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October 17, 1996
Marijuana Arrests For 1995
FBI Data Confirm Clinton's Marijuana War To Be Toughest Yet
An estimated* 588,963 total marijuana arrests
were made by state and local law enforcement during 1995,
according to the latest edition of the FBI Uniform Crime
Report. This figure is an 18 percent increase above the
1994 level and pushes the total number of marijuana arrests under
the Clinton administration to a staggering 1,450,751. The
1995 yearly arrest total for marijuana violations is the highest
ever recorded by the FBI.
Of the 588,963 arrests made for marijuana in 1995, approximately 86 percent (503,350) were for simple "possession." The remaining 14 percent (85,614 arrests) were for "sale/manufacture," a category that includes all cultivation offenses -- even those where the marijuana was being grown for personal use.
"This data confirms what NORML has been maintaining all along," states NORML's Deputy National Director Allen St. Pierre. "Despite criticism on Capitol Hill that this present administration is soft on drugs, the raw data clearly demonstrates that the federal government's war on marijuana smokers has gotten significantly tougher under Clinton's regime. These new FBI statistics indicate that one marijuana user is arrested every 54 seconds in America."
According to annual data collected by the FBI, Clinton's three year average of total marijuana arrests (483,548 arrests per year) is 30 percent higher than the average number of yearly arrests under the Bush administration (338,998). "These latest figures expose those who claim that America has abandoned the drug war under Clinton as the political charlatans they are," states NORML Publication's Director Paul Armentano. "The fact that adolescent use rates for marijuana are rising at the same time that law enforcement is arresting record numbers of users affirms NORML's long-held belief that marijuana prohibition is not an effective deterrent to marijuana consumption. Clinton hasn't abandoned the drug war; the drug war simply isn't working."
Additional statistics gathered from the Uniform Crime Report reveal that law enforcement made 1.5 million arrests for drug abuse violations in 1995, the most ever. This figure is a 7 percent increase above the 1994 level, 41 percent higher than in 1991, and 65 percent higher than in 1986. The FBI report further discloses that the number of individuals arrested for marijuana possession in 1995 virtually equaled the combined total number of individuals arrested for possessing heroin, cocaine, and/or their derivatives.
For more information on marijuana arrests, please contact Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of NORML @ (202) 483-5500.
*No arrest data for Kansas, Montana, and most of Illinois law enforcement agencies were available to the FBI for 1995. Therefore, arrest totals for these states were estimated by the FBI for inclusion in the overall total.
MORE THAN 10 MILLION MARIJUANA ARRESTS SINCE 1965 ... ANOTHER EVERY 54 SECONDS!