Monday, September 16, 2013

Press release: Police arrest more people for marijuana than for all violent crime combined

MONDAY, September 16, 2013
One Drug Arrest Every 20 seconds in US; A Marijuana Arrest Every 42 Seconds
New FBI Numbers Reveal Failure of "War on Drugs"

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The FBI released a new report today showing that nationwide, police in the U.S. conduct one drug arrest every 20 seconds and one marijuana arrest every 42 seconds. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a group of police, prosecutors, judges and other law enforcement officials opposed to the war on drugs, pointed to the figures showing almost 750,000 marijuana arrests and more than 1.5 million total drug arrests in 2012 as evidence that no matter how aggressively we conduct it, this is a war that can never be won.

"These numbers represent a tremendous loss of human potential. Each one of those arrests is the story of someone who may suffer a variety of adverse effects from their interaction with the justice system,” said LEAP executive director Neill Franklin, a cop for 34 years. “Commit a murder or a robbery and the government will still give you a student loan. Get convicted for smoking a joint and you’re likely to lose it. This is supposed to help people get over their drug habit?”

"Every time a police officer makes an arrest for drugs, that's several hours out of his or her day not spent going after real criminals. As the country has been investing more and more of its resources into prosecuting drug 'crime,' the rate of unsolved violent crime has been steadily increasing. Where are our priorities here?" asked retired lieutenant commander Diane Goldstein, another LEAP speaker.

Today's FBI report, which can be found at, shows that 82.2 percent of all drug arrests in 2012 were for possession only and 42.4 percent of all drug arrests were for possession of marijuana (88% of all marijuana arrests).

Marijuana arrests were down slightly this year from 2011, but arrests for all drug abuse violations increased. This is perhaps reflective of the growing number of communities who have legalized marijuana for medical and recreational use.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) is a group of more than 100,000 law enforcement officials and other supporters who, after fighting the war on drugs, now advocate for its end.
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  1. Maybe it's human nature to target the least threatening people. Simply labeling use of drugs or use of marijuana as abuse makes it sound like you habitually beat up on your spouse or children. Who wants to tolerate "abuse"?

    We've created a mindset, uninformed consent, by allowing our law-makers to feel good about calling drug or marijuana use - abuse, and then advertising they are "tough on crime" for locking these people up. That's NOT "tough on crime"!

    Or messing with our life. Been there... like millions of other people.

  2. an end is all i ever wanted...i would no longer be angry at my government..war on drugs was just a slogan when nixon said it//it was not meant to be a way of
    life..stupid laws make stupid cops

  3. i never thought pot would be thrown into the the person said above they made pot users an easy mark...i have always thought they were insane for not making pot legal decades far as i am concerned the federal government has ruined my life.

  4. When will people stop being afraid of Plants ?!?!

    Legalize Cannabis Freedom !

  5. One of the lessor known facts of arrests in a criminal drug case is that of collateral damage. In a book I am writing (Operation Frozen Timber), I am including stories of those who were unintentional bystanders to major marijuana cases. Whether they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, or they called the wrong (wiretapped) number, these people are known as freebies or extras in a case and threatened with nearly the same amount of prison time unless they inform on others.

    There are many factors that perpetuate the drug war, such as government and business profit motives (forfeitures and expenditures on private businesses that support the drug war).


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