States throughout the country are getting restless now that Colorado and Washington have legalized marijuana use for recreational purposes. Maryland has a particularly tortured past with the drug. For the past several years, arrests for marijuana possession in Maryland have ranked in the top five states nationally. The marijuana drug possession figure may have something to do with politics.
State politicians have allowed and even encouraged low-level marijuana possession arrests as part of an overall crime-battling strategy. This model is similar to the seemingly paradoxical philosophy of one major city that says that when more minor offenses go unenforced, it makes more severe crimes go up. This is called the broken windows theory, which apparently analogizes that if the windows are broken the rest of the building will also be destroyed. This model is arguably fallacious because persons who want to commit murder are predisposed to do it regardless of whether others are being busted for pot.
Civil rights groups recently have rallied against the scandalous fact that the vast majority of low-level marijuana arrests are made against African American males. The statistics show an almost free ride to whites, but staggering punishments to African Americans. The emphasis on drug arrests in general stems from the "War on Drugs, " begun in 1971.
Many observers and academic experts now freely express their belief that the war on drugs has failed and that nothing has been accomplished. Other than doing permanent damage to the lives of many thousands of individuals arrested on low-level drug possession charges, the so-called war has touched virtually none of the high-level dealers and international drug cartels. Furthermore, the enforcement of the war against African American males and not against whites is another disgraceful chapter in our country's racial policies.
Furthermore, the over-enforcement of the marijuana drug possession laws in Maryland and other states has accompanied the increased use of the "stop and frisk" policies. These involve the police making random stops of people who appear to be acting suspiciously and frisking them for possession of weapons. These stop and frisk procedures usually lead to full searches of the persons and of their vehicles, causing many to have concerns about the increasing infringements on constitutional rights.
Source: Gaithersburg Patch,
Maryland Has One of the Highest Rates of Marijuana Possession Arrests, Tiffany Arnold, Jan. 12, 2014