Marijuana Use Increases While Arrests Approach Record Levels

Sep 16, 2010 , , , , ,

Marijuana arrests accounted for more than half of all U.S. drug arrests in 2009, while its use among Americans increased by 8 percent, according to two reports released this week by government officials.

According to the FBI’s 2009 Uniform Crime Report released yesterday, U.S. law enforcement made 858,408 arrests on marijuana charges — 88 percent of which were for possession, not sale or manufacture.  Marijuana arrests peaked in 2007 at more than 872,000, and witnessed a slight dip in 2008 at 847,863.

In 2009, an American was arrested on marijuana charges every 37 seconds.

Meanwhile, an annual report released today by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that 16.7 million Americans had used marijuana in the past month.

“It’s now more obvious than ever that decades of law enforcement efforts have absolutely failed to reduce marijuana’s use or availability, and that it’s simply an exercise in futility to continue arresting hundreds of thousands of Americans for using something that’s safer than alcohol,” said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement. “Rather than criminalize millions of otherwise law-abiding citizens and waste billions of dollars that could be better spent combating violent crime and other real threats to public safety, it’s time we embrace sensible marijuana policies that would regulate marijuana the same way we do alcohol or tobacco.”

45 responses to “Marijuana Use Increases While Arrests Approach Record Levels”

  1. I have been arrested twice and given multiple citations for smoking marijuana “in public” so to speak, or as our kind NYPD officers put it. I still smoke and have no intention of stopping. If I get arrested today, the first thing I will do when I am freed tomorrow, would be smoke a J. I wonder how many more people in this country is like me? Talk about futility and waste of resources.
    The government can believe whatever the fuck they want, doesnt mean WE THE PEOPLE have to agree with them. We are Americans that CHOOSE to consume CANABIS, and we are NOT CRIMINALS.

    Free The Weed. Free The People.

  2. Free The Weed; I respect what you say. I believe what you say. I also live by what you say. I live in Mn. so I too was shit on. I was not arrested but paid a 185 fine but lost over 1,000 in loss of personel property. 47 days from now prop 19 will pass. America will be free again.

  3. What if Schwarzenegger doesn’t sign Proposition 19 into law? Then what do we do just say he the state of California wants legal marijuana but the head of their government does. If I am right about it having to be signed into law by the current Governor and he doesn’t then we, as marijuana reformist, will be taking a really big blow to the movement

    • In California, ballot initiatives do not need the Governor’s signature for the initiative to pass into law. It cannot be vetoed if there are more YES votes than NO votes. Vote YES on Prop 19!

  4. When I was a senior in HS, I got arrested for a joint. Not only was I suspended for 3 days, I also lost my scholarship to college. Instead of going to college, I am an underground activist who is 24/7 devoting my time to get back at the screwed legal system and help make prop 19 a true reality for everyone so NO ONE has to go thru what I did.

  5. thank you for the correction Morgan it is a relief to hear that it is not necessary for the governor to sign the proposition into law

  6. Free the weed I am with ya mate I am a convicted felon over marijuana and I am the same way I look at it this way if I am lucky I have 30-40 years left of my life with my medical problems, And I will be dammed if I obey a law of marijuana proibition. If I get arrested tommorrow I will light up when I get out also. Life is to short to live it they way others want you too.

  7. You wanna know why these sob’s are arresting and prosecuting for simple pot possession? Multiply 850,000 arrests by typically a $1000 fine, you get $850,000,000 in revenue for police, prison, justice systems Add at least that amount going into lawyers hands for defending users. Guess who are lawmakers in House & Senate? Lawyers! When I got busted with about 1/4 oz in 2000, between fines and lawyers, it cost me $5000, lost a great job and the only girl I really loved in my life!

  8. I am a shop owner in Va and I can’t wait for the day we get marijuana completely decriminalized in Va and the rest of the world for that matter. If you go buy a gun they don’t have to say why there selling the gun so why in the world does it make sence to have to put “labels” on pipes!?

    Legalize = marijuana legal but can still be jailed and fined!
    Decriminalized = Marijuana legalized with no chance of incarceration or fines.

  9. Here I am, a productive software engineer and electronic designer, and also a musician that has raised almost $10K in funding for kids charities. But now, having had two misdemeanors for MJ, in the backward state of Florida, I’ve a record that basically makes me little more than a common criminal. Hence, I’ll never be able to entertain kids with my music in any public school or similar venue where background checks are done. If not for the warm weather which I love, I’d seriously consider moving to another state, where I’m not considered a criminal. So stupid. The growers in Florida know their stuff, and could easily turn the State’s (if not the whole country’s) economy around, if allowed to legally do busiiness.

  10. Schwarzenegger won’t veto proposition 19. He’s been filmed smoking pot in the past. Check out the end of his bodybuilding movie “Pumping Iron.” He smokes a joint after beating Lou Ferrigno in Mr. Olympia in the 1970s. I’m pretty sure Arnold understands that there is no harm to society by legalizing.

  11. Right after the Military Service, I was arrested in Texas for less than most use for one rolled marijuana cigarette. My charges were puinishable as 7 years to Life in prison. I doubt that has changed much in the Lone Star State, whether one is ill and dying or a regular American citizen on the street you lose.

  12. Peter:

    Yes, you are blacklisted from performing for children in institutions and getting paid for it, but at least I can tell you there are venues where your music message can reach children, namely at fairs like Chicago’s Maxwell Street Market, where you can appear anonymously and make eye contact with the youngest kid in each family that passes.

    Consider starting a side-career handmanufacturing toy instruments which you can demonstrate while participating in an informal band. Approach entire families with information and training in how to make, out of scrap wood and other materials otherwise doomed to go to waste, products which teach infants and toddlers music, math, engineering and profoundest wood fibre product epportunity consciousness.

    “The stick or block or 2×4-fragment that the union carpenters, developers, realtors, corporations etc. despised and rejected is raised from the dead (dumpster) and turned into the cornerstone of a new pro-forest, pro-education economy.” Best of all, this will give your cannabis-induced Creative Paranoia a positive way to express itself and (prior to legalization) no one need know; to hell with blacklisting.

  13. yes on 19 please all green leaf smokers get out and vote even if you dont smoke do it for the american way of life the choice to make our own choices

  14. Why-in the millions of years that we can prove there was man and weed-is it now a dangerous drug? Is the United States government now more intelligent than any government civilization village town human ever? Isn’t that a bit ARROGANT of them? OR YOU-WHO THINK THAT THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT IS GOOD-are you fuqing serious?

  15. I believed the 60s hype and continued that thought til I was 50 years old. I choose to smoke I choose to hold my middle finger up and say GET THE FUQ OUT OF MY LIFE GOVERNMENT.


  16. In California, ballot initiatives do not need the Governor’s signature for the initiative to pass into law. It cannot be vetoed if there are more YES votes than NO votes. Vote YES on Prop 19!

    This is how all should be done in this country…the peoples vote rules. We dont need all these vultures deciding for us.

    As free the weed said: “The government can believe whatever the fuck they want, doesnt mean WE THE PEOPLE have to agree with them.”

    I live as I see fit..not as they see fit.

    Heres another story :–_first_state_considers_allowing_cops_to_conduct_roadside_drug_tests/comments/

  17. was arrested a couple years ago for cannabis. cost me 5000 dollars and 30 months probation. was narcked by a friend I knew for 10 years. the war on cannabis and people turns people against people. the drug war is a war on freedom. the only ones that benefit are cops,lawyers,drug task forces,DEA , its a war on americans. legalize the herb,has never killed anyone,ever

  18. I am not from california but hope this prop 19 passes. when california legalizes it will be a domino effect for the country. holding my breath. they have some kind of bill in ILL but we will see how that goes. ILL is so corrupt I dont have much faith in it. I think its 1381 and would only legalize for medical purposes. I want it legal,period!!!

  19. go california! kinda lookin like though even if it does pass and i hope it does that obama will most likely do as he did in arizona. get the courts to intervene yadda yadda yadda , the vote don’t conunt because yadda yadda yadda….. we’ll eventually win but it’s gonna take alittle longer than nov prop 19 in california. the herb smokers are no longer a minority group, we cannot be over taken or out voted we have the power to elect whom ever we want . we vote on every thing from mayors to sherrifs,to senator’s and presidents. if they don’t support 19 or support public opinion on the issue, then maybe they should consider a career change, courtisy of public opinion!

  20. @Pat Teist #12: here’s a youtube clip of Arnold saying it was real and that he DID inhale

    @jack eich #21: yes, Illinois has SB 1381. It needs the vote of 60 state senators to pass, and Rep. Lou Lang will bring it to a vote ON THE DAY that he knows he has enough to pass it. And the good news…we are LITERALLY just a couple votes away. Yes, it’s just for medical and not full legalization, but don’t make perfect the enemy of the good!

  21. I have faith in California doing the right thing with the vote. If anyone can accomplish this, California can do it! The laws regarding cannabis are outdated and are simply being used to legally scam people out of $MONEY$! It is HIGH TIME (no pun intended) we take back our right to medicate ourselves & our sick loved ones, with this amazing painkiller, that has no bad side effects, except for legal ones! The bad Hype that has surrounded the subject of cannabis for many years, was intended to prevent it’s use, for many hidden agenda’s in the past. I have heard everything from start to finish including the “CHEESY” commercials. Majority rules! We will see…hopefully this Prohibition is OVER!

  22. I live in Texas and I’m willing to bet that it will be the last State to legalize marijuana in any form or fashion! Most all jurisdictions in Texas have the authority to simply write a ticket, give you a citation and let you go. This practice, however, is very seldom used, if ever! Our courts are so tied up it’s unreal and simple marijuana possession cases can take as long as three years before it is finally settled! I say legalize it and tax it!

  23. No one here are criminals no matter what the government tries to make you out to be. We are all good people. It is our corrupt government that will not legalize it because of the money they make from the arrest and fines . I have had spinal operations and many problems for 26 years now and the only thing that helps me move on with my life is cannabis. Who is the government to tell us we cant relieve our pain unless they make money on us . I have taken so many meds that don’t work and do nothing but made me sick. Never once have I gotten sick from Cannabis . Please do note though I do not believe you should not smoke in public bit in the privacy of your own home . Don’t let anyone know your business I believe.

  24. The Government wants to retain the right to arrest at will. The American cigarrette industry does not want Pot legal, the Alcohol Industry does not want Pot legal. George Washington Grew Pot. Cannibus was a medical remedy for thousands of years. Ignorance Prevails.

  25. I have been using marijuana for medicinal purposes for 35 years. Except for the last ten years in which I have lived in public/government housing. Get caught with drugs or pot (which I really don’t consider a drug) once and you will be thrown on the street and never live in subsidized housing again. I have been disabled since 1995. I have Fibromyalgia, Osteoporosis, Rheumatism, Diabetes, Neuropathy, Hepatitus C , Scoliosis of the spine and birth defects in my back. I have also had numerous broken bones and a hip replaced. I used cannabis for pain which most over-the-counter meds don’t help. I have a history of drug use in my teens and early 20’s so have a very hard time to get a narcotic pain med that will help as much as the pot. Also I don’t want to be addicted to pain meds. I have had to make a choice between pain relief and a roof over my head. By the way I am 55.
    Marijuana not only helps the pain but also helps give me a better outlook on life and helps get my ass out of my chair doing something. It is a great stress reliever and gives a sense of well-being and helps me think better and be more creative.
    Our government needs to stop being led by big pharmaceutical companies who are scared to death cannabis will be legalized and they won’t be selling expensive meds which they know pot will take the place of. When I think of the myriad of goods which can be made from pot; I have no idea how our lawmakers can justify keeping it illegal. Oh, yeah I forgot. They get their wallets fattened from the pharmacological special interest groups as a subsidy to our hard-earned tax dollars which they suck up like their alcohol they are addicted to.
    If they would listen to us who need this God-given miracle plant, they could most likely balance the state budgets with the taxes from medicinal marijuana alone. While I’m ranting; how about all the family farms which went under in the 80’s that could have been saved by growing an acre or two of pot? Now our farms here in Iowa are mostly commercial operations which fowl the water and air unlike the farm families who cared for the Earth. Try living within a mile or less of the many commercial hog farms which pop up all over our countryside. I would much rather live next to a legal pot farm. What would you rather do, meet one of our great lawmakers on the highway after a few drinks or someone who toked a bit of cannabis? I know my choice.
    Come on U.S. government. Get your priorities straight and legalize medicinal marijuana before our great country is totally owned by foreign countries. You can do it if you get your hearts in the right place.
    FREE MARIJUANA !!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. It’s funny how getting pulled over for a wide right turn with under 2 grams in your closed trunk can get you two days in jail and a class B. I’m happy i moved to fort worth Texas from San Diego, law enforcement really stay on top of the important things. My question is what happened to my wide right turn violation? Does that get thrown out? No ticket? Oh….yeah i guess that’s a good enough reason to search my trunk. Who’s watching out for the public? Who’s watching the police and their everyday violations? Why don’t the people have the power to stand up? I work 55 plus hours a week, pay a lot of taxes from my business to the city and state that let’s me buy up as much beer as I can handle. But this same state sends me to jail because I like to smoke a blunt after a long day every night before I sleep. Our country tries to say it’s a protector…we have civil rights, gay right and etc. Who’s watching out for me, for us?

  27. Since the “Justice” system is reaping huge revenue from American tokers, perhaps American tokers can affect change by varying consumption? Just to send a message throughout the whole chain. Think about how a reduction in use of only 20% would ripple through the entire industry from the growers to the prosecutors. Could an even larger reduction lead to government layoffs? After all, while the rest of us were losing the value of our investments, government employees got raises! Like Reagan said “We’re gonna hit them where it hurts, in their wallets” (quote from vague memory). An idea will solve more problems than a threat.

  28. I am all for legalizing marijuana, I am 50 yrs. old I suffer from depression and panic attacks, I also have deteratin in my lower back, three herniated discs, with a tumor between my spin and hip along with arthritis. I can not take pain medication, I am allergic to most of it and the ones that I am not allergic to seems to string me out, I can’t function on it. There is a greater problem with prescription medications. I refuse to take any medication and my doctor asked me what I do to control my pain, depression and panic attacks and I told him I smoke marijuana.
    I would rather be on something that is natural, than man made any day. I believe the ones that fight legalizing it is the pharmaceutical companies, and doctors that takes a kick back or paid trips from the pharmaceutical companies because it would put them out of business. I am a grown adult and I should have a choice of what to take, not being forced to suffer or even worse take something that makes me sick .

  29. Marijuana prohibition was never meant to deter marijuana use. Even back during the LaGuardia Report, it was known to be safer than most other substances. Marijuana prohibition was and has always been a legal crutch for the gov’t to inter and intimidate large groups of citizens, mostly the same groups that bear the disproportionate brunt of arrests today (in terms of % of total tokers) African Americans and Latinos. The laws were meant to clear the cities of able bodied men who would otherwise compete for jobs with the recently disenfranchised white men during the depression. Sorry dudes, not meaning to sound racist, I’m white myself, but the law was always intended as an excuse to arrest, intimidate, deport and imprison mostly minority men. Not because (as they now say), these guys would end up living in their mom’s basements till their 40’s or stare at the light when it turns green, but because they were competing for jobs during the depression. This is no coincidence that conviction for marijuana will bar an individual from student aid, thus working to guarantee that the individual becomes less employable and ends up living in mom’s basement.

  30. Dear Austin:

    I forgot whether I got it from MPP, ASA, or NORML but there is an excellent video titled “BUSTED: The Citizen’s Guide to Surviving Police Encounters” You do not need to consent to a search of your vehicle or it’s contents (gym bag, purse, etc.) unless the pot is visible or your car reeks when the window is opened (giving the officer ‘just cause’). When the officer asks if s/he can check your car politely say “no officer, I’m on my way to (an appointment, work, to pick up my kids, etc.) I do not consent to any searches.” If s/her asks you to step outside close the doors behind you. “I’ll just take the ticket and be on my way, I don’t want to be late” If you know you’ve got pot in the trunk then you’ll probably be arrested when they find it anyway so it’s worth making the search too much of an inconvenience for them to want to bother with you, but you must be respectful of the uniform, if not the person. There are plenty of resources on the web for what to do if/when you’re pulled over. try (which has videos for immediate viewing) and remember to support the industry’s lobby groups that work so hard to protect us. If you are a medical patient keep a copy of your recommendation with your stash.

  31. To Christy, #5:

    I am sorry to hear your story. I can not say how great it makes me feel though to see this:

    “help make prop 19 a true reality for everyone so NO ONE has to go thru what I did.”

    To devote all or even part of your life to help make sure other people don’t suffer the same way that you did is one of the most noble things you can do.

    Congratulations, you have a big heart. We need more Christy’s.

  32. Make sure you actually read Prop. 19 well. I’ve heard many times that it will mainly help big business tax marijuana and will be VERY expensive for you.
    For example, in one area that has been already established has harsh rules. You don’t get to use more than 1200 wats, and no CO2. The cultivator has to pay the city a tax of $600 per square foot.
    This will be giving the state of California the power to tax marijuana as a crop.

    • @Careful Reader:
      No offense, but I urge everyone to carefully read Prop 19. They will find that absolutely NONE of these “rules” are factual. Not one. Businesses cannot levy taxes. There is no mention of CO2, power usage, or city taxes per square foot anywhere in the initiative. Prop 19 allows cities to regulate the sale of marijuana, and allow MORE than the 25 sq. ft. guarantee in the initiative if they see fit, but they cannot make it less, nor can they tax that 25 sq. ft. garden any more than a personal tomato garden.

  33. I personally have learned the hard way of the corruption of MJ with the cops, Judges and corupt Attornies. I was busted in Pike County MS and the DEA only found 3 prescription medications locked in my vehicle with a legal pistol to which I had a permit for (CCW). However when it was time for court I had a different charge for all three prescription medications added “With a fire arm”. Additionally, so something would stick marijuana was found some where because I never saw the least bit but the charges showed I had this “too”, with a “Firearm”. It all boiled down to money. The Judge offered 100% freedom and no charges for $20k but not being guilty I was nieve enough to believe in the legal system I had served 4 years in the US Army to fight for and plead “Not Guilty”. I did not pay the Judge, but I was threatened one of two charges and think before you answer this: If you had two choices and they were: (1) 198 years in prison and a $250,000 fine or (2) plead guilty to 3 preasciption narcotics and 1 marijuany charge, with all four having the addition of “With a fire arm” and receive 5 years probation. Which one would you choise, because INNOCENT was not a selection option. I suggest no one go th McComb, MS., for the cops ,Judges and up to the Governor’s office stinks. The Judge in the case was finally busted by the FBI and the case went before the MS Supream Court but the records were sealed, even though they are suppose to be public property. Justice is what you can afford to purchase, receive due to celeberty status and if your are a politician you are basically excempt from the justice system in this country for the people in power are never corrupt, just like my dog sleep’s standing up.

  34. Cartels have compromised 60% of border agents, and you want to solve illegal immigration? I say legalize pot, and you won’t have to build a wall or passed fucked up “enforcement” laws like the one in Arizona that will not stop a problem.

    How many of the illegal farmers here could have stayed in Mexico to grow pot legally for us?

    Instead we have created a war that has no ending.
    Here’s some images from the Mexican Drug War, paid
    for by Prohibition and the U.S. Department of Justice.

    For coverage on the Mexican Drug War.

  35. Cops in California are starting to admit that if prop 19 passes they are gonna lose a large chunk of income from fines and property seizures. That is a sad statement to what has become of the “land of the free”.

  36. I aqm 64 crip[pled from stroke and muscle spasms spasticity and depression, Pot is the only thing that helps with depression and actually makes me feel good, but the feds DEA says that is the part that is unacceptable. That side effect is much b etter than the methadone and any fool should know that,but the DEA aren’t just any old fools, they are liars and hipocrits. We have had some crap weed for $40 a quarter oz. But my friend came by yesterday with $50 a qrt. and it actually is legit 2 hit pot. damn am I happy. Haven’t got it yet but he gave me a half gram and used half that since last night. Sorry I rambled on. no I’m not I feel good , like I know that I would now. Sing aloud. I feel good like I knew that I would now!!

  37. We voted to legalize it and we lost. The dispensories were telling their customers to vote against it because it would hurt their business. All the illegal marijuana dealers also thought it would hurt their business. I’m rather upset about this outcome. We didn’t lose because of the people who are against marijuana, we lost because of stupid potheads. I hope another state will be smarted than us.

  38. All of those arrests support that it is completely unconstitutional. It is close to the percentage of 90% that supports only possession and use. Man, how many people get falsely arrested over unconstitutional structure of the law? Bills get passed which gets the persons’ who are in public administration more levels of immunity. It is an issue of malfeasance. Don’t support drug prohibition. You would only be supporting an astronomical amount of property offenses continuing to happen while the bills that get encouraged are encouraged in a manner to provide for more levels of immunity for those who get remunerated over it (public administration) while the public peace are denied justice continuously that are deceived or forced with certain levels of stealth into an educational and financial loss situation. Drug prohibition causes a huge genre of spin-offs to be created. Pills cause a list of side effects that are non-beneficial. Drug prohibition also caused money desperation which increased drug availability. I know that there is a high level of drug endangering that this government caused. This government caused it because there is less employment because of drug prohibition and it puts some persons’ in a desperate situation. Some of the persons’ get to keep their position in a shameful manner. Money desperation made it spread around more in a less monitored manner than it otherwise should have been. However, there is the way that it is. Drug prohibition remains to cause a whole list of problems with violent crime. There would be virtually no violent crime if it was monitored better because persons’ wouldn’t be in a financial loss situation. More money desperation equals more recreational drugs available which drug prohibition caused. Forcing people to abstain from using substances that are more beneficial is definitely not the answer. Drug prohibition is an interesting issue when it comes to the truthfulness risk scale. It is definitely over the 89% percentile rank which makes all other scales inaccurate to scale. Drug prohibition probes people into violence therefore it is highly prone to violence and dangerous. It is politically dissident therefore it is a high anti-social risk. It is not internalized with civil liberties. It creates externalizing environments. No need to have a whole bunch of intrusive people in your life over their own scam. How can you be sociable to people that are not beneficial to you that scheme you into certain situations over their own “faking good” or “bad”. Who wants to be administered some marijuana and get a schizophrenia diagnosis without any legal process. I am sure that I didn’t. While, the government completely realizes that I was administered it and demeans the nature of that and impress me with their irresponsibility. I believe that this is any but wonderful. No need more the next man or woman getting set up for a sex offense getting paroled and deemed unfavorable before the charges get maliciously instituted. Cruel and unusual punishment, abuse of power, extreme battery and subjection to cruelty is are elements that the one’s responsible for drug prohibition are going to have to answer to. Like it or not. No need for them to continue to purport background information. I definitely did not want my birth information tampered with or marriage information. I will not forgive these sorts of elements completely until the day I die. Life is definitely long-suffering. Though, I have to let go about some of it. Sports is an addiction. People love watching sports yet many of them do not do much else but “watch sports”. I know that those medical necessity buds put me in surroundings that made me more hand-on. More of a people-person. More creative. More relaxed. More open-minded. Although, I grew up in an environment obsessed with sports. I was still administered it in the first place. There was seriously injurious behavior. How could I raise mere suspicion amongst myself when there is no suspicion to raise about it? Seizing or detaining, threatening to kill, injure, or continue to detain, another individual in order to compel an third person to do or abstain from doing any act as an explicit or implicit condition for the release of the individual seized or detained is a major violation of law that it seems that those enforcers could care less about. Why aren’t they solved today? So many people done wrong with more deception for the support for unconstitutional bills. How wrongful is that? Will what I have written get noticed or remain unnoticed. I imagine that there is somebody else out there who goes on this site that will come across my words. No need to keep on supporting the depriving of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness! I know that I have an interesting case with the number 8, my birthday, the jackal case, wheat subsidies, route 1181, and being directly victimized with a Jane Doe who ended up out in this wheat field off of route 1181. So much court case reference that malfeasance has put me in which always supports NO SAFEGUARDS. It definitely isn’t the most competent system when it purports the irrefutable facts and uses only theory and suggestion to convince. I could go on and on about how shameful drug prohibition truly is! However, I have written enough. Last note, there would be less use if there was less availability. American history is full of raising curiosity about it as well. Drug prohibition makes more people use it that otherwise would if there were more of a responsible approach to “drug control”. Drug prohibition is definitely not the same as “drug control”. I have to go now. ‘Til next time.

  39. my house was raided 2 weeks ago, while the doctors recommendations posted on the wall exceeded the number of plants and dry medicine, the cowboy mentality of the la county sheriffs to disregard the laws put in place since 96 has turned me into a full time activist, and am now putting together a documentary regarding the harmlessness of MJ and the blatant disregard of the laws put in place by the people, if you have a story to share please send it to

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