FBI: Uptick In Marijuana Arrests In 2014

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director September 28, 2015

    The total number of marijuana-related arrests nationwide rose in 2014, despite the implementation of legalization laws in two states, according to data released today by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

    According to the 2014 Uniform Crime Report, police made 700,993 arrests for marijuana-related offenses, some 7,500 more arrests than were reported in 2013. Of those arrested, 619,808 (over 88 percent) were charged with possession only — a two percent increase since 2013.

    Annual Arrests in the US 1965-2014

    Marijuana arrests comprised nearly half (45 percent) of all drug-related arrests nationwide, at a cost of nearly half a billion dollars.

    In the two states (Colorado and Washington) that have legalized marijuana-related activities, cannabis-related arrests plummeted in 2014 — indicating that that other jurisdictions are prioritizing arrests at a time when the majority of the public is opposed to criminalization. (Recent changes in marijuana laws in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, DC are not reflected in the 2014 arrest data, but will be reflected in 2015 data.)

    As in previous years, marijuana possession arrests were most likely to occur in the midwest and in the southeastern regions of the United States. Far fewer marijuana arrests were reported in the western region of the United States, where possessing the plant has largely been either legalized or decriminalized.

    The total number of marijuana arrests for 2014 are some 20 percent lower than the totals for 2007, when police made an all-time high 872,721 cannabis-related arrests.

    22 responses to “FBI: Uptick In Marijuana Arrests In 2014”

    1. Julian says:

      And that pretty much covers Oklahoma and Nebraska!

      No worries; It’s just the extinction-burst tantrum from non voter-initiative states. It’ll pass.

    2. RUT says:

      It does seem like law enforcement has made a sporting event out of arresting pot users and do not want to give up this farce. Every day they drag their feet more Americans are arrested. Laws that were created based on lies and deception are imposed on the public by these jerks. Vote the establishment politicians out of office. When a big corporation has trouble getting results from its chief executives they fire them and start again with new faces. Fire our leaders who impose this injustice on us. VOTE THEM OUT IF THEY ARE EMBRACING PROHIBITION!

    3. phrtao says:

      It is worth the prohibitionists shooting those (proverbial) fish in the barrel and going all out to make possession arrests. It enables politicians (the like of Chris Christie) to claim there has been a rise in crime associated with the repeal of cannabis prohibition.
      We know it does not stand up to any kind of scrutiny but political debate exists on sound bites and statistics taken out of context. You can spend all the money you want arresting people for all kinds of misdemeanours and claim a crimewave is gripping the nation.

    4. Miles says:

      It’s time to cut funding for the police if they have nothing better to do than harass marijuana users. In my opinion the police that target marijuana users as one of their primary ways of making money or just a bunch of low life jerks.

    5. Cat Cassie says:

      That is so sad. It’s kind of hard to.enjoy freedom when this kind of crap is happening to people because of it. Legalization is inevitable. Why would they do this? Why would they destroy someone’s life like that?

    6. mexweed says:

      Why Would They Destroy Someone’s Life Like That?

      @Cat, thanx for phrasing the question that way, what They are trying to destroy is the chance for a progressive-thinking, ambitious (especially black) young person to get launched into a successful money-making career and, twenty years down the road, have enough money to fund switching to politics and running for elective office or funding a friend to do so.

      Thus the prevailing disparity of how much money in black versus non-black families or neighborhoods, and severely limited percentage of blacks in Congress, Statehouses etc. will continue to prevail. (Cannabis use especially targeted because it is a marker for an individual’s personal ambition and disposition to challenge Their hegemon(e)y.)

      Youngster arrested for cannabis possession (1) won’t get admitted to high class college which (2) issues high-rated degree (3) winning you a high-pay entry job in the Economy, with (4) fast Career promotion escalator, so that (5) in a couple of decades you have enough wealth to get power and control politics like Senator Helms and his successors have done till now with help of Anslinger et al.

    7. mexweed says:

      PS– the current sustained arrest rate shows Their desperation to Cancel out as many million careers as possible at the last moment before legalization shuts down Their ability to do so, thus protecting Their election winning chances decades later.

    8. Mark I. says:

      Arresting cannabis consumers is protecting budgets and not communities. No pleas will break their judicial budgets because jury nullification will end the institutional theft.

    9. Galileo Galilei says:

      Seems like they haven’t busted Willie Nelson for a while. I starting not to feel safe with such a dangerous rapscallion on the loose.

    10. george says:

      Is this a byproduct of legalization? More people have access. People are taking fewer precautions as penalties are perceived to be reduced. For example: in NY I see people walking down the street smoking MJ.