Methamphetamines outpace all other drug arrests in Colorado, most other states


The most common drug in arrests in most U.S. states in 2017 was not marijuana, but methamphetamines, according to a study released Wednesday.

And that includes Colorado.

Crime data pulled from all 50 states indicated in 30 states, charges connected to methamphetamine use or possession were higher than those related to other drugs, including opioids, cocaine, pot, and other synthetic chemicals, according to American Addiction Centers'

In Colorado, methamphetamine-related charges account for 22 percent of drug offenses, the report says, citing federal sentencing statistics.

The 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found drug use in general has also increased since 2016. Last year, 30.6 million Americans aged 12 or older admitted to having used a highly addictive and illegal substance just in the past 30 days.

Cocaine topped the list in Florida, New York, South Carolina, and Washington, D.C.

Marijuana, which has become legal in 10 states, was only named as the top drug in arrests for two states in 2017: Arizona and New Mexico.

Although President Trump has said he would probably support a Senate proposal letting states set their own marijuana laws, his former attorney general, Jeff Sessions, rescinded Obama-era policies that allowed them a freer hand in doing so.

Punishment for drug offenses ranges between states. In more than two-thirds of states, the average sentence for a drug charge is at least four years.

More than 90 percent of all drug charges end with prison time. Delaware was the only state where 100 percent of every drug charge led to time behind bars.

Three in five criminal offenses in Vermont were drug-related. In contrast, New Mexico had the lowest number of arrests in relation to drug incidents: 16 percent.

James Langford contributed.

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