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


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 State’s 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 time 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.

Full text of the BJS report, “Drug offenders in federal prison: Estimates of characteristics based on linked data, is online here.

11 thoughts

  1. “…the BBC would like to apologize for the following announcement.”


    I knew it was excessive,
    but ~12.5% is outrageous.

    No wonder the judicial_monetary_machine
    has been so adamant about cannabis’ negatives.

  2. Until the private prison complexes are addressed, there will always be capita to be made for imprisoning people. Regardless of how petty the crime may be. Until this is removed from the 1%’s control, this cycle of Prison -> Treatment -> Illegality will continue to turn full wheel around and around.

  3. … not to mention
    sll the people who have missed out on employment opportunities due to a stupid whiz quiz. Seriously, if the sole symptom is that its metabolites are present in urine, then the remedy shouldn’t be much more than to stop farking around with bodily waste.

  4. We cant tell this story without talking about the DOJ’s “parallel evidence” or their Special Operations Division out of the DEA, (which began in 1994 under President Clinton) fabricating evidence in order to close drug cases for any federal grant that ponyed up… Including Corrupt Federal adoption agency grants that local governments soak up in the name of the drug war. In other words, every time a decent tax paying American family transfers $10,000 or more, a flag gets lifted within the DOJ to investigate your family, and the DEA pays $5000 kickbacks to judges and private adoption agencies to seperate your family for profit, even if they have to fabricate the evidence of drug charges in order to seal the deal and sell your children off to the highest bidder. That has been America’s drug policy for the last 45 years.

    Vote Bernie Sanders.

  5. These idiots supporting the Drug War don’t even know people get arrested for marijuana and wonder why people keep lying about folks being jail for weed. I’ve seen interviews like this before, it is not just Bill O’Reilly saying this!

  6. Cannabis prisoners are much easier to contain than their ojt trainers teaching the non violent how to be predators.

  7. One out of eight mostly black and hispanic won’t be able to vote for Liberal Democrats when they get out of prison. Another ugly side of Republican voter suppression. Oligarchy’s boots on the necks of the 99%.

  8. There is still one way to keep innocent people from going to prison for nonviolent crimes such as marijuana possession and that is Jury Nullification. Look it up and go to, you should be informed too.

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