Phoenix Police Arrest About 10 People a Day for Marijuana Possession; Some Charged With Other Crimes

Categories: Weed

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Phoenix police booked into jail about 3,000 adults and 600 juveniles on a charge of marijuana possession in a recent 12-month period.

The 2010 Arizona Medical Marijuana Act exempts qualifying patients from prosecution, but most Arizonans are still subject to arrest for felony possession of any amount of marijuana.

Phoenix police alone arrest an average of about 10 people a day on suspicion of possession of marijuana.

Phoenix police arrested 2,972 adults and 600 juveniles on suspicion of marijuana possession from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012. That's nearly 3,600, or about 9.8 a day, each day of the year.

All were booked into jail, says a Phoenix PD crime analyst. Update: The analyst later got back to us and clarified that while all the adults were booked into jail, less than one-third of the juveniles were booked. More than 400 juveniles were cited and sent home to parents or guardians.

See also: Teen Use of Marijuana Decreased Since Passage of Arizona Medical-Pot Law, Study Shows

Possession of any amount of marijuana is a felony in Arizona, though offenders typically are offered the chance to plead guilty to a misdemeanor.

The Phoenix arrest figures show that despite the movement toward freedom for marijuana users seen in states with medical-pot laws, like Arizona, and states in which it's legal for adult use, namely Colorado and Washington, local police are still expending an enormous amount of resources on small pot busts.

Some percentage of those -- we're not sure how many -- were charged with crimes in addition to possession.

A look at three days' worth of drug-offender mugshots on the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office web site, which includes people arrested by other Valley police agencies, suggests that about 50 percent of time, police alleged other crimes besides marijuana possession. (Take a look if you want to double-check us.) Cops often pick up people for shoplifting, assault, what have you, and the fact that the person also has marijuana in his or her pocket makes the bust better.

The other half have done nothing but possess marijuana and the paraphernalia in which to smoke it, like rolling papers.

Other Valley agencies are also busy busting suspected pot users; Phoenix happens to be the largest Valley city, with about 1.5 million people, and is demographically diverse.

If Phoenix is booking into jail about five people a day for nothing but marijuana possession, and states like Colorado and Washington legalizing adult use of pot, the question naturally comes up:

Is all that enforcement worth the money and effort?

Or would it be better for society as a whole to end marijuana prohibition, as Colorado and Washington did, and focus on dangerous drugs like meth or victim-crimes like burglaries, unsolved murders, or impaired driving?

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25 comments
pvplacid
pvplacid

Just curious, Ray. What were those folks who got arrested (for just possessing pot) doing to get noticed by the cops? Depending on what they were doing, they might qualify for that "dumbest criminals" show.

comrade
comrade

Seems like the CORRUPT shurf got some associates from PPD to book some money in, I wonder how much his asociate might be getting from the help. Fucking Old Fart's corruption is spreading, he always finds ways to get others do his dirty job while he probably stashes away the profits, since he doesn't have to answer to nobody there might be some overseas accounts in his name, like "Robmney".

FlyingTooLow
FlyingTooLow

The closest I have ever seen marijuana come to harming anyone was during an air drop. We brought in 1100 pounds from Jamaica and dropped it in a peanut field in middle Georgia. The bales were dropped from a small plane at 125 feet altitude. One of the bales, about 80 pounds, missed my compadre by only a few feet... but it surely messed up his truck.

You can read about it in: Shoulda Robbed a Bank

That is my contribution to helping point out just how ludicrous our pot laws truly are.

FlyingTooLow
FlyingTooLow

"Over a 3-year period, marijuana was the top cash crop in the state of North Carolina. Tobacco, more than $100 million behind. Cotton is third on the list.

Marijuana is the top crop in 12 states and ranks among the top three in 30 states."

It does not take a banker to see that this is a great business.

Law enforcement needs to re-direct its focus on crime...to those that are REAL crimes.

I was in Federal Prison for 5 years for a marijuana offense. No, it was not for simple possession. I was arrested aboard a Lockheed PV2 in Marianna, Florida...charged and convicted for conspiracy to import and distribute 12,000 pounds of marijuana.

As my years in prison rolled by, what I did see were armed bank robbers, coming and going...while I still sat there for marijuana. Most of the bank robbers only spent 17 to 24 months. But, I and my fellow 'drug offenders,'...we stayed for YEARS.

I wrote about the escapades that led to my incarceration. I admit, I had a great time. No one was injured, no one was killed, firearms were not involved...there were no victims.
We were Americans...doing what Americans do best...living free.

Truly, it is time for this lunacy to end...it never should have begun.

My book: Shoulda Robbed a Bank

Tales of adventure in the marijuana trade...
I would be honored by your review.

vigvamvoo
vigvamvoo

Phoenix cops clearly have way too much spare time on their hands! Go find some real criminals to harass!


www.GotmyAnon.tk

teknik
teknik topcommenter

the focus should be violent crimes, but it seems assault perpetrators bounce in and out of jail until someone gets killed.

property theft should also have a priority, second to violent crimes.


drug abuse should be handled by treatment centers.


Pot smokers have jobs and pay taxes.  People who are against welfare but willing to spend 30k a year to jail someone for smoking a harmless plant are evil power hungry freaks.


dax123
dax123

Jury nullification....If u get called to jury and the person is being
charged with dealing/smoking/growing cannabis.Vote not guilty even if u
know 100% he is guilty :) You have the right to vote either way.This
tactic worked during prohibition, and it can work again.Just need to get
the word out..Also if u get busted ( i know this part they scare u into
pleading guilty for lesser charge)plead not guilty ..It only takes 1 person on a jury of 12 to hang a jury.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

Pot has been decriminalized in Palin's home state of Alaska since the 1970's.

Will Palin talk about  that on Faux Noise?  How she and her kids have smoked?  She admitted to it when she ran for VP!

A FELONY for a joint?  Wow, the law here is NUTS!  But I guess it supports the GOP friends - the private prisons!

barbarian.bob1
barbarian.bob1

you'd think the cops would agree that  really they have bigger fish to fry. must be the easiest path of resistance.just put in minimal effort and  get paid .you think i"m bs ing ? they did a 10 year study and some states have an almost 50%  of all arrests are for  pot . seems suspiciously high

tromulus
tromulus

Make these guys earn their money taken from the taxpayers wallets.  End the insanity of prohibition and quit wasting our money on busting people with weed.  No one cares and we know it doesn't do any of the lies the government told us.  This is sickening and it's like we have a prohibitionist segment of people who still live in the 1920's.  Backwards thinking Neandrathals, I bet they'd like to arrest people for being gay and being non-white also. 

thecrud
thecrud

While the state cuts funding for schools medical care food. They still have money for this. It should be a crime against humanity.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot topcommenter

How many illegal immigrants do they bust every day?  Probably don't put half as much energy (money) into that effort as they do the potheads.  It's all about money for the prison industrial complex that has had control of this state for over 60 years!

Lonnie_Kushking
Lonnie_Kushking

@pvplacid  Thats a question that you should ask someone in the Gilbert Police Department.  Not a single person from my "arresting officer" Stracke, badge 4176, his supervisor Sgt Gutner (#1155) to the Internal Affairs, Sgt Hurd could tell me the answers to this question.  Case/Report number 12-020557 at Gilbert PD.  Call and ask about it...  detained 11/27/12 and 12/20/12 for "DUI" and no citations on either stop and no trail as of 7/14/2013.

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

$$'s for arrest quotas, career gain and more. The private prison profiteers need "customers" for $$$'s.

Lonnie_Kushking
Lonnie_Kushking

@comrade Thats a question that you should ask someone in the Gilbert Police Department.  Not a single person from my "arresting officer" Stracke, badge 4176, his supervisor Sgt Gutner (#1155) to the Internal Affairs, Sgt Hurd could tell me the answers to this question.  Case/Report number 12-020557 at Gilbert PD.  Call and ask about it...  detained 11/27/12 and 12/20/12 for "DUI" and no citations on either stop and no trial as of 7/14/2013.

pearlsvaluables
pearlsvaluables

I will say it again and again WOW, makes no sense. thanks for sharing from experience. Much more serious offenders do walk free MUCH MUCH sooner than someone for possesing something natural

teknik
teknik topcommenter

@dax123 the power we have to sit on a jury is even stronger than our right to vote.


people who frown upon being served for jury duty need to think twice about that.

pearlsvaluables
pearlsvaluables

it is all about the $$$$, most people arrested are FINED $$$ and put on UNSUPERVISED probation....must not be too f'n bad if they don't need supervision, but can pay the County/State...that says it all

pearlsvaluables
pearlsvaluables

No shit, a felony. Hell here in Arizona with Joe, you can have an empty pack of TOPS tobacco and a few papers left and these MF's here will arrest you for drug paraphenalia, it's fucken twisted....and they are CIGARETTE PAPERS, go figure..

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@ExpertShot 1 of 10 illegals in MCSO jails are busted by MCSO.  5 in 10 are bused by Phx PD.


Seems MCSO is failing to do their job!

FlyingTooLow
FlyingTooLow

@pearlsvaluables Have you read about the 5 Americans who have each been in Federal Prison over 15 years?  For a marijuana offense, no other crimes...one has been there over 20 years.  They each have a life sentence. 

Another lad was recently released after 30 years...again, for pot.

The day I went to the parole board, I had already been in over 3 years.  The lad who preceded me before the panel was in for armed post office robbery with a sawed off shotgun.  He came out of the panel's office in tears.  They had just told him to do 20 months.  Five minutes later, the same panel told me to do 5 years.   I pointed out the sentence disparities.  Their response, "You must understand that yours was a very serious offense."

How do you respond to that mentality?

Many thanks for your comment,  Hugh Yonn

comrade
comrade

Hey Who Knows, don't get mislead, that's what MCSO is good at, probably what happened is just that the Old Fart sent some of his minnions to work at the PPD or got some associates there in order to lay the blame of descrimination on that PD while he collects the profits, he knows very well that the Lawsuits for descrimination are comming, therefore he is doing what he is the best at: misleading everybody and letting someone else take the fall, while he laughs all the way to the bank. Just saying!

FlyingTooLow
FlyingTooLow

@pearlsvaluables A million thanks for your comment.

I wrote about my first year in Federal Prison...."Welcome to Prison--Enjoy Your Stay'

It's available on Amazon for $0.99.  I would be honored by your review.

Stay safe, happy, and outta jail...it ain't no fun,  Hugh

pearlsvaluables
pearlsvaluables

I hadn't, but not suprised, it's f'd up... WTF Serious offense, oh wow please! I honestly will have to tip my hat to you as I probably would have ended up catching other charges just from reacting, so again you got me beat my friend. You made it through i'm sure the best way possible and ultimately it makes you a winner because I'm sure they would not have minded validating some carzy action of a MJ offender and tacking more on. glad you were successful without any additional time :)

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