Marijuana Prosecutions Near Record High In 2010



​Police made 853,838 arrests in 2010 for marijuana-related offenses, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s annual Uniform Crime Report, released on Monday. The annual arrest total is near the highest ever reported by the agency, and is nearly identical to the total number of cannabis-related arrests reported in 2009.

More than half — 52 percent — of all drug arrests in the United States are now for marijuana, according to the report. An estimated 46 percent of all drug arrests are for offenses related to marijuana possession.

Paul Armetano, NORML: “The so-called ‘drug war’ remains fueled by the arrests of minor marijuana possession offenders”

​”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,” National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) Deputy Director Paul Armentano said. “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.”
Almost nine out of 10 of those — 88 percent, or 750,591 people — charged with marijuana law violations were arrested for possession only. The remaining 103,247 individuals were charged with “sale/manufacture,” a category that includes virtually all cultivation offenses.
Drug enforcement seems the most skewed toward marijuana arrests in the Midwest, where 63.5 percent of all drug arrests are for cannabis, and in the South, where 57 percent of drug arrests are for pot.
The percentage of drug arrests made for marijuana is lowest in the West, where pot prosecutions were only 39 percent of total drug arrests.
By contrast, the percentage of arrests for heroin and cocaine was lowest in the Midwest (14 percent of all drug arrests) and highest in the Northeast (29 percent).
Law enforcement agents nationwide arrested 1,638,846 people in 2010 for drug law violations, surpassing arrests for all other crimes.
Since 2000, law enforcement has reported making an estimated 7.9 million arrests for marijuana violations, according to NORML.