VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Canada’s crime rate has dropped to its lowest level in almost four decades, according to Statistics Canada, but marijuana-related arrests are on the increase.

Stats Canada shows 58,000 Canadians were arrested for marijuana possession last year, a number that is 14 per cent higher than the year previous.

Jacob Hunter with the Beyond Prohibition Foundation believes pot smokers are being unfairly targeted by the Harper government.

“There’s been very little evidence in any increase in use in Canada, but there seems to be a huge amount more attention being paid to just simple marijuana possession. Both the arrests for production and possession of cocaine and other drugs have gone down,” he explains.

Hunter says the crackdown on simple pot use is a huge waste of money, given that a large number of Canadians support legalization.

“The great irony of all this is that of every poll conducted in the last 10 years, more Canadians support the legalization of marijuana than actually voted for a Conservative candidate in the last election.”

Hunter says a crackdown on simple marijuana possession is incredibly costly and ultimately futile.