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Did You Know? Drug Offender Numbers in Prison, Jail, Probation and Parole, on

Submitted by David Borden on (Issue #738)

Did you know that in 2009 there were 1.7 million people in US prisons, jails, or on probation or parole for drug offenses? Since 1990, the number of people in those four categories grew by 78.9 percent -- federal prisons by 212.5 percent. Read about it in the Prisons & Drug Offenders section of, 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 over the next several weeks, and we encourage you to check it out.

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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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Malc (not verified)

  What makes that clock tick?

* In 2010, 52.1% of the 1,638,846 total arrests for prohibition violations were for marijuana -- making a calculated total of 853,839. 

* Of those, an estimated 750,591 people (45.8%) were arrested for marijuana possession alone. 

* By contrast, in 2000, a total of 734,497 Americans were arrested for marijuana "violations", of which 646,042 (40.9%) were for possession alone. 

* From 1996-2010, there were 10.1 million arrests for marijuana possession and 1.4 million arrests for the sales and distribution of marijuana, equaling a total of 11.5 million marijuana arrests during that fifteen year time frame.

* Marijuana "violation" arrests were 39.9% of total prohibition arrests in 1995 increasing to 52.1% of such arrests in 2010. 

* During this same period, arrests for marijuana sales and distribution fluctuated between 5-6% of total prohibition arrests, while those for simple possession increased from 34.1% in 1995 to 45.8% in 2010. 

* Arrests for marijuana possession have risen from about a third to about a half of all prohibition violation arrests over the fifteen year 1995-2010 period.

Wed, 06/13/2012 - 5:18am Permalink
CJ (not verified)

hey man whats up with that? why are you pointing out all these bits about pot? the clock, the website and everything related to it is awesome - seperating pot from the drug war isn't acceptable man. this isn't a pot reform website its a drug war website. we dont need pot elitism in the drug war, lol. i gotta laugh at people who are on our side and say that reform is akin to the civil rights movement. there's division within our division, i wonder if in the era of MLK etc. there was division amongst the african american communities. i.e; look, of the 1,000,000 wrongfully prosecuted african americans, 700,000 were light in skin tone. of that 700K, 76% were employed. The group of HUMAN BEINGS with genes that enable a different shade in skin color are never the less HUMAN BEINGS. There's plenty of places online, there's a popular monthly magazine and tons and tons and tons of outlets for pot elitists. this tremendous effort, the clock, is not pot-partisan. sorry dude.

Wed, 06/13/2012 - 9:37am Permalink
Anh Hung Can Sa (not verified)

In reply to by CJ (not verified)

If the first poster is who I think it is, I happen to know he's in favor of completely ending the WOSD, not just the war on pot. That said, there are a number of reasons why its worthwhile to focus all of our efforts on legalizing pot:

1) We've already won the battle of public opinion on marijuana. The latest Gallup poll pegged support for marijuana legalization at 50%, with over 60% support among the 18-29 cohort. This makes legal marijuana a demographic inevitability. Support for legalizing other drugs is far lower.

2) A few years of a smoothly functioning legal marijuana market will seriously undercut the credibility of the prohibitionist argument against legalizing other drugs.

3) Once marijuana prohibition is repealed at the federal level, the USA will be in violation of the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. At that point, our country will either have to withdraw from the UNSCND or attempt to force a re-write, either of which would seriously erode its power as an instrument of international law. Once the US is in violation, we can expect to see a stampede for the exits by Latin America and at least a few European countries.

Make no mistake, marijuana prohibition is the linchpin which holds the entire rotten edifice together. Once weed is legal, across-the-board legalization will follow.

Wed, 06/13/2012 - 11:22am Permalink
ANONYMOUS#22 (not verified)

Just need to say that I live this site and the ability to comment on issues related to the drug war in this the 'land of the free'...use your mind and voice - shit will happen !

Fri, 06/15/2012 - 9:54am Permalink

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