Drug arrests are on the decline in Chicago and on track to reach the lowest level since 1973, according to a new analysis by the Chicago Sun-Times.
Chicago has seen drug arrests fall by almost 50 percent over the 2008 through 2015 time period, the newspaper found.
Annual drug arrests are on track to reach 13,000 in 2016, which would represent the lowest yearly figure since 1973, when there were 11,572 such arrests. The 1973 arrests occurred after the "war on drugs" was announced by President Ricard Nixon back in 1971.
One factor behind Chicago's falling drug arrests could be the police department's issuance of tickets, rather than arrests, for minor marijuana possession under a city policy that began in 2012.
Police are also working with the city to place drug users in treatment programs rather than jail. The Chicago Police Department began using that strategy last month.
CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi spoke to the department's drug enforcement efforts targeting violent offenders.
"The Chicago Police Department has implemented a strategic crime-fighting plan that focuses enforcement around the disproportionate number of violent offenders, most of whom are documented gang members and pose the greatest risk to our neighborhoods," Guglielmi told the newspaper.