Justice

The Five Most Dangerous Drugs to Society According to Police

After the height of the War on Drugs, many may assume that police officers think marijuana is a treacherous drug, but according to a new report, police aren't too afraid of the substance.

The Drug Enforcement Administration's 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment Summary just found only 6 percent of law enforcement officers believe marijuana is a serious threat to American communities. Around 42 percent of drug possession arrests were for marijuana in 2012, and there were almost 700,000 marijuana-related arrests in 2013, but it seems police aren't arresting people out of fear.

The DEA's assessment was carried out by surveying 1,000 law enforcement agencies across the country.

Here are the drugs the police think are the most dangerous:

  1. Heroin was seen as most dangerous, with 38 percent of respondents saying it's a threat to communities.
  2. Meth was just below heroin at 33 percent.
  3. Cocaine also wasn't seen as particularly dangerous, only being considered a threat by 7 percent of respondents.
  4. 15 percent said pain killers pose a serious threat.
  5. And as stated earlier, only 6 percent named marijuana as a threat.

The DEA's assessment states clearly that the agency needs to focus less on marijuana and more on the dangerous drugs.

Drug statistics

We all know marijuana is not even close to as addictive as heroin, and people don't tend to get violent when they're on it. It's believed only 9 percent of marijuana users get addicted to it in their lifetimes, and that's believed to be a habitual addiction, not a chemical one. Nearly a quarter of people who use heroin become dependent on it, and it's not hard to overdose on it. It's nearly impossible to overdose on marijuana. (You would have to consume an incredible amount of highly potent edibles.)

So, why are police arresting so many people over marijuana? For starters, it's still illegal on a federal level (though some states have legalized it for recreational or medical purposes). Secondly, police departments get more money and officers look better when they arrest a lot of drug users. Marijuana just happens to be one of the more common illegal drugs people use consistently.

According to its own reports, DEA agents seized 4.3 million marijuana plants in 2014. That's a lot of time and money spent wrangling up plants in people's gardens.

A recent Gallup poll found 58 percent of Americans believe marijuana should be legal. It's not hard to image why people wouldn't be afraid of a plant that's main side effects are hunger and relaxation.