Marijuana » Marijuana News

Marijuana arrests decline but still outnumber violent crime arrests, according to FBI data

by

comment
SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • Shutterstock.com

The good news is that the total number of people arrested in the United States for marijuana-related crimes declined for the first time in four years, according to data released last week by the FBI. The bad news? That number is still higher than those arrested for all violent crimes.

According to the FBI’s 2019 report, police made 545,602 arrests for marijuana-related violations in 2019 — an 18% drop — and 495,871 arrests for violent crimes. About 92 percent, or 500,395, of the marijuana-related arrests were for possession.



The drop-off in marijuana crimes is attributed to marijuana legalization efforts across the nation. Since 2012, 11 states and Washington, D.C. have legalized recreational use of marijuana, including Michigan in 2018.

Still, marijuana activists say the number of pot-related crimes is still too high.



"Police across America make a marijuana-related arrest every 58 seconds," NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri said in a statement. "At a time when the overwhelming majority of Americans want cannabis to be legal and regulated, it is an outrage that many police departments across the country continue to waste tax dollars and limited law enforcement resources on arresting otherwise law-abiding citizens for simple marijuana possession."

Marijuana arrests peaked about a decade ago, with more than 800,000 arrests.

It's a new era for marijuana in Michigan. Sign up for our weekly weed newsletter, delivered every Tuesday at 4:20 p.m.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.