Drug Possession Most Common Cause of Arrest

The FBI has released the 2012 Uniform Crime Report and it shows that drug law violations were the single most common cause for arrest in the United States, with the overwhelming majority of those arrests being for possession only. The numbers are quite ridiculous.

Drug offenses remained the single most common cause of arrest in 2012, mostly for offenses involving mere possession, according to newly released FBI estimates. Of the 12.2 million estimated arrests 1.55 million were for “drug abuse violations.” Some 82 percent of those were for possession offenses, and 42.4 percent for marijuana possession. That is the equivalent of a drug arrest every 20 seconds, and a marijuana arrest every 42 seconds, according to calculations by Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a group of law enforcement officials who support the regulated legalization of drugs.

“These numbers represent a tremendous loss of human potential,” said LEAP Executive Director Neill Franklin, who was a police officer for 34 years. Each one of those arrests is the story of someone who may suffer a variety of adverse effects from their interaction with the justice system.” Among those effects are ineligibility for federal student loans, which applies only to convictions for drug offenses, or involuntary civil commitment for a sexual offense.

“Commit a murder or a robbery and the government will still give you a student loan,” Franklin said. “Get convicted for smoking a joint and you’re likely to lose it. This is supposed to help people get over their drug habit?”

If you changed those facts slightly and said that 1.55 million people had been arrested for violating the prohibition of alcohol and 82% of them merely for possessing alcohol, nearly everyone would be up in arms over it. Yet alcohol kills far more people than all illegal drugs combined every year. But we tried alcohol prohibition and learned that it didn’t work. It’s time we figured that out about other forms of drugs as well.

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  • Yeah, but drugs are different because…HEY! Look over there!!

    [slips out side door]

  • Damn, all this time I thought it was the nancybooted jackthugs grabbin’ up REAL MurKKKans and their gunz (followed closely by capitalists just trying to make an honest day’s killing in the stock market).

    Now that the state lege in NY has decided to stick its collective head up its ass and vote to require TANF recipients to pass a drug test we can see that the war on drugs is comin’ home! You just know that some drug crazed single mom is gonna ‘jack a Drake’s Cakes truck and drive it through the front of a Wegman’s while screamin’ sutras from the Koran.

  • kantalope

    But taking drugs will screw up your life….here let us prove it to you, by screwing up your life.

    Walter Cronkite said the war on drugs was stupid…Walter Freaking Cronkite!


  • zero6ix

    After watching the Cronkite video, I kept waiting for the ultracops to kick open a door that had a Bob Marley poster and scream “PUT DOWN THE DORITOS!” and then have one cop open fire because someone was brandishing a twinkie in a delicious manner.

  • freehand

    But Ed – by the time we realized that alcohol prohibition was a bad idea, we already had numerous illegal drug agencies established. What else would those people do with themselves – we want our citizens gainfully employed, right? Besides, the only folks who use Mary Janes and cocaine are Messicans, colored gentlemen and ladies, and jazz musicians. It’s not like anybody would be hurt by this.

  • macallan

    “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost America.” – Richard Goddamn Nixon.

  • Michael Heath

    macallan writes:

    “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost America.” – Richard Goddamn Nixon.

    What’s interesting is how much the country’s changed since then. Now you can, “lose Cronkite” and yet still remain politically powerful, increase your political power, and obstruct policies that are clearly in the best interests of the country.

    I’m currently reading a biography on Paul Volcker that reveals an astonishing amount of inter-mingling between parties, like GOP Administrations recruiting or retaining Democrats in positions of high authority. While the Democrats remain OK with that in principle and to some degree practice, there’s no way Republicans now tolerate such from their side.

  • lochaber

    I wonder how many of those possession charges are plants because the cops didn’t have any real charges…