In the state of New Jersey, there has been a precipitous drop in arrests related to cannabis manufacturing, distributing, and dispensing since the legalization of adult-use cannabis, according to data released by the New Jersey State Police which was shared in a Politico article.
When NJ legalized possession of recreational-use cannabis, it didn’t permit unlicensed selling. However, it did require police to issue warnings to small-time dealers for first offenses instead of arresting them.
According to the data outlined by Politico, there have been 556 arrests in the state of New Jersey for offenses relating to between one ounce and five pounds of cannabis since legalization, compared to 1,492 in the two years prior to legalization. This represents a significant decrease in arrests, and it is hoped that this trend will continue in the future.
Between March 1, 2021, and August 15, 2022, there were only 34 people arrested statewide for cannabis-related crimes. Prior to legalization New Jersey police arrested 2,117 people for similar offenses according to recent article from Ganjapeneur.
This data is encouraging for those who believe that cannabis legalization will lead to a decrease in crime. It shows that, in states where cannabis is legal, law enforcement is able to shift their focus from marijuana-related crimes to other areas of crime.