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Did You Know? Marijuana and Drug Arrests, on

Submitted by David Borden on (Issue #671), a publication of Common Sense for Drug Policy (CSDP), is an in-depth compilation of key facts, stats and quotes on the full range of drug policy issues, excerpted from expert publications on the subjects. The Chronicle is running a series of info items from, and we encourage you to check it out.

Did you know that nearly 1.7 million people were arrested in the 2009 in the United States for drug offenses, more than 750,000 for marijuana possession?

"Although the intent of a 'War on Drugs' may have been to target drug smugglers and 'King Pins,' over half (51.6%) of the 1,663,582 total 2009 arrests for drug abuse violations were for marijuana -- a calculated total of 858,408. Of those, an estimated 758,593 people (45.6%) were arrested for marijuana possession alone. By contrast in 2000, a total of 734,497 Americans were arrested for marijuana offenses, of which 646,042 were for possession alone."

Source: "Crime in the United States 2009," FBI Uniform Crime Report (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, September 2010), Table 29 (, and "Arrest Table: Arrests for Drug Abuse Violations," (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, September 2010),, via the Crime chapter.

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Common Sense for Drug Policy is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to reforming drug policy and expanding harm reduction. CSDP disseminates factual information and comments on existing laws, policies and practices.

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primus (not verified)

The title of the FBI report is not appropriate;  Instead of "Drug Abuse Violations" it should read Drug Prohibition Violations, or something even more appropriate. 

Thu, 02/17/2011 - 10:10pm Permalink

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