There's a lot of money in illegal drugs. Legal drugs? Not so much.
Illegal drugs are big business for the growers, smugglers, dealers, police, courts, private prisons, lawyers, corrupt officials from the cop on the beat to the president, border patrol ... the list is nearly endless, and depressing. IT all boils down to money: EVERYBODY profits from illegal drugs, and they don't want the gravy train to fade.
Think about that.
Anyway, from NORML:
"872,721 marijuana arrests in 2007, up 5.2% from 2006
September 15th, 2008
By Russ Belville, NORML Stash
Record Number Of Americans Arrested For Marijuana
The FBI has released its annual report on Crime in the United States 2007. Once again, the number of people in the United States arrested for marijuana has gone up. 872,721 Americans were arrested for marijuana in 2007, and of those arrests, 89% or 775,138 were arrests for simple possession - not buying, selling, trafficking, or manufacture (growing)."...
It's a good article, and has a nice graphic showing 99.6 cannabis arrests per hour in 2007.
Don't know about your area, but on this island most arrests have alcohol as an influence. Usually the cause.