By Kevin Rector for The Baltimore Sun. As the nation debates the war on drugs, Baltimore has already begun to redraw the battle lines.

Baltimore police have shifted the department’s strategy to focus more on large-scale, violent players in the drug trade and less on addicts committing lesser offenses.

The result on the street: Drug arrests dropped by nearly 50 percent last year, according to a data analysis by The Baltimore Sun. Police didn’t just arrest fewer people for marijuana — small amounts of which were decriminalized in 2014 — but for other illicit drugs, including heroin and cocaine, and for crimes ranging from possession to distribution.

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