By Jason Sattler

Marijuana Arrests Now Exceed Arrests For Violent Crime

January 20, 2013 8:31 am Category: Memo Pad, Politics 56 Comments A+ / A-

In 2011, arrests for marijuana exceeded arrests for violent crime by more than 100,000, according to a report from the FBI.

Though marijuana laws have become liberalized — with 18 states legalizing the drug for medicinal use and two now explicitly allowing recreational use as the result of ballot initiatives — marijuana arrests have doubled since 1980, according to this analysis from the Huffington Post:

Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, presenting a law-enforcement challenge. Late last year, President Obama said that his administration would not go after recreational users of the drug.

“We’ve got bigger fish to fry,” Obama said. “It would not make sense for us to see a top priority as going after recreational users in states that have determined that it’s legal.”

A bare majority of Americans support regulating the drug like alcohol. That majority is substantially larger among young people, as it has been for decades.

The total number of marijuana arrests suggests an epidemic of wasted resources, especially as America faces the question of how to deal with gun violence — which claims more than 30,000 lives a year.

According to NRA representative Jim Baker, Vice President Biden said that the federal government lacks the resources to prosecute those who may be lying on firearms background check applications.

“And to your point, Mr. Baker, regarding the lack of prosecutions on lying on Form 4473s, we simply don’t have the time or manpower to prosecute everybody who lies on a form, that checks a wrong box, that answers a question inaccurately,” Biden allegedly said.

While the resources that go into prosecuting marijuana crimes are often local, more than half a million arrests a year suggests that in a time of cutbacks America can’t afford to spend an estimated $10 billion  on marijuana arrests. New York spent $75 million in 2010, prompting Governor Cuomo to call for decriminalization of marijuana possession under 15 grams.

MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry recently said that ending the drug war would be the “best gun control measure we can enact.

With Cuomo, a presumptive candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, bringing the issue to the fore, this may finally be a conversation America can have.

 

 

Marijuana Arrests Now Exceed Arrests For Violent Crime Reviewed by on . In 2011, arrests for marijuana exceeded arrests for violent crime by more than 100,000, according to a report from the FBI. Though marijuana laws have become li In 2011, arrests for marijuana exceeded arrests for violent crime by more than 100,000, according to a report from the FBI. Though marijuana laws have become li Rating:

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  • nobsartist

    Better get all of those pot heads while they can. You dont want any of those drug addicts killing our children. It is obvious that all of these gun crimes are the result of that evil drug, marijuana.

    No bankers in jail due to mortgage fraud though.

    • http://www.facebook.com/felix.garcia.5245 Felix Garcia

      Do the research Nobsartist you have no clue of the benefits of Canabis used as Medication.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/XPL7LVHHKZXB3BKEJZNTKRMBYY Susan

        I think nobsartist was being sarcastic.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/GCXB2EABXANRR2IK7QHS3TAPOU ROBERT C HASTINGS

          I think Susan was being facetious.

          • http://twitter.com/MaoZedung Rainer Wolfcastle

            And your being pedantic.

          • Gamby

            Ben and Jerry after that

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=755235850 Ana M Isaias

            LMAO thank you all for the laugh.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000489061558 Alyce Nopson

            I think Robert was not being facetious.

      • nobsartist

        I think I was being sarcastic.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/44VNHIT2HUH276CRPNVD7ODN4U Jo

      My guess is that the first part of your comment was humor. Yes?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/GCXB2EABXANRR2IK7QHS3TAPOU ROBERT C HASTINGS

      There are, however, probably some bankers’ SONS in jail for marijuana use, or cocaine.

      • Erik Nash

        More like cocaine possession and sales

    • onedonewong

      The mass killers all have 2 things in common they were lunatics and all went to public school.

    • http://www.facebook.com/david.newcum David Newcum

      Nobsartist youre NUT!!!!!!you got manure for a brain!!!!!

  • old_blu

    Legalize it. Jeeez. Then some of the people that should be in jail can stay there.

    • http://www.facebook.com/felix.garcia.5245 Felix Garcia

      I agree then law enforcement can focus on the real criminals, gangs, and killers, etc.

      • old_blu

        Exactly, I don’t smoke weed. But why waste resources and money on something so benign?

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/HFYZP2APYPP7H6PWS2ZDQRWFEQ Hillbilly

          old-blu it isn’t benign, I have seen many cases of young smart teens or adults that started out smoking mary jane for a mild high and gradually increased their smoking of pot until that was all they wanted to do.
          Also there some people like me that are highly allegeric to smoke that is made when pot is being smoked. I drove a transit bus in a middle size city and one night I picked up 8 teenage boys on my last trip and about a mile from the mall not just one but all 8 started smoking pot and I got the worst headache I have ever had. After making them put the lids out, I drove about another mile and had to call for an ambusale (not spelled right) because my headache was so bad I couldn’t see. After being checked out in the emergency room and no longer being around the smoking pot, my head quit hurting and my sight came back, I thought I had a blood clot or something in my head, but the dr said I had had a sever allergic reaction to the stuff that is leased into the air while pot was being smoked. Because of what happened to me I don’t want to see pot made legal for any reason expect medical reasons. I start getting a headache everytime I think about that night and that over 18 years ago.

          • old_blu

            I feel horrible for you, I too get very bad headaches I don’t know if it is the same as yours but it sounds like it, so I avoid being around it all I can, but I wonder how many people like us are out there, you are right about the sitting in the basement getting high. But how many drunks do the same thing?

          • http://twitter.com/JohnBoy_NYC JohnBoy_NYC

            That’s a cute story but there is not one other case of this ever happening in recorded history. Cannabinoids are produced naturally in your brain, it would be highly unlikely to be allergic to them.

        • standardwilly

          Because it’s not benign. There are virtually no people in jail in the U.S. for simple possession. There’s always a harder crime attached and that won’t change with legalization. Where resources are wasted is when drug use increases, which it would if legalized. Then healthcare costs go up, lost productivity and even legal costs all increase. And tax revenue? Doesn’t even come close to paying for it – just like it doesn’t with tobacco or alcohol. Criminals and gangs? They won’t go way. They’ll simply undercut the legal stuff. So this benign thing you think is only a problem because it’s illegal actually becomes a much bigger problem when it becomes legal. And that’s a real buzz kill.

  • AttilatheBlond

    Pot users are easier to keep, and more profitable for the private prison industry. It’s just that simple

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/B3FSO34YRNB4RVRFHWXXMBFVUU Greg

    More candidates for the private prison slave system!

  • http://twitter.com/damspahn Dam Spahn

    What insanity! This whole marijuana fetish has got to stop. It’s costing time, money, and lives.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

    Got to keep those privately owned prisons profitable…

    I don’t even take aspiring, and I am convinced that placebos such as drugs solve absolutely nothing, but there are bigger fish to fry out there than some kids smoking pot. Why don’t we go after all the corrupt bankers, CEOs and politicians that defraud the government, abuse their employees and contributed to the economic malaise we endured the past five years?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/G6ULM2R7QE4MSS74ONVAT3YUQA jannie

    The gov needs to get it head out of the sand and legalize it. God put it here on earth and every thing god put here has a reason. One person made it ilegal. We sure could get the bills paid if we made it legal.

  • TerryW

    It’s a plant for God’s sake, much less harmful than tobacco, much less intoxicating than alcohol, has killed no one, non-addictive…. why the Hell is it illegal??? And as long as it is illegal, much easier for minors to get than tobacco or alcohol. Dumb, dumb, dumb. If you’re ever on a jury for a pot “crime” use your jurors’ rights – jury nullification.

    ~ Jury nullification occurs in a trial when a jury acquits a defendant they believe to be guilty of the charges against them. This may occur when members of the jury disagree with the law the defendant has been charged with, or believe that the law should not be applied in that particular case.

    ~ A jury verdict contrary to the letter of the law pertains only to the particular case before it. If a pattern of acquittals develops, however, in response to repeated attempts to prosecute a statutory offence, this can have the de facto effect of invalidating the statute. A pattern of jury nullification may indicate public opposition to an unwanted legislative enactment.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patricia-Stidham-Burns/100003119369128 Patricia Stidham-Burns

      I wish MORE people understood or even knew about Jury Nullification! That is exactly how they ended prohibition. The jurors in this country have a lot more power than they realize. But of course the Government stifles that by not allowing you to educate others regarding nullification.

      I hope many people read your post and look it up to understand what
      “Jury Nullification” means to them! Thanks for your post!

      • http://twitter.com/MaoZedung Rainer Wolfcastle

        Yes, jurors need to understand ALL of their options. This is very frightening to the feds especially. If and when this starts to happen often you will see things happen. So far it seems to happen only sporadically but it might pick up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1370235234 David Mcfatridge

    How will the private prison industry for profit make any money if they cant imprisson pot smokers. More tax dollars being wasted – again!

    • TerryW

      There are plenty of real criminals that could and should be in prison, but law enforcement is too preoccupied going after the easy targets. Why the rise in arrests over the last 10 years? My guess is all of these raids on licensed medical mj businesses and mj card holders in the legalized medical mj states. How easy for law enforcement when they have access to everyone’s registered addresses in these states. And they go in as violent swat teams as if they’re busting dangerous drug cartels. If they wanted to do something productive for society they should concentrate their efforts on the real drug problem – meth. And they should build “prisons” that are intensive rehab centers for meth addicts, which from what I’ve read is addictive after just one use. Meth and alcohol destroy families and lives, cannabis plants do not.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Spookgfr Rich Fiser

    The fact that more people are being arrested for marijuana than for violent crime just shows how much of a dope problem we have. If they legalize marijuana, that just compounds the problem because it will encourage more people to use it. It would then be available to the children. The children. My God, think of the children.

    • http://mohammeddressup.com/ I Zheet M’Drawz

      The children will be much happier stoned out of their minds on the evil weed then on the Ritilin.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/NWAQW7IUZCCVGGXH2U2DX3JWZ4 Ron Smeg

        HIP HIP HOORAY

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/NWAQW7IUZCCVGGXH2U2DX3JWZ4 Ron Smeg

      why and how did organized crime become so powerful in the united states? PROHIBITION……THATS HOW…..THE ONLY THING THAT MORE ARRESTS FOR DOPE SHOWS IS THAT ITS AMONEY MAKER FOR THE SYSTEM WE HAVE IN PLACE…….HONEST,YOUNG CITIZENS GET HARASSED DAILY FROM POLICE BECAUSE OF HOW THEY LOOK OR DRESS,ACTUALLY KEEPING THE POLICE DOING THE HARASSING FROM THE JOB THEY ARE PAYED TO DO….WHICH IS FIGHTING REAL CRIME!!!!EVER NOTICE THE WORDS PROTECT AND SERVE ON A POLICE CAR?NOT IN THE LAST 15 YEARS…WHEN I WAS A KID ,THEY ALL HAD THAT SAYING ON THEM…BUT NOT ANYMORE……NOW THEY HARASS,ARREST,AND HELP PROSECUTE ……GO SIT IN ANY COURTROOM IN THE COUNTY FOR 1 HOUR AND YOULL SEE 75 % OF THE CASES DRUG RELATED,AND 90% OF THOSE ARE POSSESSION ONLY …ITS A FARCE AND COMPLETELY LUDICROUS.. BY KEEPING MARIJUANA ILLEGAL KEEPS IT A GATEWAY DRUG TO REAL DRUGS THAT RUIN LIVES AND FAMILIES.ITS ALSO THE BREAD AND BUTTER FOR EVERY CARTEL OR CRIME SYNDICATE IN THE WORLD,PERIOD…..LEGALIZING IT WOULD PROBABLY WIPE OUT AT LEAST 50% OF THEM WITHIN A FEW WEEKS. SO MY GOD….THINK OF THAT WHY YOUR THINKING OF THE CHILDREN!!!!

    • Sand_Cat

      The fact that marijuana arrests are up certainly does show we have a “dope” problem: the dopes haven’t yet realized what a total waste the whole “war on drugs is!

      • puzzled21

        Funny, but true. LOL

  • http://www.facebook.com/MichaelMinugh Michael Minugh

    Breaking the Taboo, watch it, spread it, let Morgan Freeman & Bill Clinton explain it to those who can’t understand facts & text.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/EOOP2CLTD4BKLDVZT6QW7PDOCI Robert M

    Maybe we could afford to keep dangerous criminals and crazy people off the streets if the cells weren’t filled with pot smokers. The whole thing is based on lies anyway. Billions to lock up pot heads but no money for schools or mental health. On the other hand the private prisons are doing an admirable job of emulating China,

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NWAQW7IUZCCVGGXH2U2DX3JWZ4 Ron Smeg

    With marijuana arrests up and violent crime arrest declining,noticeably from about the time medical use was voted LEGAL BY CALIFORNIA AND THEN followed by other states,pretty clearly shows that…….AS THE NUMBER INCREASES FOR AMERICANS TO….. “LEGALLY SMOKE”……….THE LESS VIOLENT THEY BECOME …….THUS, THE NUMBER OF VIOLENT CRIME and THEIR ARRESTS DECREASES……!!!!!!! That’s math that most 3rd graders can compute…!!!! HEH ,AND DONT FORGET TO FLUORIDATE THE COUNTRIES DRINKING WATER AND HELP TO DUMB SOCIETY AS A WHOLE,WITH MORE HEALTH RISKS THAN THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY COULD OF EVER GIVEN US,AND YOUR A HERO……………..W O W !

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Jones/827014412 Daniel Jones

      what health risks? Please list them.

      ..be prepared to see them refuted, but list them or be disregarded entirely.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/HFYZP2APYPP7H6PWS2ZDQRWFEQ Hillbilly

        According to an article published on Yahoo last year, scients have proof that is pot is more dangerous than it was first thought it was. They said they have proved that long time use of pot leads to the death of some brain cells and is just as dangerous to the body as alachol (not spelled right) and tobacco is. Don’t know it the article was for real or not, but I do know that I am very very allergic to the contents in the smoke that pot makes when being smoked and do not want to be around the stuff in anysituation. Besides smoking pot and or cigrettes( not spelled right) is a nasty habit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hugh-Beaumont/100001403673700 Hugh Beaumont

    It now becomes just an exercise in obedience to the state. This is what you wanted folks – protection – you got it.

  • sdombr01

    Watch “The house I live In” It is a great documentary of our failed drug war just put out and backed/produced by Danny Glover, Brad Pitt, and Russell Simmons.

  • http://mohammeddressup.com/ I Zheet M’Drawz

    It is imperative that we catch & prosecute all those dangerous maryjewanna pill takers before they get their hands on assualt weapons & kill us all!

    You see them all over the city dnodding out at Starbux, taking advantage of free wi-fe, the entitlement generation is what they are!

    And now they want us to provide them with the maryjewanna pills so they can inject them into their eyeballs to see things???

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Jones/827014412 Daniel Jones

      That has to be the most obvious parody yet, and I thank you for making it that way.

      “Inject them into their eyeballs”.. lol

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZJ5BBSQIGTUMERPZFALES6HQNY Bill

      Great parody!! Just change Starbux to Starbux$

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/KUSVRJDYLDD27LBNIUVWPNFIFA JRG

    Honestly I find no logic to this article. I am all for the legalization of marijuana, because it will be less tax dollars spent in arresting people just to get a slap on the wrist by the justice system, it’s the equivalent of sending a child to the corner to think what he’s done. Maybe this article should be directed how much tax dollars goes yearly in arresting people who posses small quantities, less than an ounce of marijuana, and how outrageous it is that we are paying for all of this.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/AX66JEFLEJ4JTQUJJXRSJ63F2E Initial AC

    There are benefits but in moderation. Most smokers toke up large amounts thus eliminating those benefits.

  • Dave_sNotHere

    If there is a God — if there is Karma, surely all vicious drug warriors are going straight to hell.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GCXB2EABXANRR2IK7QHS3TAPOU ROBERT C HASTINGS

    It is time to decriminalize most drug offenses, and legalize at least some of the more innocuous drugs. The War on Drugs has done nothing except make otherwise honest citizens into criminals, and cost the American taxpayers basically as much as any other war has. Prohibition made consumable alcohol illegal in this country and, as with drugs, led to rampant criminality and corruption. By ending Prohibition as regulating the production, distribution and sale of alcohol, the Federal government did exactly what they should do with drugs – decriminalize, legalize, regulate, tax. Sounds like a much more efficient way to use resources.

  • bchrista

    The trouble with marijuana is that the average citizen has been lied to for so long that they may never believe the truth if hit them between their eyes. Marijuana is not as dangerous as acohol, most people I know smoke their weed and just layout the last thing they are looking for hassles they just lay around and anything that happens is funny, the last on their mind is to pick up a gun and hurt someone whereas a drinker can be a very mild person sober but a few drinks pumps up his balls and he thinks he’s the most macho man on the earth and a lot of people have been hurt that way and killed, marijuana relaxes, acohol incites don’t get me wrong one should not operate machinery while doing either one. Marijuana has one other use it’s used in medical I think it’s used on Glacoma patients. But the way it has been crimanalized people that don’t know anything about drugs use it to describe something evil because they don’t know better and have not bothered to educate themselves and the Feds keepup the facade up because it’s a money maker for them everytime they make a big bust and confiscate millions of dollars they don’t have to give it back if Marijuana was decriminalized as it should be they would all that money that they have been pocketing for years. What they don’t tell the public is that if marijuana and other drugs were legalized they wouldn’t have anymore drug wars and the individual states could increase their tax base because the State would control most of the flow of marijuana, it would be sold legally like cigarettes and the Feds ain’t going to let that happen, you don’t kill the goose that lays the golden egg, so we have drug wars between different factions and people constantly getting wasted over drugs, stop the wars legalize it. But when you have a product that produces millions you tell me would you stop it? So that our greedy government can keep making million dollar busts they won’t legalize it and innocents will die those are guns that wouldn’t be needed, because there would be no profit ,more lives saved.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GCXB2EABXANRR2IK7QHS3TAPOU ROBERT C HASTINGS

    Sounds like the gal from MSNBC has a brain. Backing the decriminalizationand legalization of some drugs very likely WOULD be a very good start on reducing gun violence.

  • bchrista

    For those of you that don’t know, the prison industry is big business take Florida for instance, in the prison proper they make tags for the state to sell to the public, they make metal cabinets sold to the schools they make clothing both for the public and them prison system, Florida has one of the largest farm systems in the country, the grow most every type of vegatable you can buy in the super market and they accomplish this by sending it to a cannery and selling some to the prison and the rest in Georgia and nearby states they have a slaughter house that is constantly busy, chicken, pork, and cattle the prison gets some but the bulk is sold in Georgia and nearby states this is facts that an undercover operative working for the Wackinghut Company took pictures of noted and supplied to the States Attorney Office in Tallahasse and the Beauty of it was that several Senators were involved in the scam, either because the companies or had interests in them and all they got was a slap on the hand, but imagine the millions of dollars in tax money the public lost plus the millions it cost them to buy their own property and remember Florida is a Republican State, these Republicans have prostituted all the states that they think it’s legal and everybody keeps thinkng they are just going away without a fight you better tighten up you belt because Brothers the fight has not started yet I am looking for them to throw anything and everything they got and some we haven’t seen or heard of yet.before they go away if they ever do.

  • Erik Nash

    Why does it seem that the NRA is perpetuating the “War on Drugs”scam to legitimize more guns? Because, as it stands more people are in prison for possession of marijuana than almost anything else.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000841658853 Robert Cruder

    When prohibition had failed and states were ceasing to cooperate with Federal busts or prosecutions, both the preachers and the Federal cops made ever more dire predictions. They arrested ever more of the easy bottom-level participants in order to justify their existence.

    As the populous states went their own way, the Federal cops became laughing stocks. They could not make an arrest in many jurisdictions without having a local at their side.

    Only after it was obvious that prohibition could not be enforced without state cooperation did the Feds change their rules. None of our brave principled “leaders” could risk having some preacher in Podunk call them soft on “demon” rum.

    Today’s “leaders” are equally “brave and principled” as those. My state of Colorado needs to be only the first of many to choose their own future.

    I cannot tell how many sentences were commuted after prohibition was repealed but would push hard to defeat any politician who opposed commutation of non-violent marijuana sentences.

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