Public opinion of cannabis has never been higher in the U.S. Multiple states have legalized different forms of cannabis just last year, but it seems that our policing of cannabis "crimes" are still too present. Marijuana possession made up over 5% of all arrests in 2016, making more arrests than all violent crimes put together. Though the public is much more accepting of cannabis, with national polls showing 60% of voters supporting recreational marijuana it's becoming more and more unclear why our government is spending so much time, money, and energy arresting around 1.5 million non-violent marijuana consumers. More problems have come from prohibition, black market, diease, over-incarceration, than from marijuana and other illegal drugs could make by themselves. Places like Portugal that have legalized personal possession and use of drugs now has one of the lowerst drug overdose rates in Europe.
Many public health experts have called for illicit drug use to be decriminalized in the United States, arguing that many of the negative effects of the drug trade — crime, disease, over-incarceration — are a result of strict policies that leaves drug users nowhere to turn but the black market. This is particularly true for substances like marijuana, whose effects at the individual and societal level are typically less harmful than even legal substances like alcohol.
National polling shows support for recreational marijuana use hovering around 60 percent. Eight states plus the District of Columbia now allow recreational use of the drug. But the latest FBI numbers suggest that, at the national level at least, this hasn’t yet led to significant changes to pot policing in other states.