US Marijuana Arrests Remain Largely Unchanged in 2012

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director September 16, 2013

    The FBI released their crime and arrest statistics for 2012 today and, despite the fact that a majority of Americans believe that marijuana should be legalized, the total marijuana related arrests in the United States is largely unchanged year over year.

    In 2012, marijuana arrests as a percentage of all drug arrests dipped very slightly from 49.5% in 2011 to 48.3% last year. This puts the total number of marijuana arrests at about 749,825 (compared to 757,969 arrests in 2011). 87% of these arrests were for possession only, meaning that about 658,231 Americans were forced into handcuffs last year for nothing more than simple possession. Another 91,593 were arrested for sale or manufacturing charges.

    That means a marijuana consumer is arrested for possession every 48 seconds. In the time it took you to read this short blog post, another marijuana consumer was taken to jail. Meanwhile, the occurrences of violent crime ticked up to 1,214,462 reported incidents, an increase of 0.7% over 2011 totals.

    You can view the FBI Crime Report for 2012 here.

    16 responses to “US Marijuana Arrests Remain Largely Unchanged in 2012”

    1. steve linsemeyer says:

      How sad,And such a waste of money.

    2. Galileo Galilei says:

      Your tax dollars in action.

    3. Demonhype says:

      Well, of course, marijuana users are non-violent, non-threatening, and easy to take down. They’re great to pad your numbers with and make it look like you’re a great hero who defends Truth, Justice and the American Way without actually risking anything. And there are billion dollar companies that also want to use those numbers and the Drug War in general to “justify” their profiteering, and they’re the ones who are really running the show. What, did you actually think the will of the people has any power anymore? Government is a bought-and-paid-for corporate commodity, always for sale to the highest bidder as a gang of thugs for the rich to use to force their own minority will on the rest of us.


    4. phrtao says:

      Has some one actually worked out what the cost of these arrests is (and subsequent processing through the legal system) ? Not to mention the pain, anguish and social stigma these arrests cause.

    5. Miles says:

      I love America but I really hate those responsible for the continued idiocy of ruining the lives of otherwise good law abiding fellow Americans!!!

    6. Elaine says:

      Marijuana prohibition is truly America’s number one Government Approved scam! There will always be low-lifes that rise into public office and then use it to steal from the rest of us and they are disgusting. If you want some examples of who I’m talking about, look no further than the people in Congress. I’d estimate that at least half of them are crooks! If you want to know why marijuana is still illegal after 70 years of prohibition you don’t need to look any further than that; and of course the Congress is led by none other than John Boehner which I think speaks volumes about his character!

    7. mexweed says:

      @Elaine, don’t be overanxious to throw angry epithets like low-life, remember good people can do bad stuff for corrupt reasons under certain conditions, how convenient that you mention Boehner. The Speaker has had men from Philip Morris and R. J. Reynolds on his Advisory Council, has received $100,000’s from tobacco industry, has been a “low-tar” habitual $igarette smoker up to last time I googled. My suggestion is “Forgive—Convert—>Redeploy”. Boehner knows there is cropland that could produce industrial hemp in southern Ohio and like the two right-wing Kentucky Senators he will give way gradually on cannabis in general.

    8. mexweed says:

      P.S I forgot the punch line: Big 2WackGio profits from this presecution against cannabis users because it makes cannabis seem

      (A) much more Dangerous to experiment with using or possessing than addictive nicotine tobackgo, and lures kids in the “social smoking” age to try “a cigarette” instead.

      (B) Economics: the general crackdown on suppliers keeps cannabis ten times as expensive per weight as the tobacco in the “regular” $igarettes, luring kids into the “drug they can afford”.

    9. Dave Evans says:

      Stolen money. Stolen time. Money can be returned, but not time.

    10. Kal Hutchens says:

      I need help! I am allowed to use marijuana for medical reasons in my home state, so I am legal here, but I have a custody battle in another state where they don’t have such laws. I need to take a drug test as part of the procedure. Should I cheat using cleansing products like those at http://www.drugtest-solutions.com or should I hope they understand that I am not breaking any of my local laws?