In the Slog, writer Dominic Holden writes about numbers and what they indicate, or don't, about public priorities.
In 2003, Seattle voters passed (59% in favor) a ballot issue declaring marijuana enforcement the lowest priority for city police. In the years since, the number of arrests on pot busts declined, and fr years stayed well below levels from 2003 and earlier.
In "Pot Paradox," Holden wrote in August about an oddity: Arrests on pot offenses this year have (on a per-month basis) more than doubled. He wrote, "This year, 147 people have been referred to prosecutors with pot as the only charge, according to records from the Seattle Police Department (SPD) and the city attorney's office. That is a fivefold increase in the number of pot-only cases (last year, only 28 of the 120 arrests were referred for prosecution with pot as the only charge). In other words, pot-only arrests rose from 23 percent to 85 percent. This is a drastic shift toward busting people solely for pot."