Report: Federal Marijuana Prosecutions Declining

Thursday, 23 January 2020

Washington, DC: Federal prosecutions for marijuana-related crimes fell significantly from 2018 to 2019, according to a recently released report from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

The 2019 end-of-year report finds that the number of federal defendants charged with cannabis-associated crimes declined by 28 percent from September 30, 2018 to September 30, 2019. By contrast, total filings for drug crimes increased five percent over the same time period, totaling over 83,000 cases in 2019.

Separate data compiled by the US Drug Enforcement Administration in July reported a decline in DEA-led marijuana seizures in 2018, but also showed an uptick in DEA-related arrests for marijuana violations. State-level arrests for marijuana violations have increased year-over-year since 2016, according to annual data reported by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Full text of the report, "2019 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary," appears online.