There is, on average, one marijuana arrest every 41 seconds.There will come a time when the zealotry and hubris of this decade shall be looked upon as a shameful chapter in American History. There shall be a day, and it won't be too far away, when many ardent supporters of that hubris will be looking about in disgust, shock, horror and shame, asking themselves, "How the fuck did we get to this point?" and "What do we now do to fix this mess?" The absurdity of the war against medical self-care [marijuana use being but one component] but a segment of that chapter. For now, documenting the statistics is the best we can do to combat these follies.
Since 1993, marijuana arrests have more than doubled.
The number of marijuana arrests far exceeded the total number of arrests in the U.S. for all violent crimes combined, including murder, manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault.
Marijuana arrests account for 44.2 percent of all drug arrests in the United States. (Clearly, the War on Drugs is first and foremost a war on casual marijuana use.)
Of those arrested, 89 percent -- some 684,319 Americans -- were charged with possession only.
The remaining 11 percent were charged with sale/manufacture," a category that includes all cultivation offenses -- even those where the marijuana was being grown for personal or medical use.
Over 8 million Americans have been arrested on marijuana charges in the past decade -- a far greater number than the entire populations of Alaska, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming... combined.
"It's important to remember that each of these statistics represents a human being, and in many cases, a preventable tragedy," said Aaron Houston, director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C. "One of those marijuana arrests in 2004 was Jonathan Magbie, a quadriplegic medical marijuana patient who died in the Washington, D.C., city jail while serving a 10-day sentence for marijuana possession."
"These numbers belie the myth that police do not target and arrest minor marijuana offenders," said Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of NORML. "This effort is a tremendous waste of criminal justice resources that diverts law enforcement personnel away from focusing on serious and violent crime, including the war on terrorism."