Tom Angell reported for Forbes:
Marijuana possession bustsÂ comprisedÂ 37.36% of all reported drug arrests in the U.S. in 2016, andÂ cannabisÂ sales and manufacturing arrestsÂ accounted for another 4.18% of the total.
Added together, marijuana arrests made upÂ 41.54% of the 1,572,579Â drug bustsÂ in the country last year.
That means, based on anÂ extrapolation, that police arrested people for cannabis 653,249 times in the U.S. in 2016.
That averages out to about one marijuana arrest every 48 seconds.
According to the same calculation, there wereÂ 643,121 U.S. cannabis arrests in 2015.
So arrests for marijuana are on the rise, even as more states legalize it.
These figures are only estimates based on the available information provided by law enforcement agencies, but represent the best current method for determining arrest rates. In addition, the FBI has ceased publishing the information about the drug arrest percentages by type of drug, making analysis even more difficult.
MPP’s Morgan Fox released the following statement:
Arresting and citing more than 650,000 people a year for a substance that is objectively safer than alcohol is a travesty. Despite a steady shift in public opinion away from marijuana prohibition, and the growing number of states that are regulating marijuana like alcohol, marijuana consumers continue to be treated like criminals throughout the country. This is a shameful waste of resources and can create lifelong consequences for the people arrested.Â Regulating marijuana for adults creates jobs, generates tax revenue, protects consumers, and takes money away from criminals.Â It is time for the federal government and the rest of the states to stop ruining peoplesâ lives and enact sensible marijuana policies.