Marijuana arrests are the engine driving the U.S. war on drugs. These arrests fall disproportionately on blacks and Latinos, even though white people use marijuana at similar rates.
Many of those who are arrested are saddled with a criminal conviction that can make it difficult or impossible to vote, obtain educational loans, get a job, secure housing, or even adopt a child.
Additionally, the huge number of marijuana arrests each year usurps scarce law enforcement, criminal justice, and treatment resources at enormous cost to U.S. taxpayers.
The Drug Policy Alliance works to reduce the number of marijuana related arrests and associated penalties through crafting and advocating for legislation removing or reducing criminal penalties, initiatives making marijuana arrests the lowest law enforcement priority, and community based policy changes.
DPA also works to expose and reduce rampant, system-wide racial disparities in marijuana arrests. DPA has released reports documenting and detailing chilling disparities in New York City
and across California
and continues to raise awareness about the unique burden U.S. marijuana policy places on black and Latino communities
Marijuana prohibition has also caused incalculable violence and destruction
by fostering an illegal marijuana market. Organized crime, drug cartels, and gangs are the greatest financial beneficiaries of marijuana prohibition. In Mexico, illegal marijuana sales
have contributed to the loss of tens of thousands of lives.
Cuomo: Marijuana Arrests That "Stigmatize and Criminalize...Must End Now"
Proposal Would Standardize Penalties, End Tens of Thousands of Annual Unlawful, Biased Marijuana Possession Arrests
NEW YORK: Today in his State of the State address, Governor Cuomo made a passionate call for reforming New York’s marijuana possession laws in order to reduce unlawful, biased, and costly arrests. The governor noted the discrepancy in the law between public and private possession of small amounts of marijuana, and proposed standardizing penalties for possession.
Zero tolerance drug policies in high schools, undercover officers soliciting marijuana from teens, and sanctions involving the removal of support for education and employment are forcing young people into a hopeless maze of stigma, poverty and the criminal justice system.
This is the law that was passed by the voters in Colorado legalizing and regulating marijuana.
This is the law that was passed by the voters in Washington State legalizing and regulating marijuana.
DPA: Reducing Marijuana Penalties will Improve Lives, Save Taxpayer's Dollars and Significantly Reduce the Burden on Law Enforcement Resources
Santa Fe, NM - Tomorrow, the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) will be testifying to the Interim Legislative Courts, Corrections and Justice Committee about the importance of decreasing penalties for adults who possess small amounts of marijuana. DPA is scheduled to present at 10 am in Room 307 at the State Capitol in Santa Fe.
New Human Rights Watch Report Confirms that Marijuana Arrests Do Not Increase New York’s Public Safety
Illegal Searches and Manufactured Misdemeanor Arrests Make Marijuana Possession #1 Arrest in NYC and 15% of All Arrests; Cost to Taxpayers is $75 Million
Blacks and Latinos Disproportionately Arrested
Colorado Voters to Decide on Making Marijuana Possession Legal With November Vote
With just two weeks remaining before Colorado's voters decide whether to make marijuana possession legal in their state, a new report -- "210,000 Marijuana Arrests In Colorado, 1986-2010" -- reveals that more than 200,000 people have been arrested in Colorado since 1986. Police made more than half of those marijuana arrests in just the last 10 years.
This report reveals that more than 200,000 people have been arrested for marijuana possession in Colorado since 1986. Police made more than half of those possession arrests in just the last 10 years.
Other key findings include:
Police made 108,000 marijuana possession arrests in just the last ten years.
African Americans and Latinos are less than a quarter (23%) of Colorado's residents, they made up more than a third (35%) of the people arrested for marijuana possession.
This report reveals that nearly a quarter of a million people have been arrested in Washington for marijuana possession from 1986 to 2010. Police made more than half of those marijuana arrests in just the last 10 years.
Other key findings include: