Drug Arrests Totaled 1.6 Million in U.S. in 2010: Nearly Half of Those Were Simply For Having Marijuana

Pro-pot forces say an FBI report released today indicating 8 out of 10 drug arrests in 2010 were for possession supports their view that the war on drugs is a failure.

The FBI report also says there was one drug arrest every 19 seconds, with a total of 1.6 million narcotics arrests last year.

Neill Franklin, a retired Baltimore drug cop and head of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP):

Since the declaration of the 'war on drugs' 40 years ago we've arrested tens of millions of people in an effort to reduce drug use. The fact that cops had to spend time arresting another 1.6 million of our fellow citizens last year shows that it simply hasn't worked. In the current economy we simply cannot afford to keep arresting three people every minute in the failed 'war on drugs. If we legalized and taxed drugs, we could not only create new revenue in addition to the money we'd save from ending the cruel policy of arresting users, but we'd make society safer by bankrupting the cartels and gangs who control the currently illegal marketplace.

The federal report also indicates that nearly half of all drug arrests (45.8 percent) were for pot possession.

LEAP also took issue with a U.S. Department of Justice report that states Mexican drug cartels have expanded their influence from 230 American cities to more than 1,000.

That tidbit could be used to argue that America's quasi-legalization in medical marijuana states like California has been a failure, however, though what LEAP is saying here, it seems, is that the war on drugs only fuels the bad guys.

[@dennisjromero/djromero@laweekly.com]


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