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, although whites consume marijuana at the same rate or higher. 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.
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.
The Drug Policy Alliance aims to reduce the number, racially disproportionate nature, and potential collateral consequences of marijuana arrests, as well as other harms resulting from marijuana prohibition.
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:
In the past few years, marijuana reform advocates have won dozens of significant victories to reduce the role of the criminal justice system in marijuana policy across the U.S. – and have gained the support of many eyebrow-raising names that place the issue squarely in the mainstream of national and international politics.
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