asset forfeiture marijuana arrest
Ending Marijuana Prohibition

FBI: Marijuana Arrests Down, Enforcement Still Wastes Over 457 Million Annually

asset forfeiture marijuana arrestNew arrest data has been released by the F.B.I., which shows that marijuana arrests have declined, but an enormous amount of money is still being wasted on enforcing failed policies. Below is a reaction from NORML and StopTheDrugWar.Org:

By Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director

The FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report was released this morning and provides an updated look at the total number of marijuana arrests law enforcement made across the country in 2013.

The good news is that numbers are down slightly from 2012’s arrest figures. In 2012, there were about 749,825 marijuana arrests (compared to 757,969 in 2011).

The new report shows a modest decrease in arrests. In 2013, there was a total of 693,481 arrests made for marijuana charges, with the overwhelming majority of these being for simple possession. Law enforcement made about 609,423 arrests for possession alone, a decrease of 48,808 arrests compared to 2012. While we may be seeing slight decreases due to the growing number of states who have begun to reform their marijuana policies, the fact that over 600,000 individuals are still being arrested for a non-violent act shows how much work we have left to do in ending our disastrous prohibition of marijuana.

Using the ACLU low-level estimate of cost per arrest ($750), the minimum enforcement cost for the 609,423 individuals put in handcuffs for just marijuana possession in 2013 would be in excess of $457,067,250.

(NOTE: Numbers in this reporting were rounded to the nearest decimal point. You can read the full Uniform Crime Report here.)

Source: NORML - make a donation

***

By Phillip Smith

More than 1.5 million people were arrested for drug offenses in the US last year, and more than 693,000 of those for marijuana offenses. The figures come from the FBI’s 2013 Uniform Crime Report, which was released today.

That’s about one pot bust and slightly more than one other drug arrest every minute, 365 days a year. The vast majority of them are for simple possession. Over 87% of all marijuana arrests and 82% of all drug arrests were for possession only.

Marijuana arrests have declined from peaks early in this century. In 2008, there were a record 872,000 marijuana arrests, so pot busts have declined by slightly more than 20% since then. But arrests for other drug offenses continue apace, actually increasingly slightly last year. Still, because of the decline in marijuana arrests, the overall number of drug arrests dropped by about 50,000.

In 2008, marijuana arrests accounted for a majority (52%) of all drug arrests. Now, it is down to 40.6%.

Some of the decline in marijuana arrests can be attributed to the passage of decriminalization and legalization laws, particularly in the West, where pot arrests accounted for only 18% of all drug arrests. California decriminalized pot possession in 2011, and Colorado and Washington legalized it in the 2012 elections.

In other parts of the country, marijuana arrests continued to roll along, even in the Northeast, where they accounted for 46% of all drug arrests. In the South, the figure was 49.8%, and in the Midwest, pot accounted for 51.7% of all drug arrests.

When it comes to race, blacks continue to be disproportionately represented among drug arrestees. African-Americans accounted for 30.7% of all drug arrests, but they only make up about 13% of the population. That means blacks are being arrested for drugs at 2 ½ times the rate their percentage of the population would predict.

Drug arrests were the single largest category of arrests made in the US and accounted for about 13% of all arrests. The 1.5 million drug arrests well exceeded second place larceny-theft (1.232 million) and third place driving under the influence (1.167 million). More than three times as many people were arrested for drug offenses than for all violent crimes combined (480,000).

The continued law enforcement emphasis on drug enforcement drew criticism from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).

“Police made more drug arrests than for any other single category of crime. Meanwhile, only 64% of murders and 48% of violent crimes generally are being solved,” said LEAP executive director Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), citing the FBI statistics. ”We clearly have our priorities in the wrong place.”

The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), fresh from last week’s successful “marijuana midterms,” pronounced itself pleased with the decline in pot busts, but called for them to end, not just diminish.

“We’re pleased to see the drop, but arresting even one adult for using a substance that is objectively less harmful than alcohol is inexcusable,” said MPP communications director Mason Tvert. “Every year we see millions of violent crimes attributed to alcohol, and the evidence is clear that marijuana is not a significant contributing factor in such incidents. Yet our laws continue to steer adults toward drinking by threatening to punish them if they make the safer choice. These arrest numbers demonstrate that the threat is very real,” he noted.

Tvert also echoed LEAP in criticizing law enforcement priorities.

“Law enforcement officials should be spending their time and resources addressing serious crimes, not arresting and prosecuting adults for using marijuana,” he said. “Every year, these statistics show hundreds of thousands of marijuana-related arrests are taking place and countless violent crimes are going unsolved. We have to wonder how many of those crimes could be solved — or prevented — if police weren’t wasting their time enforcing failed marijuana prohibition laws.”

The laws must change, he said.

“A majority of Americans think alcohol should be legal for adults and treated similarly to alcohol. Voters in four states and the District of Columbia have now passed laws that reflect that, and we expect several more will do over the next few years. It’s time for our laws to catch up with public opinion.”

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  • Ted Mishler

    $457,000,000 yearly? To prevent our freedom? To prevent our constitutional rights?
    I’ve been recuperating from yesterdays cheap weed all day long, the money should go to testing centers to make sure there are no adulterants added to it, or better yet, the money could go to the manufacture of cannabis from the feds
    I switched on the radio to hear the honoring of the military on coast, i switched it to a church channel, and they were talking about alzheimers, another thing, I believe cannabis could cure, then as i did a google search for marijuana, there is another TERROR story, this time, they are claiming it shrinks our brains, really stupid what they think we are to believe, actually, the cheap stuff around here, making me want to sleep all day, the stuff here that needs to be tested, and if adulterants are added, then the people responsible should have a long prison stay, but they are too busy spending money to remove the cannabis community from existence, I have barely used my brain all day due to the constitutional right not granted indiana to have the wonderful plant flowers available to me in a quality form, not riddled with problems like seeds that make for headaches, etc, I would not doubt that if you do not use your brain, that it could shrink, but the good stuff, with no adulterants, the stuff that speeds up your brain, the stuff that has no mold, the stuff that is not 10 years old, the stuff that still has a smell, the stuff that doesnt smell like carpet cleaner, and smoke like bleach and acid that burns the throat, on the other hand, fresh sativa i think would increase neuron development, and hybrids, and I would wager that the brain actually grows on that stuff, thats why if you do too much sativa, the effect can feel overwhelming, just like your stomach would feel if you over feed it, you over toke your brain, you will not die, but the experience can be overwhelming, and unpleasant, as all the new neuron connections appears very strange, beautiful too, but one must be prepared, and do it smartly, and plan to not be around negative people like, no negative thoughts, the idea is, you do not want to expand your brain centered around fear, or else, your whole brain would not feel positive effects, and that is why we see people’s skulls in ancient times that are elongated to accommodate the increased neuron development too, ohh, i do feel sorry for those who have Alzheimer, but from all the lies I’ve been hearing on cannabis for years, and how the feds pay people money to lie, and my personal experiences of cannabis, i feel it is a Gift for all us humans on earth if we want it, it is banned apparently due to greed, so I pray in a thousand or so years from today, that i develop the disease so that i will not have to remember those who i loved that died before me, I just wonder what gives with the hush, mums the word stuff about kaneh-bosm? no mention of it, the Bible needs to be recalled, so that it can be added, why isnt it in the copies of the original texts? to copy something and change the wording, doesnt translate accurately, surly they want accuracy, why do they keep the lie going? their simple human pride and embarrassment probably, or corruption? or? what?ignorance? or evil?
    i believe why they wanted to look for a “savior”, is because there were too many people who claimed the title of god, back then all those who had cannabis in them were considered christ, some people felt they were gods, i know why they felt that way, and it is because on good weed, all your desires, if the desires are pure and good, seem to come true in your mind, in a small way, like if i wanted to bike to california and back, in the winter, if i had a potent cannabis supply to last me there and back, i could do just that, and i could do it with relative ease, with out cannabis, i would struggle, thinking about stuff is very easy on a good strain of cannabis, I can see why the ancients felt the way they did, so the magi looked for a savior, i think they believed that the world might get along better if there were fewer beliefs, they wanted a singular belief, so that all could get along, so they looked for someone who might be the one, they found the person they called Jesus, and they say he gave his life, a noble thing to do, i’ve struggled as to why anyone even Jesus would want to do such a thing, especially to those who are just mean people, and only thing i can think of is Jesus must have thought that all the people persecuted could call out his name, so that way no one could be hanged as a witch, they were not talking and summoning up evil spirits, they were not crazy, they were praying to God, they were praying to Jesus, I had a vision years ago, and saw the vision of a person, only at the time, the person resembled Jesus, and I was so shocked, i also saw the floor look like water, which tells me that our vision , on certain entheogens actually increases it acuity, to where we can see wavelengths normally not detected to where i could see in through the concrete floor around maybe 1/8th of an inch, so i knew what the walking on water thing was about, in Jesus’ day, people took entheogens, that i am sure to increase their intuition, and to increase their comprehension of their experience, and to Jesus’ teachings, of course, this does not mean the experience is not real, to the contrary, it is very real, but to the common person, they might think the words i have assembled this evening are just in my head, nonsense, etc, like i would have thought prior to my experience, i know i would never have believed it possible, but it is not only possible, it happens to people, i am sure i am not the only one to have had the experience, Graham Hancock speaks of his visions with hayoasca, however you spell that, but i am sure people will just think im crazy, well, there loss, i saw it, i know it is real, the person resembling Jesus, if it was not him, i believe his spirit was in the man at least for that moment, it was a beautiful experience, and no one will ever change my mind, as for the usa, they should be ashamed spreading lies and fear across the nation, that is not our purpose for life, not too intelligent to believe that a larger hammer makes one a super power, it just makes you dangerous, and a menace to peaceful people
    entheogens
    there really is more to life than i previously to that point in my life had thought, and some how, I felt at the time that during that visual experience that lasted 3 days and nites, and for months after i felt it in me, to the point i had to leave cannabis alone for around 10 months, cause the cannabis experience was too overwhelming, due to me being so sensitive still months after that experience with entheogens, at the time of the vision, i felt that somehow God is all around all of us, protecting us, but usually we do not know it, but during that experience, i felt that i knew it, i felt God really was protecting me, and it felt wonderful, but i felt self conscience to the point of wondering if i should not be so close to a holy person, being that i didnt live out my life in prayer for hours like he “Jesus” i visioned might have done, i well, thats that my .07 cents, there is much more that to me i still think is exciting, but, probably bores others, as i do not put in words properly i guess, but as for people banning our constitutional right to religion with cannabis, which should be a SIN, i just dont know what to say, how can they keep doing that with a clean conscience? disgusting traitors, or just ignorant, much like i was until i was around 32ish, what a WASTED life i had, i can not stress that point alone, for without cannabis in my brain, life is so lacking, much like a 2 watt light bulb trying to illuminate a football stadium, thoughts are so much darker, and gloomier, in the common world, before i ever used it, and even today, my thoughts now i down, i know, i used to think like the common do, that is why it bothers me so to here them when they error out, just like i used to do, and they are so sure of themselves, they sound arrogant at times, i mean, the speed of their delivery is to them the faster they speak, they feel it is a sign of being right, in fact, that is just not so, we all experience, i have found, life on different time scales, if one is on crack, which i dont do, but for instance, then they’re eyes will get real large, it will feel like their eyes expand from their eyes all around their head, as their scalp gets tingly, speaking for myself when i experimented in the 90’s, they will feel like their mind is speeding up, and it truly is, but i do not feel relaxed on crack, so i leave it alone, now some weed, like the stuff i did yesterday, can slow the time scale down, way down, it makes not me or the crack addict bad, its just we are experiencing life on two different planes of existence, the commoner who does no entheogen wil have a different time scale of interpretation as well, and it can make communication difficult too if one is high on crack and the other is high on weed, or if a commoner were to talk with the other types of folks as they’re comprehension will not be on the same time scale, in fact, another thing, i have had the experience of getting the shakes around coke people, due to my increased sensitivity to the coke in the air, it is truly sickening to hear and see people putting down cannabis, i dont have anything against the coke people, if that is what the government secret is, i suggest this due to the guy in canada, who has been the subject of ridicule, poor guy i think he means well, he , well, i wont even go there, only i do not perform as fast as they, but i am very respectful of them, as i do know they are persecuted sometimes worse than us cannabis lovers, i do not know what i can do, so i put my thoughts in these words here for whoever to read, if they want, if not, thats fine, this country does seem doomed, until we ALL have our religious freedoms returned the Zoroastrians used to call entheogen imbibers Ginn i think, and they say there were three types nice one and mean ones, which types of folk are the common? are the folks making the laws discriminatory to keep us separated from each other so that we can communicate with more ease to one another, and feel more comfortable around one another? if not, what kind of freedom then do we have in this sorrowful nation?
    until we all can talk about these inner things in our hearts, i do not see how we can change a thing
    will see what the folks, and spirits are saying on the radio and tv, sometimes, answers are given, whether they know it or not, and new flash, i am not crazy
    i do feel that all entheogens are on this planet, God made them, as tools for us to use, not to ban to make money, cause wars, and cause hate and imprisoning people, if there ever was a reason to keep the usefulness a secret, it might have been the foreseeing the possibility of that happening in the future, as common people can be cruel, remember grade school?

  • Ted Mishler

    gosh, i wish there was an edit feature, i meant to say that the original texts has kaneh-bos cannabis, in it, they changed it to calamus, but if you go to google, and type translate, then copy and paste וּקְנֵה-בֹשֶׂם which is the original text, before it was mistranslated in the king james version, you will see, that it translates to And ּkְnֵh – Bֹsֶׂm, hebrew texts dont use vowels the way we do, so, ad the vowels, kaneh-bosm, the m at the end means it is plural, so kaneh-bos singular = kanehbos = cannabis

    peace in the world could be
    the correcting of that seemingly small error, but that small error has made very large problems in society, lots of needless suffering too, when we are not experiencing bliss, we are wasting our lives, doesnt it bother you like it does me?
    how is it that only wealthy people are to have the freedom to purchase it?
    how are we to grow it in indiana without terrorists writing unlawful laws banning our constitutional rights?
    Mike Pence?

  • Ted Mishler

    just wanted to add that if foul play was the reason they left the original texts of the Hebrew Septuagint, out of the king james, and if it was not an error, perhaps the ones traslating didnt have the entheogenical understanding to know enough about history to translate it properly, calumus is not going to heal anyone, then what other changes were made? you even have to ask yourselves if the person writing the bible had a hate for groups of people that used enthogens, if so, the path in life following the advice of hate, seems not the proper one, vatican 2 suggests that there were other texts left out, it seems apparent that they had an agenda to frighten people into thinking that all Jinn were evil, which is not so, its like saying all people are evil, not so, the accuser was called satan, which liked to oppose people, contention then was satans food for enjoyment, what kind of enjoyment does the common people have on ridiculing and accusing the cannabis community of all things bad? its like the common are satan, only they do not know it
    umm, but i am not publicly lol going to say that, as i do not wish contention, it was just a scenarioed idea, that might have a basis of truth, if not, then, it works for me, so call me what you will common people, i know what i saw, i know there is makgic in those entheogens, and i know it can be a beautiful experience, i dont care what satans followers think, now put that in your pipes and toke it:-)

    • ted mishler

      6 lbs of cannabis were used in the making of the oil in the bible
      today, the imposters who claim to be the followers of christ
      would have Jesus in a prison and doing time
      it is enough to make a cannabis lover squirm and stomp with mal content
      much like elain did, at the thought of kramer accidently seeing her naked
      HOW CAN ANY OF US GO ON!!!
      they have been lying to the public for so looooong!

  • ted mishler

    dont believe it, i was writing for around an hour, and now my text is deleted?!
    ok, forget it then
    must be the secret society shit

  • ted mishler

    it appears to me incredibly unfair
    to deny me freedom of speech along with religion, right to work it like folks kinda dont care
    well,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,ok

  • ted mishler

    i’ll try again, $457,000,000 could have been used to produce cannabis for the cannabis community
    instead of unconstitutionally warring on us in-perpetuity
    i well, i lost my desire to write
    i do not wish for any fight

    • ted mishler

      the clergy needs to comes clean and apologizes for their terrible mistake
      kaneh-bosm was in the original Septuagint, so why don’t they admit that, their is no reason for THEM to keep sinning, they of all people should beyond reproach, doing so is their worst mistake

      for they have been duped
      by who knows what group of people, but expecting wars and rumors tells me they are doing something wrong
      who falsely accuses the cannabis community of all wrong, and some wont let us in their churches to enjoy a spiritual uplifting song?

      • ted mishler

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsKpShq2X6s

        we’ve all been duped, but borrowing a line from mrs bucket, don’t be faint hearted their is hope
        and it comes from cannabis flowers, and no, it doesn’t have negative effects like dope
        unless adulterants are added
        but then most know that who is in the know

        • ted mishler

          to be on the precipice of lack of enthogenical unhappiness is an unhappy event to behold
          but reupping the nuggets of delight brings about happiness and contentment, leaving one to wonder if an increse in life span is also had to reducing the effects of mutated cells that folks call getting old
          thanks to great pals another day was enjoyed
          leaving me with a smile, no longer do i feel annoyed

  • Green Thumb

    One arrest is one too many!

  • Ted Mishler

    cool! they put it back in, thank you, whoever you are:-)

    • ted mishler

      67p landing, long wheel based rocket bikes
      wonder if they have the ability to lessen the thrust for all around use?
      maybe they could install an on board herbal vaporizer, the stuff that gives the body a boost?
      although i believe the current Bible is wrong
      i still believe in God, and i toke weed, sometimes with a water bong
      but i haven’t that luxury right now
      seems others have agendas of burning people, oww

      http://www.bbc.com/autos/story/20141110-watch-207mph-on-a-bicycle

      • ted mishler

        if someone were to add wings, and a parachute, maybe a spare one too
        we all could toke up, and fly among the birds, makes a whole other meaning of getting high:-)

        • ted mishler

          wow!, thank you good pals o’ mine
          thanks to your great hearts, i am again feeling just fine
          i’ve had a bit of a kidney infection due to a kidney stone
          that got stuck in my kidney, but the canna-med inlarged my arteries in my kidneys, realeasing the backed up urin, i feel great, and thank to great friends, not alone
          thank you God for this moment in time
          they say you are everywhere
          thank you for the sun shine
          just wanted to give my thanks as i share
          can’t wait for tomorrow to get here
          how can i sleep for fear i might miss something, and my headache is gone, i no longer feel a tear lol
          God bless mike pence you secret friend
          some countries cut off the heads they say of those who have conflicting ideas on how thing are to be done
          you thankfully spared mine, and blessed me with a life here in this state, who, at times you know to the cannabis community is sometimes inadvertently filled with hate as far as employment discrimination is concerned, however, as a smart person reminded me about employees versus employers, i have an idea for an ebay idea that should keep me afloat
          i do however need to find some temp work to buy supplies to see if it will sell and all, but i think it will, just dont know what it is worth monetarily
          cloud chamber
          hmm, wonder if new 67p picts from the lander came in yet? and hmm, maybe a snack, it makes me very happy to be alive, can’t wait to get a job too, so that i can buy some hash
          that experience is something to really behold, it is something i have never experienced in my life
          to give me such psychedelical delight
          :-)

  • ted mishler

    didnt ring sense, to be on the precipice of lack of enthogenical delight
    can bring about unhappiness in plane sight
    figuring out how to maintain
    will keep the entheogenical delight in my brain
    and a smile on my face
    to ban a person’s smile seems to me to be the nations mistake
    bubt they seem to e working on their mistakes
    cannabis works on mine
    right now i feel contented
    i feel fine
    :-)