Reducing the Harms of Marijuana Prohibition

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.
 
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.

Legislative Courts, Corrections and Justice Committee To Hear Testimony On Decreasing Penalties for Adults who Possess Small Amounts of 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.

Contact: Emily Kaltenbach (505) 920-5256 or Tony Newman (646) 335-5384

Tuesday at 4pm: Elected Officials, Community Members Rally on Steps of City Hall to Call on GOP to Pass Cuomo Decriminalization Bill and End Illegal Marijuana Arrests and Racially Biased Police Practices

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

Contact: gabriel sayegh 646-335-2264, Jeremy Saunders 917-676-8041 or Kyung Ji Rhee 347-712-0259

New Report: 210,000 Marijuana Possession Arrests in Colorado in the Last 25 Years

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.

Contact: Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or marijuana.arrests@gmail.com

210,000 Marijuana Possession Arrests in Colorado, 1986 - 2010

October 25, 2012

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.

240,000 Marijuana Arrests: Costs, Consequences, and Racial Disparities of Possession Arrests in Washington, 1986 - 2010

October 11, 2012

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:

New Report: 240,000 Marijuana Possession Arrests in Washington State in the Last 25 Years

Blacks, Latinos and Native Americans Disproportionately Arrested; 25 Years of Arrests in WA Cost $300 Million or More

Washington Voters to Decide on Making Marijuana Legal With November Vote

With just three weeks remaining before Washington voters decide whether to make marijuana possession legal in their state, a new report -- "240,000 Marijuana Arrests: Costs, Consequences, and Racial Disparities of Possession Arrests in Washington" -- reveals that nearly a quarter of a million people have been arrested in Washington for marijuana possession since 1986.  Police made more than half of those marijuana arrests in just the last 10 years.

Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or marijuana.arrests@gmail.com

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