2010 national cannabis arrests near record high

Posted on February 2nd, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

Police nationwide made 853,838 arrests in 2010 for cannabis-related offenses, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's annual Uniform Crime Report, released late least year. The annual arrest total is among the highest ever reported by the agency. According to the report, cannabis arrests now comprise more than one-half (52%) of all drug arrests in the United States. An estimated 46% of all drug arrests are for offenses related to mere marijuana possession. The near-record totals were nearly identical with those of 2009.

"Today, as in past years, the so-called 'drug war' remains fueled by the arrests of minor marijuana possession offenders, a disproportionate percentage of whom are ethnic minorities," said NORML deputy director Paul Armentano. "It makes no sense to continue to waste law enforcement's time and taxpayers' dollars to arrest and prosecute responsible Americans for their use of a substance that poses far fewer health risks than alcohol or tobacco."

Of those charged with marijuana law violations, 750,591 (88%) were arrested for marijuana offenses involving possession only. The remaining 103,247 individuals were charged with "sale/manufacture," a category that includes virtually all cultivation offenses.

By region, the percentage of cannabis arrests was highest in the Midwest (63.5% of all drug arrests) and South (57% of all drug arrests), and lowest in the West, where marijuana prosecutions comprised only 39% of total drug arrests. By contrast, the percentage of arrests for heroin and cocaine was lowest in the Midwest (14% of all arrests) and highest in the Northeast (29% of all arrests). Overall, law enforcement agents nationwide arrested 1,638,846 people last year for drug violations, surpassing arrests for all other crimes.

Since 2000, law enforcement have reported making an estimated 7.9 million arrests for cannabis violations. (NORML, Sept. 19)


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