Drug War Statistics

Did you know....

Amount spent annually in the U.S. on the war on drugs: $50+ billion
Number of arrests in 2016 in the U.S. for drug law violations: 1,572,579
  • Number of these arrests that were for possession only: 1,249,025 (84 percent)
Number of people arrested for a marijuana law violation in 2016: 653,249
  • Number of those charged with marijuana law violations who were arrested for possession only: 574,641 (89 percent)
Number of Americans incarcerated in 2016 in federal, state and local prisons and jails: 2,157,000, 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: 30 + District of Columbia
Number of states that have approved legally taxing and regulating marijuana: 9 (Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington)
Number of states that have decriminalized or removed the threat of jail time for simple possession of small amounts of marijuana: 22
Number of people killed in Mexico's drug war since 2006: 100,000+
Number of people killed in the Philippines in drug war since 2016: 10,000+
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 2016: 64,070
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

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