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Oct-29-2012 18:19printcomments

One Marijuana Arrest Every 42 Seconds in U.S.

New FBI Numbers Reveal Failure of "War on Drugs"

marijuana arrests

(WASHINGTON DC) - 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, 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



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Anonymous October 30, 2012 1:43 pm (Pacific time)

by the way flyingtolow..Your post actually brought a tear to my eye..I will do my best to promote your book.

Anonymous October 30, 2012 1:40 pm (Pacific time)

I agree, please send your book to salem-news for review. I would enjoy reading it myself. 1.5 trillion dollars spent on the war on drugs and its a lost war, long ago. I dont know how much more I can make this clear, but the CIA runs drugs and if you are not part of their cartel, and thebankers cartel laundering drug money, they will arrest you and throw away the key..Also, the bankers that own D.C. know that marijuana is a powerful health healer, and if that is found out mainstream it would make a huge dent in the pharma drug industry...And, if they made marijuana legal, then hemp would be legal and put a dent in the profits of the textile industry...In fact, marijuana was demonized long ago by the textile industry, who lobbied the government with millions and paid millions in propaganda...These are ALL FACTS! 100,000 a year die from pharma drugs, nobdy dies from marijuana... And crime? The worst that a marijuana smoker might do is steal twinkies from walmart.

Hugh Yonn October 30, 2012 12:46 pm (Pacific time)

To the Editor:

Shoulda Robbed a Bank is in e format. I would be honored to send you a copy.
I need an e address. I do not want to put the book on your site...after all, I am trying to make money with this. Yes, I am a capitalist.

I have sent my contact info to your editor via email.

A million thanks for your interest,
Hugh Yonn

Editor: OK thanks Hugh, we will look for it.

FlyingTooLow October 30, 2012 7:58 am (Pacific time)

Law enforcement needs to re-direct its focus on those that are REAL crimes.

I was in Federal Prison for 5 years for a marijuana offense. No, it was not for simple possession. I was arrested aboard a Lockheed PV2 in Marianna, Florida...charged and convicted for conspiracy to import and distribute 12,000 pounds of marijuana.

At the time, I really had no idea what I had gotten myself into...mine was an offense involving pot...the thought never occurred to me that I may actually spend years in prison for that 'indiscretion.'

As my years in prison rolled by, what I did see were armed bank robbers, coming and going...while I still sat there for marijuana. Most of the bank robbers only spent 17 to 24 months. But, I and my fellow 'drug offenders,'...we stayed for YEARS.

I wrote about the escapades that led to my incarceration. I admit, I had a great time. No one was injured, no one was killed, firearms were not involved...there were no victims.

We were Americans...doing what Americans do free.

Truly, it is time for this lunacy to never should have begun.

My book: Shoulda Robbed a Bank
It is about living free.
I would be honored by your review.


Editor:  Fantastic! Please share your email address.  Absolutely, we would be happy to review your book. 
Please mail it to:
P.O. Box 5238
Salem, OR 97302 

Highest regards!

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