Never a cop when you need one – especially if you’re using Metro. The Examiner is reporting that crime on area Metro trains and buses tops other major cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Atlanta and Philadelphia.

Where are the cops? Short answer: Busy making marijuana busts. Over 4,000 last year in the District alone.

Every drug arrest is time-consuming for police. You have to make the arrest, recover and field test the evidence, secure and transport the defendant, and protect the chain of custody of the drug. And then there’s paperwork. Every arrest, no matter how small the charge, requires cops to fill out forms – at least 15 in a typical drug arrest.

Don’t think that the cop’s job ends at arrest. There’s transport, booking, fingerprinting and photographing. There’s more paperwork to do at Central Cell Block, where the prisoner is transferred to the custody of the U.S. Marshall’s Service. You know that the feds are going to need plenty of paperwork. It’s their job to transport the prisoner to Court, and they have to make sure there are no mistaken identities, contraband or medical problems.

If somehow does have a medical problem, the police have to first transport the prisoner to the hospital, stand guard while he getting treated, and then back to the cell block.

If you get the feeling this is taking a long time. Your right. The most common description of the arrest process I get from clients is “slooooow.”

And all that time 2, 3, 4 sometimes 6 cops are off the street. All for a single joint.  Or a $5 bag or pot, or sometimes for only drug paraphernalia.

Meanwhile, on Metro trains, parking lots, and buses, muggings are up, and iPhone theft is epidemic. Is there an alternative?

In Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and 13 other states, possession of personal-use amounts of marijuana is a civil fine. (and a program if you are a youth). The cop writes you a ticket but stays on his beat. So the next time you need a cop, and wonder where they are, they are probably busy arresting your neighbor, friend or child for pot.

Categories: arrest, Marijuana Laws

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