FBI: 750,000 People Arrested for Simple Marijuana Possession. And For What?


The FBI released their annual Uniform Crime Report yesterday, and the results are anything but surprising. Across the country, people continue to be arrested for marijuana-related violations at an alarming rate, despite the steadily decreasing stigma associated with it and increasing efforts at reforming our irrational marijuana laws. And guess what? It still isn’t working. Our esteemed leaders claim otherwise, even while admitting that they need to change their tactics!

Over the past year, the Obama administration stated that the “war on drugs” is over, and that the government was going to shift its focus away from law enforcement and interdiction and instead put more effort toward public health and education with regard to drugs. At a press conference just last week, Office of National Drug Control Policy director Gil Kerlikowske stated that we cannot arrest our way out of the drug problem.

If these statements are true, then how do they justify the arrests of more than 853,000 people for marijuana-related violations in 2010? That’s one person arrested every 19 seconds! The Drug Czar maintains that law enforcement protocols are still considered a useful tool for eliminating suppliers and dealers as a way to decrease overall use.

Okay, that seems like it makes sense. So how many of those 853,000 arrests were for sale or manufacture of marijuana? The answer is just over 103,000. That means that more than 750,000 people were arrested last year for simple possession! A remarkably small number of people who may have distributed marijuana were arrested last year, along with three quarters of a million simple users, in an effort to curb marijuana use nationwide. Read the rest of this entry »

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Missouri Governor’s Son Arrested for Marijuana Possession


UPDATE: As of Nov. 7, charges against Willson Nixon have been dropped. Too bad that only seems to happen for the children of the powerful. In other news, Missouri will consider dropping marijuana charges for everyone!

ORIGINAL:In other Missouri news, college student Willson Nixon was arrested for possession of marijuana at a house party earlier this week. This happens every day in Missouri and around the country, unfortunately endangering the ability of students to continue their educations or find employment after college. Willson Nixon just happens to be the son of Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon.

When asked about the incident, the Governor had this to say:

This is a private matter that will be handled through the municipal process.  My son is a fine young man, and we will be working through this issue as a family.

It is unclear what kind of penalty Willson will pay for his youthful indiscretion, but it doesn’t sound like Dad is going to let him off the hook completely. Hopefully, this incident will remind the governor that marijuana prohibition hurts everyone, even “fine young men” like his son.

He should be thankful Willson wasn’t arrested like this:

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Medical Marijuana Laws Do Not Affect Teen Use


Today, the Marijuana Policy Project released an updated version of the Teen Use Report, which analyzes all available data from medical marijuana states both before and after passing their medical marijuana laws. The purpose behind this was to find out if permitting patients to use their medicine “sends the wrong message” to teens, as prohibitionists are so quick to claim.

Well, it turns out that it doesn’t. In fact, of the 13 states with available data, teen use rates have stayed the same or decreased since enacting medical marijuana laws. In some cases, these drops in teen use are pretty significant. This is not meant to imply that there is a causal relationship between medical marijuana and a drop in teen use. What the report does show, however, is that there is definitely no causal relationship between medical marijuana and an increase in teen marijuana use.

Not surprisingly, we’ve seen that arresting anyone for marijuana, even teenagers, does nothing to curb adolescent marijuana use. Some parents may be asking right about now, “how do I prevent my teenager from using marijuana?”

According to a study released this week by the University of Washington, the answer is … talk to them!





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