50 Percent of Drug Crime Arrests in U.S. Involve Marijuana

According to new data by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, more than half of all drug arrests in the United States last year involved marijuana crimes. In fact, 2010 saw more people being arrested for marijuana crimes than in any other year.

Last year, 853,000 people were arrested for marijuana-related crimes. That comprises 52% of all drug arrests across the country in 2010. Out of these 853,000 arrests for marijuana-related crimes, 80% were only charged with possession of marijuana, and not cultivating or distributing it. Overall, since the year 2000, approximately 7.9 million people have been arrested for marijuana-related crimes.

The percentage of marijuana arrests was highest in the Midwest where these arrests comprised 63.5% of all drug arrests. The South also saw high numbers of marijuana-related arrests with 57% of drug arrests in these states. The number of marijuana-related arrests was lowest in the West, where these comprised 49% of the total number of arrests for drug crimes.

Overall, more than 1.6 million people were arrested for drug crimes in the United States last year. Not surprisingly to Los Angeles drug crime defense lawyers, arrests for drug crimes surpassed arrest rates for all other types of crimes. In fact, in 2010, one person was arrested every 19 seconds for possession, production or manufacture of drugs. More than 81% of these arrests were for possession of drugs. In all, 750,591 drug arrests in 2010 were for possession of drugs, while just over 103,000 arrests were for production or manufacture of drugs.

Federal law enforcement agencies have to understand that arresting people every minute for a drug crime hasn’t achieved any objectives, and has not made the community safer.

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