In Hartley County in Texas, 42% of individuals taken into custody are charged with marijuana possession. That figure is 42.1% farther south in Sterling County. Nationally, roughly 6% of all people taken into custody face marijuana possession charges. However, it is not uncommon for that number to spike to nearly 20% in many jurisdictions throughout the country. This is in spite of the fact that there is a push in many areas to legalize the substance.
As a general rule, liberal or conservative policies did not explain why enforcement rates were so high in some areas but not in others. For instance, Alabama did not make enforcement of marijuana possession laws a high priority. However, states such as New Hampshire and New York had relatively high rates of enforcement. One of the reasons why there are so many people taken into custody for marijuana possession is that it may help governments make money.
The law generally allows authorities to take money from individuals who are found to be in possession of marijuana or other substances. Other valuable items may also be seized during a drug bust. In some communities, being tough on crime provides a justification for funding task forces. Another explanation is that marijuana has a distinct odor, which makes it easier to detect than other substances.
If a person is convicted of a drug charge, they could face serious consequences such as prison time or a fine. However, an attorney can help a defendant avoid prison time or other possible penalties. This may be done by having evidence suppressed or negotiating a plea deal.