On Sept. 24, the FBI released a report stating that more people around the country were being detained for marijuana possession even though it is legal in a growing number of states. Marijuana remains illegal in North Carolina.

According to the report, there were 653,249 incidents of people taken into custody on marijuana-related charges in 2016. In 2017, that number grew to 659,700. However, the overall number of people detained for manufacturing and sales dropped to 60,418 in 2017 from 65,734 in 2016. According to the report, more people are being detained for possession.

The report estimated that every 48 seconds, another person is taken into custody on marijuana-related charges. In 2017, there were more than 1.6 million incidents of people being detained on drug charges, and more than one-third were marijuana-related. In all, someone is taken into custody for drug charges every 19 seconds in the United States. Marijuana activists said given the seriousness of the opioid epidemic and the increasing acceptance of marijuana as a legal substance throughout the country, law enforcement should be concentrating its efforts elsewhere.

People who are taken into custody on marijuana-related or other drug charges may want to contact a Charlotte drug charges defense lawyer. They should not assume that the charge is not a serious one because it is for marijuana possession. Any kind of drug charge may have not just legal implications but can also affect other areas of a person’s life such as career and the ability to access financial aid and housing. In some cases, it might be possible to get charged dropped or dismissed, particularly if the person’s rights were violated. For example, law enforcement might not have had probable cause to search the person’s property.