The Kentucky Center for Economic Policy report said that equates to nearly two people charged every hour, every day, from 2002 to 2022.
The report’s county-by-county data also shows that no community is unaffected.
Analysts said the numbers show that despite changing attitudes around marijuana, there is still a human cost under current laws.
“While most of those 300,000 people were charged with possession, their lives are still impacted,” Kaylee Raymer, policy analyst for the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, said. “Whether it’s through fines and fees, it could affect their ability to get public housing or their ability to get a job if that’s on their record. So there are still consequences that come with cannabis-related charges.”
Raymer said Kentucky is among 18 states that still criminalize cannabis and challenged lawmakers to consider decriminalizing the drug.
You can view the full report here.
Camille Hantla contributed to this story.