sacramento Police data listed on the city’s website. We compared the crime data specifically involving marijuana and here’s what we found:

Officers averaged nearly 25 marijuana related arrests or citations per month, a total of 297 for the year, according to police data.  In 2017, Sacramento police have cited 18 marijuana related crimes or about four per month – An 84 percent decrease in marijuana related arrests and citations from 2016 to 2017 or five times less arrests. 

Those crimes include sales, transportation, growing, and possession of more and less than an ounce.

Marijuana related crimes made up nearly 11 percent of all 2708 drug related police arrests or citations in 2016. So far this year, marijuana crimes make up a little more than 3 percent of the 539 drug related crimes.

Click here to take a look at the data for yourself. 

ADULT USE OF MARIJUANA ACT PASSES IN NOVEMBER 2016

In November 2016, California voters pushed through proposition 64 which legalized marijuana for recreational use.

Californians can have an up to an ounce of marijuana, grow up to six plants, and starting in 2018 businesses can get licensed to sell.

However, marijuana can’t be smoked in public places, possession of more than an ounce is illegal, no smoking and driving.

Also, some city’s and county’s are starting to make their own rules on marijuana as well.

SACRAMENTO REFOCUSES MARIJUANA ENFORCEMENT:

Officer Andy Hall said that the laws have changed so much that officers have to change the general way they go about enforcing marijuana.

“[Officers] aren’t likely to cite or arrest people for it,” said Hall.

The biggest issues for the Sacramento Police Department moving forward are marijuana related violent crimes like robberies and shootings, Hall said.

Because of the way those crimes are reported, there is no way to tell exactly how many of those crimes involved marijuana. 

Marijuana enforcement will likely shift to regulatory issues like buildings staying up to fire code for grow facilities.

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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