Marijuana arrests are the engine driving the U.S. war on drugs. Nearly half of all drug arrests each year are for marijuana-related offenses
, the overwhelming majority of which are for personal possession.
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.
Event will Highlight the Negative Human and Fiscal Consequences of Marijuana Prohibition
Denver, CO—On Tuesday, May 22, from 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at Cleo Parker Robinson’s Dance Studio, 119 Park Avenue West, the Drug Policy Alliance and other allies - including the ACLU of CO and the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition - will host Neill Franklin, former narcotics officer and executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), to raise awareness and support for ending marijuana prohibition in Colorado.
Advocates Say Fair and Common-Sense Legislation will Save Money and Prevent Injustice and Hardship
Trenton, NJ—On Monday, May 21st, the Assembly Judiciary Committee will hold hearings on Assembly Bill 1465, which would make possession of one-half ounce, or 15 grams, of marijuana a summary offense similar to a parking ticket. The hearing will convene in Committee Room 12 at 10am in the State House Annex.
White People Use Nonviolent Civil Disobedience to Block Entrance to One Police Plaza, Drawing Attention to Racially Biased Policing Practices;
Police Refuse to Make Arrests as City Council Members Watch Action
Under Bloomberg and Kelly, Nearly 400,000 Mostly Young Black and Latinos Arrested on Low-Level Marijuana Charges, Despite Marijuana Being Decriminalized and Whites Using Marijuana at Higher Rates
Under Bloomberg, Close to 400,000 Mostly Young Black and Latinos Arrested on Low-Level Marijuana Charges, Despite Marijuana Being Decriminalized and Whites Using Marijuana at Higher Rates
Illegal Searches and Manufactured Misdemeanor Arrests Make Marijuana Arrests #1 Offense in NYC and Make Up 15% of All Arrests; Cost to Taxpayers is $75 Million
Student Was Smoking Pot at House Raided by DEA; Never Charged With Any Crime
Statement by Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance
Despite 750,000 Annual Marijuana Possession Arrests, Teens Consistently Report That Marijuana is Easier to Obtain Than Alcohol
Teen Cigarette Smoking Continues Dramatic Decline -- Demonstrating Success of Non-Criminal, Public Health-Based Approach
The 23rd annual Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS) was released today, showing an increase in teen marijuana use and reductions in prescription drug misuse and especially cigarette smoking.
Smoking rates have declined with 22 percent of teens reporting smoking cigarettes in the past month – down 19 percent from 27 percent last year. Past-month usage of marijuana, though, grew from 19 percent in 2008 to 27 percent last year.
The following statement is from Jag Davies, publications manager at the Drug Policy Alliance:
Under Bloomberg, More Than 400,000 People Arrested on Low-Level Marijuana Charges in NYC, at a cost of over $600 Million; Most Are Black and Latino, Despite Whites Using Marijuana at Higher Rates
Illegal Searches and Bogus Misdemeanor Arrests Continue, Despite Order by Commissioner Kelly to Halt Unlawful Police Practices; Marijuana Arrests Are #1 Offense in NYC and Make up 15% of all Arrests
Under Bloomberg, More Than 400,000 People Arrested on Low-Level Marijuana Charges in NYC, At a Cost of More Than $600 Million; Most Are Young Blacks and Latinos, Despite Whites Using Marijuana at Higher Rates
Illegal Searches and Manufactured Misdemeanor Arrests Continue Despite Order by Commissioner Kelly to Halt These Unlawful Police Practices; Marijuana Arrests Are #1 Offense in NYC and Make Up 15% of All Arrests