Despite the further spread of marijuana legalization throughout the U.S., pot-related arrests are on the rise.
According to FBI data released on Monday, arrests made for marijuana-related offenses increased by 1.6 percent in 2016. The rise also comes after hitting a two-decade low in 2015.
The report indicates that 653,249 arrests were made for pot last year, making for about 42 percent of the total drug busts accounted for. Those total arrests were more than those related to violent crimes including murder, rape, aggravated assault and robbery, the Washington Post noted.
“Arresting and citing [more than] half a million people a year for a substance that is objectively safer than alcohol is a travesty,” said Morgan Fox, director of communications at the Marijuana Policy Project, in a written statement. “Despite a steady shift in public opinion away from marijuana prohibition, and the growing number of states that are regulating marijuana like alcohol, marijuana consumers continue to be treated like criminals throughout the country. This is a shameful waste of resources and can create lifelong consequences for the people…