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 people arrested in 2013 in the U.S. on nonviolent drug charges: 1.5 million
Number of people arrested for a marijuana law violation in 2013: 693,482
  • Number of those charged with marijuana law violations who were arrested for possession only: 609,423 (88 percent)
Number of Americans incarcerated in 2013 in federal, state and local prisons and jails: 2,220,300 or 1 in every 110 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: 23 + 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 2013: 43,982
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
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that syringe access programs lower HIV incidence among people who inject drugs by: 80 percent
One-third of all AIDS cases in the U.S. have been caused by syringe sharing: 354,000 people
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