Oct 22, 2017

America's drug problem, by state

We mapped out which drugs cause the most problems in each state, according to the number of sentences given out for each drug-related crime. The U.S. as a whole has a meth problem, while marijuana crime sentences were relatively low in 2016 except for Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Heroin is prevalent in West Virginia and Ohio, states which are often highlighted as centers for the opioid epidemic.

Why it matters

Both sides on criminal justice reform will use these numbers to bolster their side of the argument — whether to lower sentencing guidelines for non-violent drug crimes as suggested in the Grassley-Durbin bill or keep the harsher sentences as promoted by tough-on-crime, hardline conservatives.

The facts
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Data: United States Sentencing Commission; Graphic: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

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