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Marijuana Policy Project Reports Rise In Marijuana Arrests


marijuana arrest prison drug drugsNobody gets arrested for marijuana anymore? Really? This is what marijuana activists hear a lot these days, as it is a way to diminish their work in drug policy reform. People that support drug policy reform, themselves, even use this kind of rhetoric now.

However, the Marijuana Policy Project just reported that there has been a rise in marijuana arrests in 2014 as compared to 2013. This is the first time this has happened since 2009.

In 2014, 700,993 arrests in the United States due to marijuana (88% of the arrests related to possession alone). In 2013, the number was 693,058. This is particularly surprising because there have already been a few states to legalize, and even more states to permit medical marijuana between these years. But the number still rises!

A majority of Americans (even though it is only a slim majority) support the total legalization of marijuana, but people are still thrown in cages for possession alone.

It may seem that marijuana legalization is nearing the final stretch and our work is inevitable, but the truth of the matter is that people’s lives are still being ruined over marijuana prohibition throughout the United States. A failure to act against this injustice quickly jeopardizes the future of the drug policy reform movement for many years to come. Our work isn’t over until not a single person is a victim of the ongoing Drug War.

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About Author

John Knetemann currently attends South Dakota School of Mines and Technology where he is a chapter leader for Students for Sensible Drug Policy. John has had a passion for drug policy reform since he was a senior in high school, and hasn’t looked back since. Along with his work in SSDP, he is a part of the North American Executive Board for Students For Liberty. You can find John on Twitter.


  1. Narcotics

    OK, I was thinking (not illegal yet)
    about the big picture aspect of drug prohibition and the
    marijuana/hemp issue in particular. I started by reading



    by the

    Narcotics Control Board


    Interestingly enough most of this makes
    perfect, logical sense. Except when it comes to Cannabis.

    Actually my whole train of thought is
    based on my erroneous assumption that a narcotics classification had
    to be in keeping with the meaning of the word as used as an

    NOUN: a drug or other
    substance affecting mood or behavior and sold for nonmedical
    purposes, especially an illegal one.

    Medicine a drug that relieves pain and
    induces drowsiness, stupor, or insensibility.synonyms: soporific
    (drug) · opiate
    · sleeping
    pill · painkiller
    · pain reliever ·analgesic
    · anodyne
    · palliative
    · anesthetic
    · tranquilizer
    · sedative
    · downer ·
    dope ·

    Adjective relating to or denoting
    narcotics or their effects or use: “the substance has a mild
    narcotic effect” synonyms: soporific
    · sleep-inducing
    · opiate ·
    painkilling · pain-relieving
    · anodyne
    · anesthetic
    · tranquilizing
    · sedative
    · stupefacient

    ORIGIN late Middle
    English: from Old French narcotique, via medieval Latin from Greek
    narkōtikos, from narkoun ‘make numb.

    Powered by Oxford
    Dictionaries · © Oxford University Press

    I was under the assumption that the
    word had to stay true to its origin. Wrong, I guess.

    This list and this organization are
    political creations and as such serve political purposes. I have
    become cynical as I get older and I tend to feel politics serves a
    few core purposes. Control, Suppression, Power or Money.

    The inclusion of Cannabis on this list
    is strange and conspiracy theories abound. Issues of racism,
    suppression of indigenous populations, and money all seem to creep in
    to any discussion of why Marijuana is classified as dangerous. What
    is lacking completely, and this becomes more apparent with every
    study, is science and logic. The tide may be turning, but the
    mentality of the past has become so entrenched in the political class
    that nothing is certain. The facts are easily dismissed by power
    brokers who have no interest in retracting their ignorant or
    misguided statements, changing their beliefs or giving up control of
    their citizens. The war on drugs has become an industry unto itself,
    and like any other endeavor that employs many thousands and has
    billions of dollars to spend there is no incentive to embrace a new
    paradigm. The world is rife with such pseudo industries, The DUI
    scam, the Racism scam, all are at odds with their purpose. Success
    means their demise. None of these endeavors actually seeks to
    succeed. Far from it, they are so eager to exist they resort to less
    than honest and less then moral means to continue their “good

    Against a backdrop of a dishonest
    opposition, it is a testament to the people as a group who have
    overcome such odds to make the progress that we have seen.

    The door has been opened by the
    “medical” use advocates, and none of the apocalyptic scenarios
    promised have occurred so it seems the declassification of Cannabis
    is going to succeed.

    Far from suffering any of the “end of
    life as we know it” predictions, most places have embraced the
    financial windfall represented by tax revenue with open arms. So my
    definition of political stays true. It’s all about the money. We
    have seen over and over our political class reject any pretense of
    being able to live within their means. So any legislator unwilling
    to decriminalize Cannabis is behaving in a traitorous manner. He or
    she is also demonstrating the hypocrisy that makes most citizens
    resent and distrust the political class as a whole. No other group
    exhibits the schizophrenic behavior our elected representatives
    demonstrate and has the power and funding to maintain their
    positions. Market driven financial sanity is still only relevant in
    the private sector.

    Anyone who wants to at least make this
    little ray of sanity shine, needs to be involved in some way,
    advocating, voting or donating to a place like the MPP. Sitting this
    one out is not an option. This is an opportunity to at least see if
    the government is still functional enough to accept the will of the
    people and common sense as their guide.

  2. There are always people in our County jail for marijuana possession. However, the police rarely make arrests here from search warrants. The police spend their time making traffic stops in order to search vehicles. When the police are out “hunting” their own citizens, people don’t trust the police, and the police view the citizens as the enemy. Without drug laws, the police might actually serve the community.

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