Marijuana Legalization and Arrests in Colorado
"The total number of marijuana arrests decreased by 52% between 2012 and 2017, from 12,709 to 6,153. Marijuana possession arrests, which make up the majority of all marijuana arrests, were cut in half (‐54%). Marijuana sales arrests decreased by 17%. Arrests for marijuana production increased appreciably (+51%%). Marijuana arrests that were unspecified, meaning the specific reason for the arrest was not noted by law enforcement, went down by 45%.
"The number of marijuana arrests decreased by 56% for Whites, 39% for Hispanics, and 51% for Blacks. The marijuana arrest rate for Blacks (233 per 100,000) was nearly double that of Whites (118 per 100,000) in 2017.
"Nine large Colorado counties (Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Douglas, El Paso, Jefferson, Larimer, Mesa, and Weld) showed a decrease in marijuana arrests, ranging between ‐8% (Boulder) and ‐67% (Adams). The average decline across these nine counties was ‐46%.
"Separate data provided by the Denver Police Department’s Data Analysis Unit indicates an 81% decrease in total marijuana arrests, from 1,605 in 2012 to 302 in 2017.
"The most common marijuana industry‐related crime in Denver was burglary, accounting for 59% of marijuana crime related to the industry in 2017."
Impacts of Marijuana Legalization in Colorado: A Report Pursuant to Senate Bill 13-283. Colorado Department of Public Safety, Division of Criminal Justice, Office of Research and Statistics. October 2018.