Responding in kind, the NOPD has all but eliminated marijuana charges from their protocol, reducing the rate of possession-related arrests from 72% of all police and pot interactions in 2011-2014, to the newly released number of only 1% in the last half of 2016 and first half of 2017. In terms of individual interactions, last year saw 5,000 fewer cannabis-related arrests in New Orleans than took place half a decade ago. Html” target=” blank”>said after announcing the new arrest statistics on Tuesday.
But while cities like New Orleans have found incredible success by giving police officers the option to only ticket marijuana users, shifts in local laws around cannabis have not been a universal panacea.
In New Orleans the decriminalization ordinance – and its overwhelmingly successful real-world application – has been a necessary first step for all parties involved.
“In our estimation, the punishment more neatly matches the crime,” Guidry said.