Sunday, September 19, 2010

2009 US Drug War Arrest Update: "758,593 were for pot possession"
Despite more than a decade of reformist pressures, the drug war juggernaut continues to roll along, as the FBI's most recent arrest numbers show. US law enforcement agencies arrested 1,663,582 on drug charges last year, according to the FBI's annual Uniform Crime Report [5]. That represents a slight decrease from the previous year. Of those 1.6 million arrests, 858,408 were for marijuana offenses. Marijuana arrests thus accounted for 51.6% of all drug arrests, making 2009 the first year pot busts accounted for more than half of all drug arrests.

Of the marijuana arrests, 758,593 were for pot possession, while 99,815 were for sales or manufacturing. Thus, more than 88% of all marijuana arrests were for possession and more than 45% of all drug arrests were for pot possession.

Overall, drug possession arrests accounted for more than 81% of all drug arrests. Fewer than one in five drug arrests were for drug trafficking or manufacture.

While marijuana possession accounted for 45% of all drug arrests, possession of heroin or cocaine accounted for only 17.7% of all drug arrests, "other dangerous non-narcotic drugs" 14.6%, and "synthetic or manufactured drugs" 3.7%.

The more than 1.6 million people arrested on drug charges last year was nearly three times the number arrested for violent offenses (581,765). More people were arrested on drug charges than any other single offense, including drunk driving (1.44 million), larceny (1.33 million), or non-aggravated assaults (1.31 million).

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