FBI: Uptick In Marijuana Arrests In 2014

The total number of marijuana-related arrests nationwide rose in 2014, despite the implementation of legalization laws in two states, according to data released today by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to the 2014 Uniform Crime Report, police made 700,993 arrests for marijuana-related offenses, some 7,500 more arrests than were reported in 2013. Of those arrested, 619,808 (over 88 percent) were charged with possession only — a two percent increase since 2013.

Annual Arrests in the US 1965-2014

Marijuana arrests comprised nearly half (45 percent) of all drug-related arrests nationwide, at a cost of nearly half a billion dollars.

In the two states (Colorado and Washington) that have legalized marijuana-related activities, cannabis-related arrests plummeted in 2014 — indicating that that other jurisdictions are prioritizing arrests at a time when the majority of the public is opposed to criminalization. (Recent changes in marijuana laws in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, DC are not reflected in the 2014 arrest data, but will be reflected in 2015 data.)

As in previous years, marijuana possession arrests were most likely to occur in the midwest and in the southeastern regions of the United States. Far fewer marijuana arrests were reported in the western region of the United States, where possessing the plant has largely been either legalized or decriminalized.

The total number of marijuana arrests for 2014 are some 20 percent lower than the totals for 2007, when police made an all-time high 872,721 cannabis-related arrests.

22 thoughts

  1. And that pretty much covers Oklahoma and Nebraska!

    No worries; It’s just the extinction-burst tantrum from non voter-initiative states. It’ll pass.

  2. It does seem like law enforcement has made a sporting event out of arresting pot users and do not want to give up this farce. Every day they drag their feet more Americans are arrested. Laws that were created based on lies and deception are imposed on the public by these jerks. Vote the establishment politicians out of office. When a big corporation has trouble getting results from its chief executives they fire them and start again with new faces. Fire our leaders who impose this injustice on us. VOTE THEM OUT IF THEY ARE EMBRACING PROHIBITION!

  3. It is worth the prohibitionists shooting those (proverbial) fish in the barrel and going all out to make possession arrests. It enables politicians (the like of Chris Christie) to claim there has been a rise in crime associated with the repeal of cannabis prohibition.
    We know it does not stand up to any kind of scrutiny but political debate exists on sound bites and statistics taken out of context. You can spend all the money you want arresting people for all kinds of misdemeanours and claim a crimewave is gripping the nation.

  4. It’s time to cut funding for the police if they have nothing better to do than harass marijuana users. In my opinion the police that target marijuana users as one of their primary ways of making money or just a bunch of low life jerks.

  5. That is so sad. It’s kind of hard to.enjoy freedom when this kind of crap is happening to people because of it. Legalization is inevitable. Why would they do this? Why would they destroy someone’s life like that?

  6. Why Would They Destroy Someone’s Life Like That?

    @Cat, thanx for phrasing the question that way, what They are trying to destroy is the chance for a progressive-thinking, ambitious (especially black) young person to get launched into a successful money-making career and, twenty years down the road, have enough money to fund switching to politics and running for elective office or funding a friend to do so.

    Thus the prevailing disparity of how much money in black versus non-black families or neighborhoods, and severely limited percentage of blacks in Congress, Statehouses etc. will continue to prevail. (Cannabis use especially targeted because it is a marker for an individual’s personal ambition and disposition to challenge Their hegemon(e)y.)

    Youngster arrested for cannabis possession (1) won’t get admitted to high class college which (2) issues high-rated degree (3) winning you a high-pay entry job in the Economy, with (4) fast Career promotion escalator, so that (5) in a couple of decades you have enough wealth to get power and control politics like Senator Helms and his successors have done till now with help of Anslinger et al.

  7. PS– the current sustained arrest rate shows Their desperation to Cancel out as many million careers as possible at the last moment before legalization shuts down Their ability to do so, thus protecting Their election winning chances decades later.

  8. Arresting cannabis consumers is protecting budgets and not communities. No pleas will break their judicial budgets because jury nullification will end the institutional theft.

  9. Seems like they haven’t busted Willie Nelson for a while. I starting not to feel safe with such a dangerous rapscallion on the loose.

  10. Is this a byproduct of legalization? More people have access. People are taking fewer precautions as penalties are perceived to be reduced. For example: in NY I see people walking down the street smoking MJ.

  11. This is what I keep going on about! I’m a young 62y/f, and yes I DO vote, even though voting doesn’t always work! How can we be sure to make our voices heard? John Lennon is gone, and we need the people to rally for what is right! In this country there is a smokescreen, to keep the population from seeing the truth! Where is the money going? Vast amounts are being wasted! I shake my head!!! It’s trickery, Watch the other hand! This has been going on for 50 years, or more. It’s a mixed bag of nuts! We had a handful of politicians running this country a while back, but overnight this # has grown vastly. Deception, Manipulation, Extortion, Exploitation, and on and on.

  12. “Arresting cannabis consumers is protecting budgets and not communities. No pleas will break their judicial budgets because jury nullification will end the institutional theft.”

    There is a problem with this idea. In order to make sure juries do not nullify these obviously illegal law, they got rid of jury nullification! I swear, these assholes have played us like they are playing Chess! Jury Nullification end the crime of arresting Free Men for help Slaves Escape of Illegal Slavery; on the bogus theory that men can somehow own other men. They various layers of Government failed to do their jobs, allowing Slavery to nearly destroy our country. All three branches actually sided with the criminal Slave Owners. Because Jury Nullification works, they got rid of it as it would surely have already ended the War on Drugs if it was available to Americans. Only the of New Hampshire has Jury Nullification.

    Right now, all three branches are again actively working against the Constitution and the American People with their illegal War on Drugs, but this time they have removed one of the most basic tool the people have to put them back in place. Now we are in Check. The arrests don’t stop even as weed comes legal. Its Un-American.

  13. Congress is due to announce bipartisan legislation tommorrow to reduce sentencing for long term and minors. The ACLU is coordinating with Koch Industries to pass this legislation. Obama’s executive orders to reduce mandatory minimums and his visit to a prison in Oklahoma, the first of any president in history, as well as the Pope’s visit to a prison in Pennsylavania are being cited as motivating factors of a passing vote. Long time work from lobbies from groups like NORML and the DPA are factors as well. But rising polls on on the issue of disproportionate and excessive incarceration have been building heavily over the last year.

    Of course, we could even go back 2000 years to Mathew 27:17 to see how opposed Jesus was about unjust incarceration.
    Whatever the reason, reduced sentencing cant happen soon enough. Let our political prisoners free. Here in Texas, Jax our Executive Director of Texas NORML, fresh off the payroll went on NPR to cover the rising %46 that want full legalization, up %15 from the last poll. (Was that pew?) She said, “Texans are conservative and were tired of spending tens of thousands of our hard earned tax dollars to keep non violent Texans in prisons for small possessions, especially when so many Texans are already using marijuana medicinally.”

    I know I do; I found the cure for the common Congressman… ?

  14. Weird comments on here. The titanic was built by experts, and people who study hard are the ones who write the manuals us innocent people have to live by, or else, lol.

  15. What? Decriminalize? And leave those privatized prison beds empty? Take money from those brutal cartels? Hmm. On the other hand we could fill some of them with all the selfish pharmaceutical CEO’s that are jacking up their prices.

  16. @Galileo;
    Interestingly enough, it looks like the reason why those “star arrests” have gone down is because the Federal money to house ol Willie and Snoop Dog dried up leaving this poor Texas County to foot their own bills;

    http://www.npr.org/2015/10/01/444780811/at-checkpoint-of-the-stars-texas-sheriff-takes-a-pass-on-pot-cases

    This is an incredible example of how federal grants to imprison are at the root of so many useless arrests on nonviolent people, and how Sherrif’s Associations are lining their city budgets by targeting and profiling groups of all kinds for civil asset forfeitures and margarita machines.

  17. Conscientious Objection in jury panels is how you vote. You don’t have to be loud and proud about it when you do it. Just know the prosecutors are watching their losses vs wins and will cease bringing cannabis cases to his judicial docket to protect a budget.

  18. Just like crooks, they know when their money making Scheme is coming to an End, they do everything they can to get as Much Money as they can out of their Scheme as possible! I believe any and All JUDGES that fined and/or incarcerated a Fellowown American for No crime against a fellow human or nature, Did NOT put anyone or thing harms way or endangered. Should have had the COURGE & Self Worth to oneself and.COUNTRY to NOT convict and not support SUCH BLAINTEN PROPERGANDER To only Fleece and Intimadate their Fellow People I have lost All Respect for.Our government!! But Love our Country. My Belief is as a TRUE AMERICAN. If ANYONE Steps on My Freedom for selfgain, I WILL STOMP ON THEIR KNECK.

  19. we ( AMERICANS ) are told to go to wars around the world for FREEDOM but when you come home ..your freedom is taken away and your put in a cage here at home…

  20. It’s actually impossible to get rid of jury nullification — and they didn’t get rid of it — what they did do was to destroy the role of the Grand Jury.

    Grand Juries were supposed to throw out bogus stuff like “drug possession” charges at the indictment stage — that was their *purpose*. Grand Jury nullification is one of the two primary historical functions of the grand jury — the other function is prosecuting cops and DAs. Grand Juries have been destroyed and are performing NEITHER function.

  21. stop arrest please help legalize on east coast. The mid west and west is almost 100% medical or legalized, it’s not fair.

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