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Report: One In Eight Federal Drug Prisoners Serving Time For Marijuana Offenses

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Report: One In Eight Federal Drug Prisoners Serving Time For Marijuana Offenses

Washington, DC: Over twelve percent of federal drug prisoners are incarcerated for marijuana-related violations, according to data compiled by US Bureau of Prisons and the United States Sentencing Commission and published by the US Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Of the 94,678 federal inmates incarcerated for a drug violation as their most serious offense, 12.4 percent (11,533 persons) are serving time for violating marijuana laws. Most marijuana offenders are imprisoned for trafficking violations. The average length of prison for those incarcerated for marijuana-related offenses is 88 months.

Nearly half (44.3 percent) of federal marijuana inmates are offenders with minimal criminal histories who have not previously served time in prison. Eight-five percent of marijuana offenders did not possess a firearm.

Over a third (36.5 percent) of federal marijuana prisoners are age 40 or older. Thirty-five percent of federal marijuana prisoners are not US citizens.

The percentage of marijuana-related federal prisoners has remained virtually unchanged over the past decade.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500 or Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the BJS report, "Drug offenders in federal prison: Estimates of characteristics based on linked data", is online at: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/dofp12.pdf.