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Interactive Map: What Is Your County Spending On Marijuana Law Enforcement?

Washington state’s war on marijuana has cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars over the last decade. Every one of Washington’s 39 counties has spent millions of dollars enforcing these laws.

A new interactive map created by the ACLU of Washington (which can be accessed below), estimates how much each county has spent on adult marijuana law enforcement between the years 2000-2010. It also shows where this money goes in the criminal justice system. Millions are spent arresting, prosecuting, defending, convicting, jailing, and supervising adults for marijuana offenses.

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. Please take a minute to see how much your county has spent on marijuana law enforcement and stay tuned for additional visualizations covering Washington's war on marijuana. 

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Not a complete picture

What types of marijuna offences are captured in this data? Are we looking at illegal/unlicensed trade of marijuna only? Does this include cases brought against licensed medical marijuna operations? How much was spent on busting illegal grows versus possessions charges versus medical rules violations? The current situation seems to be more complex than what is broken down here.

Additional data would be useful


Great work on this county by county chart. If the public really knew what we spent on these prosecutions they would be appalled.  That said it would be useful to see the number of arrests or people involved with these charges so the public can see how many people are being caught up in this web.

I am a County Supervisor in Santa Cruz, CA, and I am interested in whether the ACLU is contemplating putting a chart together like this for our state.

Keep up the good work!

John Leopold

Nearly 1/4 Billion wasted dollars.

It's that huge money factor that keeps the Prohibitionists focused on keeping their morally bankrupt policy in place. 

i would think the jail and

i would think the jail and supervison costs would be higher then the arrest costs only bc arrests and once and done while jail and supervison is over an extended period of time. 

its a pachwork of laws that

its a pachwork of laws that are not consistent statewide,nevermind the votes that happend a decade ago,doors are being kicked in & city laws undermine the law at the expense of the folks who have there medical license...

diffrent regulations and tolerance,depending on what side of the state you re on...hmmmmm,last I heard that laws voted in are statewide but local muni's pick and choose what laws they will allow or follow.

no protection from your job,housing,travel....still get sterotype'd by the meds we take...but if we was to consume alchohol...well thats socialbly acceptible but not my medical cannibis.

something is wrong when the law is voted in by the citizens but undermined by the county's and citys.



marijuana enforcement cost

when you see it all laid out graphically it just magnifices the absurdity of the current law

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