Arrests for marijuana-related offenses in Washington D.C. began falling in 2011, but since city residents legalized adult use in 2014, the decline has been dramatic.
Total arrests have fallen 95% since 2011, and arrests for possession alone have fallen 99% over the same period.
Concerns about the social and economic impact of the city’s arrest rates were a major driver of support for legalization. According to the ACLU, in 2010 D.C. had the country’s highest number of marijuana arrests per capita, and the second-highest racial disparity in arrests, with black residents being eight times more likely to be arrested for possession than whites.
Legalization has helped address a long-standing concern about the effects of prohibition, especially on the city’s minority residents.