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Marijuana Now Accounts for Half of All Drug Arrests

October 14, 2011 | Posted In Resources - Criminal Law

Marijuana-related crimes accounted for more than half of all drug-related arrests in the United States in 2010.  That information comes from new statistics released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to the data, 853,838 people were arrested for marijuana-related crimes in 2010.  That accounted for 52% of all drug-related arrests last year.  Moreover, most marijuana-related arrests were not for cultivation or distribution of marijuana, but for possession.  About 46% of all marijuana-related crimes involved possession of marijuana.  Possession of marijuana is a less serious crime, compared to cultivating or selling the drug.

According to other statistics by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, the number of arrests for possession of marijuana was actually much higher.  Last year, approximately 750,591 people were arrested for marijuana possession.  That comprises 88% of all marijuana-related arrests for possession.  The statistics do not make it clear how many of these arrests resulted in conviction or sentencing. 

The number of people arrested for marijuana-related crimes seems to be the highest in the Midwest, where it accounted for more than 63% of all arrests, and in the South, which accounted for 57% of arrests.  The Midwest accounted for the least number of heroin and cocaine arrests, with 14% of all arrests, while cocaine and heroin-related arrests were the highest in the Northeast, which accounted for 29% of all arrests.

The overall number of drug-related arrests last year was more than 1.63 million, more than for any other crime.   

The New Jersey criminal defense lawyers at Helmer Paul Conley and Kasselman represent persons charged with drug crimes, sex crimes, fraud, assault, DUI and other crimes across the state of New Jersey.

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