FBI Report Shows a Record Year for Marijuana Busts 10/11/97

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(This article appears courtesy of the NORML Foundation. You can find NORML on the web at http://www.norml.org.)

Nearly 642,000 total marijuana arrests were made by state and local law enforcement during 1996, according to the latest edition of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Uniform Crime Report. This figure is an 80 percent increase since 1990 and pushes the total number of marijuana arrests under the Clinton administration to approximately 2.1 million. The 1996 yearly arrest total for marijuana violations is the highest ever recorded by the FBI.

Of the 642,000 arrests made for marijuana in 1996, approximately 85 percent (545,700) were for simple "possession." The remaining 15 percent (96,300 arrests) were for "sale/manufacture," a category that includes all cultivation offenses -- even those where the marijuana was being grown for personal or medical use.

According to NORML Executive Director Allan St. Pierre, "These new FBI statistics indicate that one marijuana user is arrested every 49 seconds in America." He added, "Marijuana prohibition costs American taxpayers between $7.5 and $10 billion annually in enforcement alone."

Statistics gathered from the FBI also demonstrate that ethnic minorities are over-represented among those arrested for marijuana offenses. Racial breakdowns provided by the FBI concluded that nonwhites comprise 40 percent of marijuana arrests, despite constituting only 20 percent of all marijuana users in the United States.

Since 1970 law enforcement has arrested approximately 10.8 million Americans on marijuana charges, the data indicated.

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Issue #15, 10/11/97 Media Alert: CNN covering Vancouver's Marc Emery Tomorrow (Sunday night) | First Federally Sponsored Med Mj Research Research Approved | Clinton AIDS Advisors Consider Resignation in Protest of Federal Ban on Needle Exchange Funding | Interview with Alexander Robinson | FBI Report Shows a Record Year for Marijuana Busts | American Medical Association Calls for More Rational Drug Policies | Canadian Ambassador to Mexico Steps Down | Hung Jury for Hawaiian Activist Charged with Buying Legal Hempseed | BC Canada's Attorney General Calls for an Examination of Decriminalization | Aussies Spending $7 Billion Per Year on Illegal Drugs: Report notes failure of Prohibition | 1997 Miss America Calls for Needle Exchange | Quote of the Week: Prominent drug policy researcher calls CASA's work thin | Link of the Week: Expose of some of CASA's thinness | Editorial: The voices of reform are growing louder... whether or not the Drug Warriors want to hear them
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