Friday, December 24, 2010

Marijuana Laws in South Carolina

In 2007, marijuana possession arrests (as opposed to arrests for manufacture or sales) accounted for 91% of all marijuana related arrests in South Carolina. Additionally, South Carolina arrested six out of every 100 marijuana users in South Carolina in 2007, ranking the Palmetto State number one in the U.S. for arresting marijuana users. With 91% of those arrested for merely possessing a plant, this is not a ranking you want your law enforcement to lead the county in, especially with so many violent crimes going unsolved. In 2007 the clearance rate for rape in South Carolina was a mere 37.8%; the clearance rate for robbery was 25.8%! With six in 10 rapes going unsolved and three-quarters of all robberys left unpunished, should the hard work and dedication of South Carolina law enforcement be spent on arresting, prosecuting, and jailing individuals who commit the non-violent offense of marijuana possession? We think not. It is time that South Carolina reform their criminal penalties for marijuana possession to free up the necessary time and money to go after the violent criminals who cause true havoc in our communities. You can e-mail your legislators (link to generic decrim)to ask them to change the penalty for marijuana possession to a simple fine(end link) or (link to T&R action)to ask them to end marijuana prohibition completely in South Carolina(end link). If you’d like to volunteer or if you are someone with a special connection to the issue — such a clergy member or current or past member of law enforcement — please e-mail to see how you can be of special help.

For more information on South Carolina’s marijuana arrests, usage and other related data, please see Dr. Jon Gettman, Ph.D.’s report.

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