In drug crimes cases, it is easy for the media to imply guilt in their reporting. However, people reading those reports should be reminded that people who are arrested and charged with drug crimes remain innocent unless prosecutors can prove otherwise.
The landscape of drug offenses could soon be changing in the Pacific Northwest. On Nov. 6, Washington state voted on Initiative 502, which asked whether Washington should legalize marijuana use. Initiative 502 passed with 55 percent of the vote. Under the Initiative it becomes legal for people 21 years old and older to possess 1 ounce or less of marijuana. Furthermore, marijuana will become regulated by the state of Washington. Previously, possession of marijuana in any amount would lead to drug charges. Oregon voters narrowly defeated a similar proposal, known as Measure 80, which would have legalized and regulated marijuana in Oregon.
In an effort to make a bigger impact in America's war on drugs, many times a group of law enforcement agencies will combine efforts to catch many drug suspects at once. These multi-agency sweeps are typically very good for publicity because they result in seized drugs and a large number of mug shots, effectively demonstrating to the public that police are doing their jobs.
Marijuana use is growing among men arrested in Portland, Oregon, and nine other major U.S. cities, but fewer are using cocaine, according to the annual report of a federal drug monitoring program. The 2011 Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Annual Report, which tracks drug use among arrestees, also says that marijuana is the most commonly used illegal substance.
Several members of the same family are facing felony drug charges and child-endangerment charges after police raided their property just south of Cottage Grove, Oregon, and accused them of having a large marijuana growing operation.
Two major pot busts in one week in the state resulted in the seizure of hundreds of pounds of marijuana and the arrests of two men on drug charges.