BREAKING NEWS: Marijuana Arrests For Year 2008: 847,864

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director September 14, 2009

    Washington, DC: Police arrested 847,864 persons for marijuana violations in 2008, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s annual Uniform Crime Report, released today. The total marks a three percent decrease in marijuana arrests from 2007, when law enforcement arrested a record 872,721 Americans for cannabis-related violations.

    Marijuana arrests now comprised one-half (49.8 percent) of all drug arrests reported in the United States.

    Of those charged with marijuana violations, approximately 89 percent, 754,224 Americans were charged with possession only. The remaining 93,640 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.

    Marijuana arrests were highest in the Midwest and southern regions of the United States, and lowest in the west.

    The 2008 marijuana arrest total is the second highest annual total ever reported.

    Commenting on the 2008 figures, NORML Director Allen St. Pierre said: “Federal statistics released just last week indicate that larger percentages of Americans are using cannabis at the same time that police are arresting a near-record number of Americans for pot-related offenses. Present enforcement policies are costing American taxpayers tens of billions of dollars, ruining the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans, and having no impact on marijuana availability or marijuana use in this country. It is time to end this failed policy and replace prohibition with a policy of marijuana regulation, taxation, and education.”

    NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano added, “According to a just-released Rasmussen poll, a majority of American adults believe, correctly, that marijuana is less harmful than booze. The public has it right; the law has it wrong.”

    137 responses to “BREAKING NEWS: Marijuana Arrests For Year 2008: 847,864”

    1. Deff Shepard says:

      It’s hard to believe how stubborn and ignorant the U.S government is.

    2. CKDK29 says:

      Damn When is the gov gonna wake up? Im excited to see what happens after the big convention that is the 24th-26th.I check this site everyday sometimes more than once a day to see if theres any new news,an everytime i do it seems its getting better an better .Awsome work Normal

    3. David says:

      Can I get a DUH??

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    5. Terry says:

      Well what can you expect? The economy is bad abd all those cops, prosecutors and prison guards need to make some overtime.

    6. Mike Stroup says:

      I think I’ve finally figured out how this country came up with it’s national drug policy. First, they filled a room with hypocritical, lying, self-righteous, religious-inspired, sociopathic and psychopathic prohibitionists. Then they agreed to totally ignore God’s will for people to live in freedom with liberty as acknowledged and cited in the Constitution of the United States. Then they came up with a policy that was the most counter productive, had the most unintended consequences, would cost the most money indefinitely, destroy the most property and hurt and kill the most people. The policy had to make drugs readily available to our children, degrade the domestic tranquillity of at least several allied nations and directly fund terrorists, gang and mob drug profiteers. And finally, the policy could never, ever work. How could anyone possibly say our national drug policy is not working? It is working exactly as obviously designed and intended.

    7. gregor says:

      see, prohibition is working…….NOT!!!!!!!!

    8. Johnny D says:

      These are sad statistics indeed, where now nearly 50% of all drug arrests are for Marijuana, and nearly 90% are for simple posession. I’m sure there will be further analysis of these statistics, but my curiosity makes me wonder what the percentages of these arrests are young people and minorities?

      My hope is that 2010 is the year this changes and that legislation in the wings of the Federal and State governments will pass bringing us closer to legalization of Marijuana. I will continue to keep in touch with these blogs and write to my representatives at every available opportunity. Thank you NORML for your assistance in this.

      I pledge to donate $1,000 to NORML in 2010 as I did in 2009, and I hope this committment encourages others to do the same. I know economic times are difficult for all of us, but if this is a cause you believe in, be willing to feel a little pinch in the pocketbook! In perspective, this is only the price of an ounce of weed four times a year. Give what you can, please.

      I’ve read the book, Marijuana is Safer. I think the message is focused and I highly recommend the book. I’ll talk to anybody who will listen at every opportunity on how Marijuana is safer than alcohol, and I believe it is unconscionable that culture and society are forcing me to drink. Well, I’m still a rebel. I quit drinking!

      This madness has to stop. Too many people have had their lives ruined or died due to prohibition. There are statistics on how many people die as a direct result of the War on Drugs. The fact is families are broken, individuals are needlessly incarcerated to feed our #1 growth industry, PRISONS! Parents lose custody of their children. Assets are forefeited. Arrest records follow individuals for life and impact the possibility of future employment. There is a social stigma needlessly attached to those who use Marijuana either for recreation or as medicine.

      As if this were not enough, look at all the research that has been done on the efficacy of Marijuana for numerous medical conditions, not the least of which is Brain Cancer! Cannabis causes the cancer to EAT ITSELF in a process called Autophagy. The research has been published.

      I’m sick and tired of our government’s hypocricy where one bureaucracy says there is no acceptible medical use for Marijuana, while another government bureaucracy holds the patent on a Marijuana medicine.

      Please, let us end this nightmare. Let us educate ourselves and others. Become politically active and write your elected officials. Fund the organizations and lobbies that will also get the ears of our elected officials. Come out of the closet! Let us together unite to change these unjust laws and end the nighmare of Marijuana Prohibition!

      Johnny D

    9. That is 847,864 people too many taking up space in prisons. I don’t see why people don’t start rioting in the streets about themselves, friends, or relatives being locked up for using a substance, OH YEAH! It’s because If people do start stepping up to the corrupt politicians and police they will get there “Riot police” ready and throw teargas at people and abuse there power more and more

    10. moldy says:

      I’m thinking the number of arrests are actually higher. You really can’t beleive what comes out of the Government’s mouth. It’s alway a lie.