GRAND RAPIDS, MI (MPRN)-- This November, voters will decide whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use.
In anticipation of that vote, pro-legalization advocacy group the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol Wednesday released an analysis of the arrests made in Michigan in 2016 that were marijuana-related.
Conducted by Shenandoah University Criminal Justice Professor Jon Gettman and paid for by the campaign, the data showed that while more than 20,000 people were arrested in the state of Michigan in 2016 for marijuana possession, 90 percent of those arrests were for made for having an ounce or less.
Josh Hovey is the Coalition’s spokesman.
“That’s enough people to fill Little Caesar’s Arena every single year, on petty possession charges. And that is why we think we need to pass Proposal 1 and redirect those law enforcement resources to more important needs,” he says.
The analysis used data from the FBI 2016 Crime in the United States report and the National Incident-Based Reporting System. The report also found that African Americans in Michigan are more than two and a half times more likely to be arrested for marijuana than whites.