Police Arrested 620K People for Pot Possession Last Year

That's an arrest every 51 seconds
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2015 3:02 PM CDT
Police Arrested 620K People for Pot Possession Last Year

Someone was arrested for marijuana possession every 51 seconds last year, according to the Huffington Post and new stats released by the FBI Monday. In 2014, there were more than 1.5 million arrests for drug-related offenses, and 40% of those were for simple marijuana possession, Vocativ reports. That's an increase following seven years of declining arrests, according to HuffPo. “It’s hard to imagine why more people were arrested for marijuana possession when fewer people than ever believe it should be a crime," Marijuana Policy Project spokesperson Mason Tvert tells Vocativ. "Law enforcement officials should not be wasting their time and resources arresting and prosecuting adults for using marijuana."

Tvert tells Vocativ police around the country solved less than 65% of murders, 40% of rapes, and 30% of property crimes and robberies last year. Over that same period, they arrested approximately 620,000 people for marijuana possession. "There’s just no good reason that so much police time and taxpayer money is spent punishing people for marijuana when so many murders, rapes, and robberies go unsolved," Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority, tells HuffPo. He says he hopes law enforcement will soon get in line with the priorities of Americans. HuffPo reports support for legalizing marijuana is at an all-time high, yet the ACLU says the government is spending $3.6 billion every year enforcing possession laws. (More marijuana stories.)

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