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.
More Than 400,000 People Arrested on Low-Level Marijuana Charges in NYC in the Past Decade; Most Are Young Blacks and Latinos, Despite Whites Using Marijuana at Higher Rates
2011 Arrests Cost Taxpayers Over $75 Million; Bloomberg Spends More Than $600 Million on Bogus Marijuana Arrests In Last Decade
NEW YORK – According to data just released by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, the New York City Police Department continued their marijuana arrest crusade in 2011, surpassing 2010's near-record amount of low-level marijuana arrests. In 2011, the NYPD made more than 50,680 arrests for the lowest-level marijuana possession offense, making 2011 the second-highest period for marijuana arrests in New York City history.
Scheduling K2 as a controlled substance will have unintended detrimental consequences. If K2 were banned outright, young adults could face immediate, devastating and life-long legal barriers to education, employment, voting and government benefits for K2-related drug law violations, despite a lack of evidence of harm to themselves or others. The use of scarce government funds to enforce, prosecute and incarcerate people who use K2 would put a strain on criminal justice resources.
Marijuana prohibition persists, in large part, because of out-dated, hyperbolic “Reefer Madness” claims about health impacts. The truth is that marijuana is considerably less dangerous than either alcohol or cigarettes.
Voter Initiative Would Generate New Revenue, and Increase Public Safety
Denver – Denver-based activists submitted over 159,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office today, well over the 86,500 required to put a marijuana legalization initiative on the state’s Presidential ballot in November. The initiative is being spearheaded by Brian Vicente and Mason Tvert of Sensible CO and SAFER CO respectively.
Monitoring the Future Survey Finds Cigarette and Alcohol Use at Historic Lows, with Marijuana Use Holding Steady
DPA Statement: Exclusionary Focus on Use Rates Misses Forest For Trees
The federal government's National Institute on Drug Abuse released its annual Monitoring the Future survey today. Cigarette and alcohol use continued their long-term decline, reaching their lowest point since the survey began polling teenagers in 1975. Another notable finding is the inclusion of synthetic marijuana in the survey for the first time. While past-year marijuana use rates held steady at 36.4 percent among 12th graders, 11.4 percent of 12th-graders reported past-year use of synthetic marijuana.
Advocates: With Modest Drop NYC Goes From Marijuana Arrest Capital of the World to … Marijuana Arrest Capital of the World
50% of Americans Favor Ending Marijuana Prohibition
For the first time a Gallup poll has found that 50% of Americans support making marijuana legal. The poll indicates that only 46% oppose ending marijuana prohibition.