The New York Times reported data show there have been at least 20 SWAT raids that have turned fatal in the last 10 years — with three deaths involving marijuana users who were shot and killed. The compiled list included incidents in which marijuana was exchanged among friends, along with more serious dealers who also sold more dangerous drugs like crack, cocaine and methamphetamine — but marijuana was found later on in these instances after arrests already had been made. The data also included four police officers who were killed during these raids. While marijuana is legal in some states, in states where it remains illegal, violations of the law still can be deadly.

Even though there have been no deaths from marijuana and it is not in itself a deadly drug, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration, selling it can produce a violent outcome. More than half of states have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes and eight have legalized it for recreational use. 

Read: Synthetic Marijuana May Make You More Violent, Study Says 

Defenders of SWAT tactics argue there were certain measures that had to be taken to protect officers' safety in searching drug homes.

"These are dangerous people we’re dealing with," an Arkansas SWAT commander told the Times. "If you have a dope house next door there’s probably nothing the police can do that would be overreacting." 

The Times also discovered in its investigation that from 2010 to 2016, 94 civilians and 13 law enforcement officers were killed in drug raids. Of the 85 raids that have occurred in the last decade, 70 percent were carried out on drug suspicion. These cases were found through news reports, interviews, federal court dockets, search engines and data provided by the American Civil Liberties Union from its survey of police departments in 20 cities collected in 2014. The Times confirmed details through open records requests and interviews with law enforcement officials.