Drug War Statistics

Did you know....

Amount spent annually in the U.S. on the war on drugs: More than $51,000,000,000
Number of arrests in 2014 in the U.S. for drug law violations: 1,561,231
  • Number of these arrests that were for possession only: 1,297,384 (83 percent)
Number of arrests in 2014 in the U.S. for marijuana law violations: 700,993
  • Number of these arrests that were for possession only: 619,809 (88 percent)
Number of Americans incarcerated in 2014 in federal, state and local prisons and jails: 2,224,400 or 1 in every 111 adults, the highest incarceration rate in the world
Proportion of people incarcerated for a drug offense in state prison who are black or Latino, although these groups use and sell drugs at similar rates as whites: 57 percent
Number of states that allow the medical use of marijuana: 24 + District of Columbia
Number of states that have approved legally taxing and regulating marijuana: 4 (Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington)
Number of states that have decriminalized marijuana by eliminating criminal penalties for simple possession of small amounts for personal use: 20
Estimated annual revenue that California would raise if it taxed and regulated the sale of marijuana: $1,400,000,000
Number of people killed in Mexico's drug war since 2006: 100,000+
Number of students who have lost federal financial aid eligibility because of a drug conviction: 200,000+
Number of people in the U.S. who died from a drug overdose in 2014: 47,055
Tax revenue that drug legalization would yield annually, if currently-illegal drugs were taxed at rates comparable to those on alcohol and tobacco: $46.7 billion

Number of people in the U.S. who have acquired AIDS directly or indirectly from syringe sharing: 360,836 people, or 30 percent of all people diagnosed w/AIDS in the U.S.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that syringe access programs lower HIV incidence among people who inject drugs by: 80 percent
U.S. federal government support for syringe access programs: $0.00, thanks to a federal ban reinstated by Congress in 2011 that prohibits any federal assistance for them

More Resources