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America’s Police: Marijuana Is The Least Of The Nation’s Drug Worries


cop and potThe results of the 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment Summary have been released, and the results show that marijuana is the least of the nation’s drug worries according to answers provided by members of law enforcement across America. This of course shouldn’t shock anyone. I have friends that are in law enforcement (friends that I went to school with growing up), and all of them will be very quick to tell anyone that will listen that even before marijuana was legalized in Oregon, they least of their concerns was marijuana.

Below is more information about the survey, via the Washington Post:

America’s cops overwhelmingly do not see marijuana as a major threat to their communities, according to results of a survey released this week as part of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s ”2015 National Drug Threat Assessment Summary.”

The DEA asked a nationally representative sample of over 1,000 law enforcement agencies what they saw as their biggest drug threats. Marijuana came in at the bottom of the list, named by only 6 percent of survey respondents. The share of law enforcement agencies naming pot has been declining steadily since the mid-2000s, even as states have moved to legalize medical and recreational marijuana during that time period.

Something that wasn’t found on the survey, but that I think definitely should have been included, was alcohol. Alcohol of course is not an illegal substance, but it is responsible for far more social costs that marijuana will ever be responsible for. I heard a cop once point out that he has been dispatched to many domestic violence incidents were alcohol was involved, but that in his entire career he had never been dispatched to a report of violence and had it involve marijuana. Below is a chart from the previously mentioned article that visually shows the results of the law enforcement survey:

national drug threat marijuana


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Johnny Green


  1. Lawrence Goodwin on

    I found that quote in the excellent Schaeffer Drug Policy Library (I was going by memory above, but mistakenly mixed the words “unjustifiably” and “unbelievably.”) Google it, click on the link “Major studies of Drugs and Drug Policy,” then click “The Consumers Union Report on Licit and Illicit Drugs.” The Vollmer quote is found in Chapter 8 of that report, covering the 1914 Harrison Narcotics Tax Act. Lots of valuable information posted by the good folks at the Schaeffer library.

  2. saynotohypocrisy on

    Never heard that quote before, thanks. I made a copy of it.
    1936, that’s before federal prohibition was railroaded through Congress, without proper hearings and deliberation. If only his eloquent words had been listened to.
    Big respect to August Vollmer whose sensible and compassionate words deserve to be more widely known

  3. Lawrence Goodwin on

    “Stringent laws, spectacular police drives, vigorous prosecution and imprisonment of [drug] addicts and peddlers have proved not only useless and enormously expensive as means of correcting this evil, but they are also unbelievably and unjustifiably cruel in their application to the unfortunate drug victims.”–August Vollmer, first Police Chief of Berkeley, CA, in his 1936 college textbook, “The Police and Modern Society.” Total tyrants like Harry Anslinger ran roughshod over such sensible ideas from respectable men like Vollmer, creating a national nightmare that endangers us to this day.

  4. I’ve seen this story in several places. One included the fact that high-ranking officers (i.e. chiefs) did not agree and felt they needed to keep making marijuana arrests.

    Of course, this is blatantly due to the policing for profit operations that make fortunes from asset forfeiture and government “drug war” grants.

    It’s important to keep these counter-forces in mind. I doubt it’s necessary to comment on how much influence chiefs have over their officers.

  5. saynotohypocrisy on

    Each day, day after day,100’s dead in the U.S. because of alcohol and no evidence that anyone was killed by cannabis.
    Just another day in the war against freedom, public health and safety and science.
    Shame on everyone who’s bigoted enough to use alcohol and think they can order others not to use weed.
    Shame on every cop and judge who’s willing to enforce these piece of crap laws without protest.
    Triple shame on them if they then go home and drink some of America’s drug.

  6. Jordan Shorette on

    notice how painkillers plummet within a years time then heroin and meth skyrocket. so who do we blame for the heroin/meth epidemic?

  7. ALL cops know the truth…Texas is #1 in lining up for Federal handouts, especially law enforcement.
    Keep up the façade, or no new carpet next year, and no military assault vehicle for those doughnut drive-throughs…

  8. Closet Warrior on

    I’m a “Scun bag” in my state too HellNo. Our officers use the same old ploys to catch us up too. The law makers are the true villains though because the cops are just following orders of agenda. President Obama just visited our capitol a few weeks ago addressing our having over 8-11 times higher overdose rate than the whole country. We need mmj to help treat addiction as well as for patients. If it”marijuana” is so non-threatening to our communities then why can’t we at least get a medical program in the works. Proud West Virginians for Mmj and reform.

  9. I live in a town of less than 20,000 people. I just checked the jail log, and there are 19 people locked up on drug charges, three for possession of a small amount of marijuana. And bond hearings were 2 1/2 hours ago. So most misdemeanor marijuana arrests should have made bail by now.

  10. Unfortunately all cops are not so progressive. Here in Texas it’s the attitudes of police, prosecutors and judges that are preventing serious reform. It’s very common for those working in the criminal justice system to view pot smokers as “scum bags”. And a great deal of time, and effort are expended on making drug arrests thru traffic stops. And our State Legislators have to have some mighty big balls to go up against that level of hatred from the system.

  11. Except at budget time, then the biggest seller is their biggest concern. On a survey, sure, at an elementary school or TV interview…preventing mj use.

  12. Everyone who cares about this issue should visit the web site of LEAP — Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

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