Crime

Marijuana: One pot bust every 42 seconds, FBI stats show

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Moreover, the vast majority of these busts are for possession alone -- an issue a LEAP spokesman believes Amendment 64 would address.

Here are some general highlights of the FBI's "Persons Arrested" stats. They show, among other things, that more people were arrested in the U.S. for drug-related crimes during 2011 than for any other offense:
• Nationwide, law enforcement made an estimated 12,408,899 arrests in 2011. Of these arrests, 534,704 were for violent crimes, and 1,639,883 were for property crimes. (Note: the UCR Program does not collect data on citations for traffic violations.)

• The highest number of arrests were for drug abuse violations (estimated at 1,531,251 arrests), larceny-theft (estimated at 1,264,986), and driving under the influence (estimated at 1,215,077).

• The estimated arrest rate for the United States in 2011 was 3,991.1 arrests per 100,000 inhabitants. The arrest rate for violent crime (including murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) was 172.3 per 100,000 inhabitants, and the arrest rate for property crime (burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson) was 531.3 per 100,000 inhabitants.

• Two-year arrest trends show violent crime arrests declined 4.9 percent in 2011 when compared with 2010 arrests, and property crime arrests decreased 0.1 percent when compared with the 2010 arrests.

• Arrests of juveniles for all offenses decreased 11.1 percent in 2011 when compared with the 2010 number; arrests of adults declined 3.6 percent.

• Over 74 percent (74.1) of the persons arrested in the nation during 2011 were males. They accounted for 80.4 percent of persons arrested for violent crime and 62.9 percent of persons arrested for property crime.

• In 2011, 69.2 percent of all persons arrested were white, 28.4 percent were black, and the remaining 2.4 percent were of other races.
When it comes to "arrests for drug abuse violations," the FBI provides the following graphic:As you can see, 81.8 percent of drug arrests are for possession alone. Additionally, 49.5 percent of drug arrests are for marijuana -- 43.3 percent for possession and 6.2 percent for sales or manufacturing. The total number of marijuana arrests in 2011 was around 750,000.

To the head of LEAP, former Baltimore narcotics cop and past Westword profile subject Neill Franklin, these numbers are scandalous.

Continue to read LEAP's take on the crime statistics.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts