Pubdate: Wed, 18 Sep 2013
Source: Columbus Dispatch (OH)
Copyright: 2013 The Columbus Dispatch
Author: Alan Johnson
Page: 23


While violent crimes showed a slight uptick for the first time in six
years across the U.S. in 2012, drug arrests continued to dominate the
Ohio and national crime picture.

There were more than four times as many arrests for drugs as violent
crimes in Ohio last year - 26,936 to 6,236 - according to new Uniform
Crime Reporting statistics released on Monday by the FBI. The report
is compiled using statistics provided by more than 18,000
law-enforcement agencies across the country. Violent crimes include
murder, voluntary manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and assault.

Violence has shock value in the report: A violent crime happened every
26 seconds, a rape every 6.2 minutes, and a murder every 35.4 minutes
in the U.S. FBI Director James B. Comey noted in releasing the
statistics that violent crime rose 0.7 percent last year.

But a group called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition also underlined
numbers showing law enforcement made a drug arrest every 20 seconds
and a marijuana arrest every 42 seconds. The group is composed of
police, prosecutors, judges and others who argue that the U.S. is
losing a lengthy, massive and costly war on drugs.

"These numbers represent a tremendous loss of human potential. Each
one of those arrests is the story of someone who may suffer a variety
of adverse effects from their interaction with the justice system,"
said Neill Franklin, executive director of the group and a police
officer for more than three decades.

"Every time a police officer makes an arrest for drugs, that's several
hours out of his or her day not spent going after real criminals,"
added Diane Goldstein, a retired police lieutenant commander.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has pushed hard for arrests for
possession and sale of narcotic prescription pills, heroin,
methamphetamines and synthetic drugs, but has not made a similar move
against marijuana.

The FBI report showed that nationally, 80 percent of all drug arrests
were for possession as opposed to sale or trafficking. There were
1,531,251 U.S. drug arrests, more than theft (1,264,986), and drunken
driving (1,215,077).

Midwest law enforcement had the highest percentage of any region in
marijuana-possession arrests compared with all drug arrests at 51.9
percent; the West had the lowest at 22.1 percent.

The full report is at http://
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