Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Marijuana Arrests For Year 2008: 847,864


Marijuana Arrests For Year 2008: 847,864

Pot Arrests Now Comprise One-Half Of All US Drug Arrests

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 comprise 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."

2008 847,864
2007 872,721
2006 829,625
2005 786,545
2004 771,608
2003 755,187
2002 697,082
2001 723,627
2000 734,498
1999 704,812
1998 682,885
1997 695,200
1996 641,642
1995 588,963
1994 499,122
1993 380,689
1992 342,314
1991 287,850
1990 326,850

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500, or Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org.


NORML and the NORML Foundation: 1600 K Street NW, Suite 501, Washington DC, 20006-2832
Tel: (202) 483-5500 • Fax: (202) 483-0057 • Email: norml@norml.org




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