Washington, DC: Police arrested a record 872,721 persons for marijuana violations in 2007, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's annual Uniform Crime Report, released today. This is the largest total number of annual arrests for cannabis ever recorded by the FBI.
Cannabis arrests now comprise nearly 47.5 percent of all drug arrests in the United States.
"These numbers belie the myth that police do not target and arrest minor cannabis offenders," said NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre, who noted that at current rates, a cannabis consumer is arrested every 37 seconds in America. "This effort is a tremendous waste of criminal justice resources that diverts law enforcement personnel away from focusing on serious and violent crime, including the war on terrorism."
Of those charged with marijuana violations, approximately 89 percent, 775,138 Americans were charged with possession only. The remaining 97,583 individuals were charged with "sale/manufacture," a category that includes all cultivation offenses, even those where the marijuana was being grown for personal or medical use. Nearly three in four of those arrested are under age 30.
"Present policies have done little if anything to decrease marijuana's availability or dissuade youth from trying it," St. Pierre said, noting young people in the U.S. now frequently report that they have easier access to pot than alcohol or tobacco.
"Two other major points standout from today’s record marijuana arrests: Overall, there has been a dramatic 195 percent increase in marijuana arrests in the last 15 years -- yet the public's access to pot remains largely unfettered and the self-reported use of cannabis remains largely unchanged. Second, America’s Midwest is decidedly the hotbed for cannabis arrests with over 60 percent of all cannabis-related arrests. The region of America with the least amount of cannabis arrests is the West with 29 percent. This latter result is arguably a testament to the passage of various state and local decriminalization efforts over the past several years."
"Of further note, this year the Midwest saw a 13.3% increase in cannabis sales/cultivation-related arrests, while the West saw a 14% increase in possession-related cannabis arrests."
The total number of marijuana arrests in the U.S. for 2007 far exceeded the total number of arrests in the U.S. for all violent crimes combined, including murder, manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault.
Annual marijuana arrests have nearly tripled since the early 1990s.
"Arresting hundreds of thousands of Americans who smoke marijuana responsibly needlessly destroys the lives of otherwise law abiding citizens," St. Pierre said, adding that nearly 9 million Americans have been arrested on marijuana charges in the past ten years. During this same time, arrests for cocaine and heroin have declined sharply, implying that increased enforcement of marijuana laws is being achieved at the expense of enforcing laws against the possession and trafficking of more dangerous drugs.In fact, October 10, 2008 will mark the arrest of the 20 millionth cannabis consumer arrested under cannabis prohibition, circa 1937.
St. Pierre concluded: "Enforcing marijuana prohibition costs taxpayers between $10 billion and $12 billion annually and has led to the arrest of nearly 20 million Americans. Nevertheless, nearly 100 million Americans acknowledge having used marijuana during their lives. It makes no sense to continue to treat nearly half of all Americans as criminals for their use of a substance that poses far fewer health risks than alcohol or tobacco. A better and more sensible solution would be to tax and regulate cannabis in a manner similar to alcohol and tobacco."
Such a waste of money, police resources, and innocent citizen's time/freedom/money. Screw the goddamn war on drugs and the chaos it is creating.
18th November 2004
I couldn't agree more. And it's not just because I happen to smoke weed. Some of the most straight-edge people I know are outraged about this. The article is correct; the needless mass of marijuana-related arrests takes time, officers and resources away from "real" crimes, like hard drugs and violent crimes.
And it's not like it's productive at all. If anything, marijuana use has increased over time. This hilariously huge number of arrests has zero deterrent effect.
For the Emperor! Knights of Caliban!
15th March 2004
Man taxpayers money going to waste...or up in smoke?
[color=#000000][size=2][b][i]Heralds of the coming doom, Like the cry of the Raven, we are drawn, This oath of war and vengeance, On a blade of exalted iron sworn, With blood anointed swords
Heaven's gonna burn your eyes
15th April 2005
And meanwhile, yesterday in New Zealand...
http://www.stuff.co.nz/4694927a11.htmlA raid on a quiet Hillcrest cul-de-sac has shocked police who discovered cannabis cultivation in every house on the street.
Frankly, I'm surprised they still even bother. What an utter waste, and the whole "problem" could be done away with an 7-word law: "Cannabis for personal use is not illegal".
Possession of pot for personal use isn't even an arrestable offence in Britain.
Zamamee;4578962 Some of the most straight-edge people I know are outraged about this.
I don't smoke and this makes me mad. The 'law' will NEVER win the war on drugs. This is a total waste of money.
It's strange how the law won't chase down illegals because they say it's too hard...too many of them, but yet they chase a guy smoking 1 joint and put him in jail and let a murderer out in less then 5 years :confused:
I didn't make it!
l dont smoke, and it pisses any tax payer. ld rather see them regulate banks and track corperate fraud, millions saved in that....
The only reason it is not legal, is because they cannot tax something you can grow easily. Distilling alcohol requires semi-expensive equipment and some skill. Tobacco needs certain soil conditions. Hard drugs require dangerous chemicals, and all have negative social stigma attached to them. Weed grows just about everywhere without help from people. Growing the stuff in your home only requires a few flower pots and some grow lights.
I feel that the war on drugs is a waste of money that can be used on better things. There are dozens of things that are wrong with this country that need to be fixed.
Treat it like beer. If you're high while driving, you are under the influence. IF you're high and not driving, you're ok.
BadHairDay;4579847Treat it like beer. If you're high while driving, you are under the influence. IF you're high and not driving, you're ok.
There are laws regarding public drunkenness in most parts of the world. They usually are only enforced when a person is drunk and causing problems for others, or is destroying property.
There is one question I would have with legal marijuana; second hand smoke and its effect on people. I am not certain that all the THC is absorbed into the body, and some may still be present in 2nd hand smoke. As much I would like people to be able to freely smoke weed, I would not like to get contact buzz of them when I need to do something that requires a sober mind. I assume there is some kind of scientific research out there on this.