Marijuana Responsible for Half of Drug Arrests in State
Written by Rachel McDevitt
Last updated on September 01, 2014 @ 9:52PM
Created on September 01, 2014 @ 5:46PM
We hear a lot about our state's problem with prescription pill abuse and methamphetamine, but according to numbers from the FBI, more than half of the drug arrests made in our state are because of marijuana.
Data from 2012 shows that 4,000 of 8,000 drug arrests over the span of that year were for marijuana, and those numbers are reflected on a local level. In Fairmont, 57 out of 108 drug arrests over the last year were marijuana-related.
Even though it's becoming more common, even legal in some parts of the country, police say marijuana is still a gateway drug into more serious drugs like pill abuse, heroin, and meth. Plus, it is a huge threat to public safety. In just the last six months, Fairmont's seen a big increase in drug-related DUIs.
"It's very comparative to drinking and driving. They are impaired. There are a lot of crashes that occur based on drug use," said Sgt. Glen Staley with the Fairmont Police Department.
Staley said there are more marijuana arrests made by patrolman because it's so much more visible and easier to find, but those arrests can also lead to investigations into harder drugs, like heroin. In Fairmont those cases are taken over by the drug task force and often go to federal court.
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