The 2010 FBI Uniform Crime Report has been released today and for the second year in a row, marijuana arrests make up a majority of all arrests in the “War on Drugs”.
Nationally, there were 1,638,846 drug arrests reported to the FBI, with 52.1% of those arrests for marijuana charges. Last year, 51.6% of all drug arrests were for marijuana, showing a slight increase in marijuana as the majority of all drug arrests. The last time marijuana made up a majority of the “War on Drugs” was 1985, when 55.6% of all drug arrests were for marijuana.
These 853,839 marijuana arrests represent a drop of 4,569 arrests for marijuana as compared to the previous year. However, arrests for all other drugs dropped by 20,167, or almost four-and-a-half times fewer drug arrests than marijuana arrests compared to a year ago. Keep in mind these arrests increase or remain virtually steady while state after state legalizes medical use of marijuana and decriminalizes recreational marijuana, removing millions of cannabis users from the pool of potential marijuana arrests.
Meanwhile, arrests for violent crime have decreased for the fifth straight year, to just 552,077 arrests for “murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault”. The last time there were so few arrests for violent crime was, coincidentally, 1985. Fewer violent crime arrests would be welcome if not for the fact that there were more violent crimes reported to police. 2010 had the most violent crimes reported to police in a decade (1,246,248), with only 44.3% of violent crimes reported leading to an arrest.
Geographically, the Midwest usually makes headlines for the devastating epidemic of methamphetamine manufacture and abuse. However, 63.5% of all drug arrests in the Midwest are for marijuana use (53.9%) and cultivation (9.6%). The South also makes more arrests for marijuana possession (51.5%) than any other drug charge.