How much has our state spent on pot prohibition over the last decade? Here's a hint: It's a lot.
According to figures released today by The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, the total comes to more than $210 million. Statewide, the figures indicate that over the last ten years every county has blown at least $100,000 on pot enforcement - from arrests, prosecution, public defense, jail and supervision. Not surprisingly, King County has spent the most, spending nearly $35 million, while Pierce County has spent more than $21 million and Snohomish County has spent more than $14 million.
Arrest costs have been the most substantial, clocking in at over $73 million statewide, and accounting for roughly 35 percent of the total money spent on marijuana enforcement.
"At a time when local government budgets are being squeezed thin, scarce public safety resources should be spent in a more productive manner, such as going after violent criminals," says the ACLU of Washington in a statement announcing the findings.
Find an interactive map breaking down pot enforcement costs in our state created by the ACLU below.