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New FBI Numbers Reveal Failure Of Marijuana Prohibition


fbi statistics arrests marijuanaOne Marijuana Arrest Every 42 Seconds In US According To New FBI Numbers

I received the following press release from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (L.E.A.P.). When I ask prohibitionists why they hate marijuana so much, a majority of the time they say something involving  law enforcement. Law enforcement has a HUGE sway with the public, which is why L.E.A.P.’s work is so important. Please make a contribution today to help them continue their important work!

Just over one week before voters in three states will decide on ballot measures to legalize and regulate marijuana, the FBI has released a new report today showing that police in the U.S. arrest someone for marijuana every 42 seconds and that 87% of those arrests are for possession alone.

A group of police, judges and other law enforcement officials advocating for the legalization and regulation of marijuana and other drugs pointed to the figures showing more than 750,000 marijuana arrests in 2011 — more than 40 years after the start of the “war on drugs” — as evidence that this is a war that can never be won. With more than 1.5 million total drug arrests drug arrests being reported in the U.S. in 2011, that’s one drug arrest every 21 seconds.

“Even excluding the costs involved for later trying and then imprisoning these people, taxpayers are spending between one and a half to three billion dollars a year just on the police and court time involved in making these arrests,” said Neill Franklin, a retired Baltimore narcotics cop who now heads the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). “That’s a lot of money to spend for a practice that four decades of unsuccessful policies have proved does nothing to reduce the consumption of drugs. Three states have measures on the ballot that would take the first step in ending this failed war by legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana. I hope they take this opportunity to guide the nation to a more sensible approach to drug use.”

Today’s FBI report, which can be found at www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/persons-arrested/persons-arrested, shows that 81.8% of drug arrests were for possession only, and just under half (49.5%) of all drug arrests were for marijuana.

One hopeful sign is that these numbers have decreased slightly from those of the prior year. This is perhaps reflective of the growing number of communities across the country that have recognized the need for drug law reform and implemented new policies designed to alleviate the harms of the drug war, such as the deprioritization of marijuana enforcement.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) represents police, prosecutors, judges, corrections officials and others who, after witnessing the harms of the drug war firsthand, are now devoted to ending that war. More info at www.CopsSayLegalizeMarijuana.com.


About Author

Johnny Green


  1. To protect the sheep you have to catch the wolf.
    And to catch the wolf you have to be a wolf!

  2. Laughing produces a chemical in the brain. It alters the mind. Coffee, Nicotine, sex, sadness, different foods we eat also cause mind altering affects. It’s the same with marijuana. Our brains are full of chemicals that alter our thought patterns depending on outside stimuli. No reason to feel guilty. With your reasoning you should feel guilty about a whole mess of normal day to day activities.

  3. I just don’t understand. If they really cared about justice, keeping it illegal is the worst thing ever. They basically make criminals rich, because illegal drugs are a $280 billon industry. Like the prohibition of alcohol made the Mafia in the 1930’s super powerful. Today, Mexican Cartels have political power in Mexico because of the Drug war. You can’t even go to Cancun without fear of getting shot.

    Make it legal, and regulate it. Give money to the states not the criminals.
    When I say criminals, I mean the REAL criminals. Those who use other illegal methods to deal and traffic drugs (Like killing people/competition). Not these innocent kids they arrest for no reason. Marijuana itself is so harmless. How is ruining innocent people’s life based on a 80 year old false prejudice still allowed?

  4. Shut up with the gateway bullshit. People decide if they want to try something. If they decide to take it farther than they take it farther. You can’t say something is bad simply because some people decide to do hard drugs. It’s asinine. People are responsible for the choices that they make.

    If weed didn’t even exist than we would call cocaine or mushrooms the gateway drugs. It’s complete nonsense.

  5. Apparently you’re** not aware of the fact that this is pretty much entirely true. We have allowed a for profit prison system to develop in this country that DEPENDS on inmates to keep the business running. They lobby for stricter laws, lowered standards regarding the decisions to imprison offenders, and longer prison sentences. And why wouldn’t they? That’s how they make their money. They are corporations and people are the commodity.

    Think about that judge in PA that was caught accepting money to send teenagers to a juvenile prison facility. He accepted a HUGE amount of money and sent many many young kids to this place for next to nothing. Most of them for truancy. And it wasn’t a week long ordeal for them. We’re talking about long drawn out sentences for KIDS.

  6. I love maryjane but I’m not sure God put it here for us to be happy. My guilt is that I don’t believe he wants us to put anything in our system that is mind altering. I believe he created hemp because of its value as a natural resource. Everytime I get Smokey I always ask for forgiveness cause I feel guilty.

  7. true! -and it is not a ‘gateway’ drug, I’ve smoked for 20 years and I don’t even drink!!!!! -maybe cigarettes are a ‘gateway drug’, maybe alcohol is ‘gateway drug’, maybe freakin’ depression is a ‘gateway drug’, maybe the recession is a ‘gateway drug’, people do all kinds of drugs for all kinds of reasons, mostly to hide from or try to deal with with, or lessen for a moment, in some way, some kind of stress, and the government and big business and parents AND SCHOOLS for that matter, are preaching about and shoving prescription drugs down their childrens throats all day everyday. Marijuana doesn’t lead to some other drug, some other problem or some other type of person leads to some other drug for some other reason. -most people who use marijuana is because it helps them relax, after a long hard day at work, or an emotional break-down from a traumatic experience like war or rape, etcetera… there are plenty of prescription drugs that are very damaging to the body and general health of a person, whereas marijuana is not, and that is why most people that choose it, do so. -because we don’t like taking pills, DRUGS! -but we have to worry about having a life and professional reputation ruined by an arrest, a FELONY arrest, because possesion of just 1 ounce is a felony, and that is what is tearing down the country, because even educated people cannot get a job with a felony on their record. So it is either go without, or risk it, because you only live one life, and according to the Constitution, the one thing that makes us great and different or better is that we supposedly have the right tot he pursuit of happiness, and I say God put it here because he wanted us to be happy. -and this is from a 20 year smoker that hasn’t smoked in 6 months, with no arrests, because I do not ever go out and hang on a street corner, nor do I ‘party’ nor do I take it in the car with me, nor do I do anythig to act irresponsibly, but I will say honestly that I’m pissed that I don’t have the freedom to smoke in the privacy of my own home, after a hard day at work that literally leaves you too nauseated to eat, or in so much physical pain that you can barely walk, or when I have a bout of insomnia as I often do, and for other reasons that will remain private, because they ARE PRIVATE, and if anyone attacks me for my views then you only make yourself look stupid because I don’t attack anyone for theirs.

  8. Two words: choices, choices
    Times are different today, kids in my era’s first experience with drugs was tobacco & or alcohol but now It’s pills from parents/grandparents med cab or synthetic (drugs) inncents. But either way it was a choice that an individual makes for themselves. Not everyone uses any of it but that’s their choice! Every law enforcement officer I have ever ask said they’d rather deal with a so called pot head as to deal with an alcoholic. Drunks are violent

  9. Yes, but those people aren’t very good at working. You need the non-violent drug offenders to fill your manufacturing workforce demand in the realm of prison labor. So one day a rich lawmaker and a rich prison owner get together and figure out a way to create a work force that is essentially slave labor (Find something the black people do, aka smoke reefer, and put em in jail for it). Then today we have more black people in jail than there were slaves 10 years before the Civil War. Essentially through the drug war we have re-enslaved black people (plus many others) for incredibly cheap manufacturing.

  10. Fed Sch 1 Marjuana ExemptIndustrial Hemp of N.J. I have Delinquency notices for not paying my taxes on my Personal Tangible Property (Industrial Hemp/Cannabis Sativa)
    The business is part of the C.S.A. 822 (c) (1)(2)(3) ,885(a)(1) 802(27) that allows the manufacture(growing) warehousing,transporting,distribution & sales of a Schedule 1 controlled substance(marijuana). The business provides a Sch 1 controlled substance for a private held membership, in our usual course of business, consistent with the code of federal regulations governing the statues.
    The business & it’s members are exempt from all statues of alleged criminal activity by the closed regulatory system enforcedby the DEA.
    Why would the DEA tell me I have No Warrant anywhere in the U.S., but Clifton Municipal Court says that they do have a Warrant for me? This has the makings of something VERY BIG!!!!!! Why are they hiding my case? Could it be that federal law (C.S.A. 885) they broke? http://youtu.be/_X51jO6L1QQ

  11. I can understand people brainwashed by gov that weed is bad, or a “gateway” but then why do they turn a blind eye to the fact that gov dose nothing to stop the pushing of drugs on our children? gov overseen foster homes have children on avg 7 heavy drugs during an avg duration at a foster home. in schools anti phyc meds are handed out like candy and ADHD meds are chemically the same as METH. GOV trolls you cant have your cake and eat it too..we know its a scam and the Idiots supporting fail to have valid aruguments.. -smoker and business owner.

  12. thats why they wont make it leagle MONEY. hey make to much moneyfrom putting good people in jail than they could in taxes..

  13. Marijuana prohibition was carefully designed to be the never ending gift to the justice department and America’s police farces. It instantly made criminals out of millions of otherwise law abidding citizens. It offered the Justice Department legal access to the American home. It gave the government legal right to take property, homes, cash and even children from American citizens, sometimes without any convictions at all. It was the ultimate “catch 22”. It was all based on lies but no one was allowed to refute it. Truth was not allowed. Still today, the lies go on and the truth is not allowed. The Feds require proof that pot is not harmful but will allow no testing…The fed’s claim that pot has no medicinal value yet the fed’s provide medicinal marijuana to certain patients…The whole stonewalling act in the face of overwhelming evidence and testimony to the safety of cannabis by experts suggest that there is something “fishy” that works to keep marijuana illegal. It seems an incredible amoiunt of money, time and lies are spent in the effort to keep an herb that has never killed anyone from becoming legal. Peanut butter kills more people every year than marijuana. The persona of marijuana being dangerous is an entirely governmental creation. Why prohibit the entire plant? The stalk and stems contain no active drug and thousands of farmers depended on the hemp for their living. The hemp oil contained no active drug yet it also was banned. The flower of the cannabis plant has provided medicine for consumers for hundreds of thousands of years yet all of a sudden it becomes “dangerous” because some rich guy says so? Dangerous to me means people are harmed, the ER’s are filling up, graves are being dug! None of this is happening with marijuana so why the draconian laws against it? Why the insane effort to continue spending billions of tax dollars to keep arresting almost a million people a year to keep people away from such a benign herb, year after year after year after year? Are we really as stupid as this looks? This whole marijuana thing is really one huge jobs program for our Justice Department and our State and Local police. Wake up America, you are being used and you need to ask yourself by who.

  14. maybe if they legalized marijuana,, maybe the police would have time to catch bad people ,,that really need to be in jail !!!!

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