BREAKING NEWS: Marijuana Arrests For Year 2008: 847,864

Washington, DC: Police arrested 847,864 persons for marijuana violations in 2008, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s annual Uniform Crime Report, released today. The total marks a three percent decrease in marijuana arrests from 2007, when law enforcement arrested a record 872,721 Americans for cannabis-related violations.
Marijuana arrests now comprised one-half (49.8 percent) of all drug arrests reported in the United States.
Of those charged with marijuana violations, approximately 89 percent, 754,224 Americans were charged with possession only. The remaining 93,640 individuals were charged with “sale/manufacture,” a category that includes all cultivation offenses, even those where the marijuana was being grown for personal or medical use.
Marijuana arrests were highest in the Midwest and southern regions of the United States, and lowest in the west.
The 2008 marijuana arrest total is the second highest annual total ever reported.
Commenting on the 2008 figures, NORML Director Allen St. Pierre said: “Federal statistics released just last week indicate that larger percentages of Americans are using cannabis at the same time that police are arresting a near-record number of Americans for pot-related offenses. Present enforcement policies are costing American taxpayers tens of billions of dollars, ruining the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans, and having no impact on marijuana availability or marijuana use in this country. It is time to end this failed policy and replace prohibition with a policy of marijuana regulation, taxation, and education.”
NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano added, “According to a just-released Rasmussen poll, a majority of American adults believe, correctly, that marijuana is less harmful than booze. The public has it right; the law has it wrong.”

0 thoughts

  1. Damn When is the gov gonna wake up? Im excited to see what happens after the big convention that is the 24th-26th.I check this site everyday sometimes more than once a day to see if theres any new news,an everytime i do it seems its getting better an better .Awsome work Normal

  2. Well what can you expect? The economy is bad abd all those cops, prosecutors and prison guards need to make some overtime.

  3. I think I’ve finally figured out how this country came up with it’s national drug policy. First, they filled a room with hypocritical, lying, self-righteous, religious-inspired, sociopathic and psychopathic prohibitionists. Then they agreed to totally ignore God’s will for people to live in freedom with liberty as acknowledged and cited in the Constitution of the United States. Then they came up with a policy that was the most counter productive, had the most unintended consequences, would cost the most money indefinitely, destroy the most property and hurt and kill the most people. The policy had to make drugs readily available to our children, degrade the domestic tranquillity of at least several allied nations and directly fund terrorists, gang and mob drug profiteers. And finally, the policy could never, ever work. How could anyone possibly say our national drug policy is not working? It is working exactly as obviously designed and intended.

  4. These are sad statistics indeed, where now nearly 50% of all drug arrests are for Marijuana, and nearly 90% are for simple posession. I’m sure there will be further analysis of these statistics, but my curiosity makes me wonder what the percentages of these arrests are young people and minorities?
    My hope is that 2010 is the year this changes and that legislation in the wings of the Federal and State governments will pass bringing us closer to legalization of Marijuana. I will continue to keep in touch with these blogs and write to my representatives at every available opportunity. Thank you NORML for your assistance in this.
    I pledge to donate $1,000 to NORML in 2010 as I did in 2009, and I hope this committment encourages others to do the same. I know economic times are difficult for all of us, but if this is a cause you believe in, be willing to feel a little pinch in the pocketbook! In perspective, this is only the price of an ounce of weed four times a year. Give what you can, please.
    I’ve read the book, Marijuana is Safer. I think the message is focused and I highly recommend the book. I’ll talk to anybody who will listen at every opportunity on how Marijuana is safer than alcohol, and I believe it is unconscionable that culture and society are forcing me to drink. Well, I’m still a rebel. I quit drinking!
    This madness has to stop. Too many people have had their lives ruined or died due to prohibition. There are statistics on how many people die as a direct result of the War on Drugs. The fact is families are broken, individuals are needlessly incarcerated to feed our #1 growth industry, PRISONS! Parents lose custody of their children. Assets are forefeited. Arrest records follow individuals for life and impact the possibility of future employment. There is a social stigma needlessly attached to those who use Marijuana either for recreation or as medicine.
    As if this were not enough, look at all the research that has been done on the efficacy of Marijuana for numerous medical conditions, not the least of which is Brain Cancer! Cannabis causes the cancer to EAT ITSELF in a process called Autophagy. The research has been published.
    I’m sick and tired of our government’s hypocricy where one bureaucracy says there is no acceptible medical use for Marijuana, while another government bureaucracy holds the patent on a Marijuana medicine.
    Please, let us end this nightmare. Let us educate ourselves and others. Become politically active and write your elected officials. Fund the organizations and lobbies that will also get the ears of our elected officials. Come out of the closet! Let us together unite to change these unjust laws and end the nighmare of Marijuana Prohibition!
    Johnny D

  5. That is 847,864 people too many taking up space in prisons. I don’t see why people don’t start rioting in the streets about themselves, friends, or relatives being locked up for using a substance, OH YEAH! It’s because If people do start stepping up to the corrupt politicians and police they will get there “Riot police” ready and throw teargas at people and abuse there power more and more

  6. I’m thinking the number of arrests are actually higher. You really can’t beleive what comes out of the Government’s mouth. It’s alway a lie.

  7. The 3% drop from arrests is that people die everyday, they are still in jail or on some kind of drug rehab. Numbers can be twisted around and the states that changed their marijuana laws have not really changed the arrest rate in our country. THE FEDERAL LAW AND THE 21 CENTURY INQUISITORS=POLICE STATE. They are still going to do what they want to, THERE ARE STILL PLENTY OF UNICORNS FOR THEM TO ROUND UP, THE VICIMS OF MARIJUANA PROHIBITION. WHEN WILL THE DEAD END ATROCITIES END?

  8. Johnny D-Amen, God bless you
    45% of all arrests in America are for simple possession of a dead plant. How ridiculous is this?
    Time and money and government lives are lost trying to create a pot-free society. It’s just never going to happen.

  9. Stop voting for Democrats guys. Only people like Ron Paul will end this hypocritical policy. Democrats merely support whatever expansion of government is possible, and support unions. Since Dems support government jobs as well, its very unlikely that they would “fire” their own people over at the WONDERFUL DEA or ONDCP. SO stop supporting our president!!!!

    FIRST: “It’s going to come down to the vote.” It’s going to come down to a “Mandate of an overwhelming people”…to our elected representatives. Even at that…it’s going to be a crap shoot. Money v. the Game. So!…we better be a good game player to play. If we want to play the game…we have to know the rules…and…the rules apply to everyone, including, but especially prohibitionists…who traditionally go to great lenghts to put their inherests above the law.
    SECOND: “It has nothing to do with cannabis”…legal or illegal. Once again…”Cannabis is a pawn.” It has everything to do with “Power”…the power of special interests…the radical religious fundamentalists. It has everything to do with “Money”
    …payola from alcohol, tobacco, pharma-beasts, and many hemp industry opponents.
    LAST: “It’s all about liberty.” It’s all about one someone regulating another someone’s morality. “It’s all about anti-trust”…and one or more dominant industries conspiring to restrict another industry from free trade. “It’s all about a government defying the will of its people”…only to serve the will of the Lords of the Modern World…capitalism v. socialism…secularism v. religion. At any rate…once again…cannabis will be the “All American Pawn…in a war of opposing forces.”
    So!…If We the People want to be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people…ever again…instead of a pawn of prohibitionists…”WE MUST VOTE.” Abstention is no longer an option. A vote for cannabis is a vote for liberty, and is a Constitutional obligation…if we claim to be Americans.” “WHEN IN THE COURSE OF HUMAN EVENTS…IT BECOMES NECESSARY.” “Just do it!”…do it for our common culture world-wide.
    Manford Mantis [CA-GD]

  11. The reason why we don’t go rioting through out the street is because us ( us marijuana advocates) is because no matter how much THC you consume you won’t get agressive, unlike alcohol, so why does the government not legalize this PLANT. Makes me laugh at the illegality of this plant material that brings so much happiness when used ( not illegally traded with enemies accross the world )

  12. Johnny D,
    Your post is excellent and I encourage more people to follow your example. I have written my elected representatives numerous times and always receive a “form letter” reply. But when I continue to press the issue with them, eventually they are forced to look at the published studies on the safely and medical benefits of cannabis. Change starts at the grass roots, and we are all the grass roots! Let’s make a difference!

  13. Notice that all the regions with a large amount of states that have decriminalzation laws are low in the Marijuana % of arrests. These are worth fighting for at the state level. We can also use the orgnaiation in the state level to advance the national campaign for the final goal of legalizing once and for all.

  14. Use is up, arrests are down…. thats actually bitter-sweet news. but like callum yeater#9 said, thats 847,864 too many. I recently started reading the emporer wears no clothes cause i found it on jack herers website…. im so furious with our government… something needs to be done, before its to late….maybe we should not focus so much on the financial benefit of taxing marijuana in debates… that is merely a small bonus of legalizing it… we should focus on the positive enviromental effects and how it can bring money and security to almost everyone and not just the big companies of the world, which fail anyways. Cannabis Sativa can save the world, we just need to let it.

  15. A lot of ppl say they dont care, but wait until this fools get cought and then they gonna see how much it affect everyone!

    [Editor’s note: There are three initiatives in CA that seek to ‘legalize’ cannabis. The upcoming NORML conference will feature a debate about all three initiatives. Some organizations, funders and individuals are waiting and watching the public debate about these three different initiatives before supporting any one effort.]


  18. Mike Stroup, I think you put it very well, sadly.
    I’ll just keep right on standing up and speaking my mind about this magnificient plant, because the louder we get the less they will be able to manipulate and control society about this important issue.
    Marijuana is Safer is an awesome book and I just sent a copy to our state Representative Denny Rheburg who is opposed to cannabis legalization. I’ll be sending one to our state Senator Max Baucus next as he opposes it as well.
    I also submit letters of support to the editor of our local paper. The more people read and hear, the more we can reverse the lies that have been enforced all these years. It is time to be heard, and we all need to get this message out loud and clear to whoever will listen and even ones who won’t.

  19. any thing short of war against us police will keep them killing inocent people.15000 folks a year die in the war on drugs .if there were 15000 police widows in a year you bet it would already be over.

  20. I believe it all about the money. Look at the HUGE numbers posted in the article. If you took all those people out of the system, what will the government replace them with? They wont close prisons. They wont lay anyone off. History has shown they target a new Victim to replace the old one. If prohibition ever ends, the frightening question is Who or What will be next?

  21. Callum Yeater:
    But of course people arent rioting in the streets, or government and way of life keep us busy with medicine that only makes us dependable and has side effect, medical bills that are too expensive for most, houses we cannot afford to live in, tv shows and reality shows that dope the mind and turn us into automatons. The sense of community in America, unlike the middle part of the last century is becoming a fossil. We are unfortunately not united like our parents may have been, and it is our lack of organization, and the overbearing everyday responsibilities that keeps the status quo the way it is. And the powers in charge do a very subtle(and sometimes not so subtle) attempts at keeping us busy with trivial things, when our well being and liberty is being stepped on.

  22. Oh YesYesYes! I feel so much safer now that so many non-violent cannabis users are in jail , let the murders and rapists and child molesters out so we have more room for these non violent dregs of the world. Gawd I love sarcasm!
    Just legalize it #2:
    I would like to think 2012 will be the end of many things, oil,corruption, the elitists walking on the backs of the meek. All it takes is for people of all walks of life to stand up and DEMAND! not ask .DEMAND these things come to an end and make those that would continue these thing pay. Wrong is wrong no matter how you twist the picture or spin your words.
    Maybe a serious up rising in this country would inspire the rest of the world to throw off their chains.
    Hear Us leaders of this great nation, Change your ways or they will be changed for you. No matter what you do or say , your time is up. We are coming.

  23. If this trend continues in just a few years the million arrests a year will have been reached. I’m quite sure that is a target of law enforcement/for profit prisons. Is there any other crime in America that rises to that level? One can not imagine the wasted time of law enforcement, prosecutors,judges, jailers and the list goes on and on. Can you even begin to imagine how much this is costing us in terms of lost productivity and federal income tax as most of those people probably lost their job. This is the single most insane law this country has ever tried to enforce!

  24. They will spend our money to jail almost a million of us every year, but don’t want to give us health care? We need real change. Now!

  25. Well they wanted a war? They got one. Over 800000 inocent victims of the goverment. Countless more unnamed family members affected. A failed war is it? lol i dont think so. Over 800000 men and women who fill arrest quotas without much fear of reciprocative violence against them.They all dressed in their little body armor, got their assault rifles, and their armored vehicles they dont want to go after murderers or crack addicts or anyone who might actually fight back. Why go after mafia or violent gangs when they can comprise nearly 50 percent of their arrests from known non violent plant growers and smokers.

  26. ALL those 49 percent of arrests are derived from a human interacting one way or another with a plant. All you and i are guilty of is smoking a plant and ppl actually are denied freedom because of this. Its a sweet deal for cowardly law enforcement to know like we do that pot is harmless but still be able to put the billy jack upside your head for doin it.

  27. There are many people of good will who post here, but guess what?
    Talk is cheap. You have a mouth, so USE IT!!! You have a computer and a video camera, so USE IT!!!! Take action. I did. I’m risking my career. What have you all risked????

    Make every election a 1 issue election: the legalization of cannabis!!
    Contact your local legislators and candidates for political office and demand that they state publicly their position on cannabis legalization. If they are for prohibition, make it clear to them that you will not vote for them. And if their opponent is also for prohibition, use the WRITE IN OPTION. Vote for someone else!!!!!!!!!
    This is the ONLY way things get done in this country.
    Venting on a public forum like this is the equivilent of “preaching to the choir”. You accomplish NOTHING!!!
    So get up off of your asses and take some REAL ACTION!!

  28. Here in Hawaii County, Hawaii Island is where the active volcano is.
    We passed a bill to stop accepting feds money to raid.
    Well the choppers are flying today. The local government just does not care what the people say. Radio stations here say “the secret is out! Grow your own medicine.” An ad for the local doc who will prescribe for medical use.
    No change though. You have to register your prescription with the POLICE DEPARTMENT. Ya! How lame.

  29. Clog up Obama’s hotline. We need to keep this fight moving and we can’t stop until Marijuana is being sold at 7-11’s all over America
    Let the government know how you feel. If everyone in America started calling, maybe we could put some pressure on them
    I think it’s about time someone nails Obama in an interview on the discussion of Cannabis

  30. With the number of states that have decriminalized small amounts of MJ, it seems that the other states might be picking up the pace. Goobers.

  31. Next time there’s a cannabis reform march I’m going. I’m already planning to take the day off work. As far as I know, it’s the first Saturday in May.
    Maybe if lots of people show up the news media would at least mention it.
    What a sickening statement these cannabis arrests and imprisonments make about the USA. Political prosecutions are alive and well in this country.

  32. ROOKIE #29
    You say they wont lay off cops…good. You say they wont close prisons…good

  33. I’m part of that 89%, i got screwed over for merely having a bowl. It’s time these laws be reformed. NORML, whatever it takes i back you guys all the way

  34. The statement is simple and obvious.
    Leave us alone. Who are we hurting?
    There are people who do terrible things that still go free. How do you (law enforcement) have the time to lock up the better part of a million folks who are mostly small fry and minor possession charges, and still have enough left to go after the rapists and child molesters and crack dealers and wife-beaters, etc.?
    Our founding fathers believed that you were free to do as you wished in the pursuit of your happiness, as long as you didn’t infringe on the rights of others. If I’m leaving everyone else alone, whose rights am I violating to the point that I should be arrested? It doesn’t make sense to me how something can be outlawed if it doesn’t hurt anyone…

    Thursday 09.10.09 San Diego, Ca.
    Nine(9) medical cannabis dispensaries were raided. Operating a medical cannabis dispensary illegally remains to be determined…but…this latest aggressive action by San Diego may cause a firestorm of protest…the flames of protest fueled by angry citizens who have…”HAD IT…AND…AREN’T GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE….PERIOD!” If brute force is what prohibitionists are angling for…they may very well accomplish their objective…sooner rather than later. If prohibs believe, for one minute, that they can continue to impose “UNJUST LAWS” on We the People, without exacting retaliation, they are very, I repeat, very sadly mistaken. They can only stretch that rubber band so far before it snaps.
    43 R.O.E. wants to know…”HAS REVOLUTION COME YET?”
    YES! It has begun. Verbally at this point…but…
    actions like San Diego, could very well spark the fire works.
    The word is…”INTENSE”…We the People are…
    “INTENSE.” The word…”CIVILITY”…is lost in the…”UNJUST ACTIONS”…of prohibitionists…a self inflicted wound. Political correctness be damned. We the People are going to…”tell it the way it is.” We the People are pissed…and…collectively we are going to restore our Constitution…and…see some new faces. If a prohibitionist’s face is one that disregards the Will of the People that elected them, regardless of their political affliction…”they lose!” We the People have come to the point, driven by nonsensical obstinacy, where “WE’RE DONE TALKIN’
    …DONE.” This is of course is prompted by the fact that we’re being heard by someone that isn’t listening…deaf ear syndrome. So! I ask…”HOW DO YOU GET A SPOILED CHILD’S ATTENTION, IN THE MIDDLE OF A TEMPER TANTRUM?” Right!…you don’t pay atttention in the first place. So! We the People…are not going to pay attention to your…”UNJUST LAWS.” We “REJECT AND RESIST” them as a violation of human rights, and the laws of nature, and natures God. If you want to take it outside…we can do that too. We didn’t throw the first punch.
    Here’s a new name we can add to the long political prohibitionist re-election hit list.
    Bill Horn…San Diego County Board of Supervisors.
    Manford Mantis [CA-GD]

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