Marijuana Arrests Increasing Nationally Despite State Reforms

Sep 26, 2017 , , , , , , ,


On Monday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released their annual Crime in the United States (CIUS) report, and the stats are concerning.

Tom Angell reported for Forbes:

Marijuana possession busts comprised 37.36% of all reported drug arrests in the U.S. in 2016, and cannabis sales and manufacturing arrests accounted for another 4.18% of the total.

Added together, marijuana arrests made up 41.54% of the 1,572,579 drug busts in the country last year.

That means, based on an 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 were 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. Regulating marijuana for adults creates jobs, generates tax revenue, protects consumers, and takes money away from criminals. It is time for the federal government and the rest of the states to stop ruining peoples’ lives and enact sensible marijuana policies.


14 responses to “Marijuana Arrests Increasing Nationally Despite State Reforms”

  1. Alcohol is on every corner I good old USA. It’s imbeded in our culture. It sponsors sporting events though out our country. I causes domestic violence. But that’s ok right. Hell no. Alcohol built Las Vegas right Mafia money make alcohol illegal. It promotes nothing. Fights in bars always and Sessions is a asshole

    • They need to get over their self and legalize marijuana people is going to get it no matter what if you want tax money offered you better be legalized in it

  2. HOW CAN YOU MAKE ALCOHOL ILLEGAL? DONT YOU REMEMBER THE CARNAGE? The only reason we have cartels, the only reason we wont get out of Afghanistan is because of narcotics. The main reason lawmakers keep it illegal is because it means million of dollars in their hidden accounts. Marijuana is a plant that can grow anywhere for free, and people go on with their lives. OR marijuana is a dangerous substance that must be kept under control and cause multiple deaths, ruined lives and billions in profit. KILLING FOR PROFIT.

  3. Alcohol. tobacco & some prescription drugs are more dangerous than marijuana will ever be. I’ve used marijuana for over 50 yrs and it is the least of the above mentioned with problematic side effects. Such a waste of tax payers money battling to keep a drug illegal when there are so many positives to be had with legalization and decriminalization. People, congress please quit playing games with peoples lives..

  4. No one should promote the canard that marijuana is socially undesirable, or dangerous–inherently toxic–like pharmaceutical drugs. Or even that it is a ‘drug’, except in Merriam-Webster’s third and broadest definition, as something which affects the mind. By that definition, religion and television (‘the plug-in drug’) should also be included. In truth marijuana is a medicinal herb, cultivated, bred, and evolved in service to human beings over thousands of years.

    “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that had two enemies: the anti-war left and black people. We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting people to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, break up their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.” –John Ehrlichman

    Prohibition of marijuana is a premise built on a tissue of lies: Concern For Public Safety. Our new laws save hundreds of lives every year, on our highways alone. In November of 2011, a study at the University of Colorado found that in the thirteen states that decriminalized marijuana between 1990 and 2009, traffic fatalities dropped by nearly nine percent—now nearly ten percent in Michigan—more than the national average, while sales of beer went flat by five percent. No wonder Big Alcohol opposes it. Ambitious, unprincipled, profit-driven undertakers might be tempted too.

    In 2012 a study released by 4AutoinsuranceQuote revealed that marijuana users are safer drivers than non-marijuana users, as “the only significant effect that marijuana has on operating a motor vehicle is slower driving”, which “is arguably a positive thing”.

    No one has ever died from an overdose of marijuana. It’s the most benign ‘substance’ in history. Most people—and particularly patients who medicate with marijuana–use it in place of prescription drugs or alcohol.

    Marijuana has many benefits, most of which are under-reported or never mentioned in American newspapers. Research at the University of Saskatchewan indicates that, unlike alcohol, cocaine, heroin, or Nancy (“Just say, ‘No!’”) Reagan’s beloved nicotine, marijuana is a neuroprotectant that actually encourages brain-cell growth. Researchers in Spain (the Guzman study) and other countries have discovered that it also has tumor-shrinking, anti-carcinogenic properties. These were confirmed by the 30-year Tashkin population study at UCLA.

    Drugs are man-made, cooked up in labs, for the sake of patents and the profits gained by them. Often useful, but typically burdened with cautionary notes and lists of side effects as long as one’s arm. ‘The works of Man are flawed.’

    Marijuana is a medicinal herb, the most benign and versatile in history. In 1936 Sula Benet, a Polish anthropologist, traced the history of the word “marijuana”. It was “cannabis” in Latin, and “kanah bosm” in the old Greek and Hebrew scrolls, quite literally the Biblical Tree of Life, used by early Christians to treat everything from skin diseases to deep pain and despair. Why despair? Consider the current medical term for cannabis sativa: a “mood elevator”. . . as opposed to antidepressants, which ‘flatten out’ emotions, leaving patients numb to both depression and joy.

    The very name, “Christ” translates as “the anointed one”. Well then, anointed with what? It’s a fair question. And it wasn’t holy water, friends. Holy water came into wide use in the Middle Ages. In Biblical times, it was used by a few tribes of Greek pagans. And Christ was neither Greek nor pagan.

    Medicinal oil, for the Prince of Peace. A formula from the Biblical era has been rediscovered. It specifies a strong dose of oil from kanah bosom, ‘the fragrant cane’ of a dozen uses: ink, paper, rope, nutrition. . . . It was clothing on their backs and incense in their temples. And a ‘skinful’ of medicinal oil could certainly calm one’s nerves, imparting a sense of benevolence and connection with all living things. No wonder that the ‘anointed one’ could gain a spark, an insight, a sense of the divine, and the confidence to convey those feelings to friends and neighbors.

    Don’t want it in your neighborhood? Maybe you’re not the Christian you thought you were.

    Me? I’m appalled at the number of ‘Christian’ politicians, prosecutors, and police who pose on church steps or kneeling in prayer on their campaign trails, but cannot or will not face the scientific or the historical truths about cannabis, Medicinal Herb Number One, safe and effective for thousands of years, and celebrated as sacraments by most of the world’s major religions.

  5. Apparently, the number of possession busts is up considerably in the states that have not legalized or decriminalized cannabis. Are state by state statistics available?

  6. You say:
    “a substance that is objectively safer than alcohol is a travesty”

    What is the evidence for this statement? And even if this is true is it a reason for legislation that will encourage the consumption of marijuanna.

    Marijuanna has ruined the lives of several people who I know personally

  7. taxation by citation in my neck of the woods. municipalities strapped by budget constraints encourage state troopers to arrest. a dwai is worth money and alcohol busts down b/c of the right to look 25 years back into a persons driving record. people no longer drive drunk as much as 2 convictions could lose their license substantial time.

  8. When have you ever seen any disturbance in bars, homes, public places or the streets due to marihuana smoking? None EVER…! But alcohol is the leading cause of fights, violence, crimes against other people and the list goes on and on. Look at states like California and Colorado where the taxes for marihuana is helping the schools and the state income in general. Open your eyes people, marihuana is not for everyone and doesn’t create a drug addiction problem like alcohol does. Alcohol should be consider a drug that can be lethal and THAT is well documented.

  9. You are correct, cannabis is much safer than alcohol. However I advise against ‘outlawing’ anything. We know the 18 Amendment (alcohol prohibition) was a failure, not because of it didn’t stop people from using, but it’s other collateral damage was worse than it being legal. The mafia, shootouts, etc… We also know that this amendment was done because the government did not (and still doesn’t) have Constitutional power to make ANY drug or food illegal… As was the wishes of our founding fathers..

    “Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now.” Thomas Jefferson

    Remember they were living under tyranny from King George II during that time period.

    The same effect has happened with drug prohibition in that we have cartels (mafia) gang violence, collateral damage. Hundreds of people each year die in the US from drug trafficking, thousands in Mexico.

    It is not the drug, it is ‘prohibition’ that causes these problems. Remove the drug and you have the same problem (alcohol or cannabis) so it’s not the drug, it’s prohibition.

    All drugs should be removed from the criminal justice system.

  10. Jack, appreciate your comments about collateral damage: the true impact of many choices/actions including job losses, divorces, food choices, etc. American independence was organized, created and fought for by those who produced their own “medicine” to smoke and/or drink. They were able to accomplish all of these tasks because they were ruled by “self-government” – not politicians.

    Alcoholism is a serious social problem with heart-breaking collateral damage, but I do not believe it is the alcohol that is the problem. It was in my own family. But I am not an alcoholic, despite family history, peer pressure or advertising. Neither are my children. We are responsible for our behavior and choices.

    I’ve read that alcoholics tend to come from the home of alcoholics or teetotalers, as opposed to homes where children witnessed the thoughtful and responsible use of alcohol. Children tend to do in excess what parents do in moderation, but responsible parenting throughout the years can temper this tendency.

    With careful direction, the legalization and responsible use of drugs (that, up until the DEA was formed was not a huge issue), will prevent the feared chaos. If an initial motive for criminalizing drugs was to target a perceived “threat” from Mexicans and Blacks, the cartels have surpassed any problems potentially caused by jazz musicians.

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