In 2015, U.S. arrests for simple possession of marijuana dropped to their lowest level in 19 years, according to a Sept. 26, 2016, post on the Washington Post’s Wonkblog.
New data from the FBI showed a 7 percent slip between 2014 and 2015, when 574,641 were arrested for simple possession.
The 2015 figure sits at the end of a 25 percent slide from the height of simple possession arrests in 2007, when the number reached nearly 800,000.
Fewer drug-related arrests are due to marijuana. Possession and sales of pot, combined, made up 52 percent of all drug-related arrests in 2010, contrasted with 43 percent in 2015. Now there has been an increase in the number of people being arrested for other non-narcotic drugs and for cocaine and heroin, Wonkblog’s Christopher Ingram wrote.
Even so, the current arrest rate for marijuana works out to more than one per minute, as Wonkblog previously noted.
Policy analysts disagree about the significance of marijuana arrests. The Drug Policy Alliance has said pot arrests constitute “the engine driving the U.S. war on drugs.”
However, the Office of National Drug Control Policy officials point to statistics revealing less than 1 percent of state inmates go to prison for marijuana possession.