“These numbers belie the myth that police do not target and arrest minor marijuana offenders,” said NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre, who noted that at current rates, a marijuana smoker is arrested every 41 seconds in America. “This effort is a tremendous waste of criminal justice resources that diverts law enforcement personnel away from focusing on serious and violent crime, including the war on terrorism.”
Of those charged with marijuana violations, 89 percent – some 684,319 Americans – were charged with possession only. The remaining 87,289 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. In past years, approximately 30 percent of those arrested were age 19 or younger. […]
The total number of marijuana arrests in the U.S. for 2004 far exceeded the total number of arrests in the U.S. for all violent crimes combined, including murder, manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault.
What a waste of resources, of lives, of integrity.