Jacob Sullum on the Contraction of a Cannabis Crackdown
In 1992, when Americans elected a president who said he had smoked pot without inhaling, the number of marijuana arrests in the United States began a steep climb. It peaked in 2007, during the administration of a president who refused to say whether he had smoked pot because he worried about setting a bad example for the youth of America. Since 2009, when a president who "inhaled frequently" because "that was the point" took office, the number of marijuana arrests has fallen steadily—a trend that continued last year, according to FBI numbers released this month. Even in New York City, where the cannabis crackdown has been especially noticeable, police are arresting fewer pot smokers, a trend that is likely to accelerate as a result of a policy change that took effect last week.