"The costs of this national obsession, in both money and time, are astonishing. Each year, enforcing laws on possession costs more than $3.6 billion, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. It can take a police officer many hours to arrest and book a suspect. That person will often spend a night or more in the local jail, and be in court multiple times to resolve the case.
Effect Of Medical Marijuana Legalization On Crime Rates And Limitations Of Data: "Given that the current results failed to uncover a crime exacerbating effect attributable to MML, it is important to examine the findings with a critical eye. While we report no positive association between MML and any crime type, this does not prove MML has no effect on crime (or even that it reduces crime). It may be the case that an omitted variable, or set of variables, has confounded the associations and masked the true positive effect of MML on crime.
Average Police Time Taken Per Marijuana Arrest: "In those eleven years the NYPD made a total of 439,056 possession-only arrests. Multiplied by two and a half hours of police time per arrest that equals 1,097,640 hours - or approximately one million hours of police officer time to make 440,000 marijuana arrests. That is the equivalent of having 31 police officers working eight hours a day, 365 days a year, for 11 years, making only marijuana possession arrests."
Drug Arrests in the US, 2010, by Age and Gender: "State and local law enforcement agencies made an estimated 1,336,500 arrests for drug possession or use in 2010. Females were 20% of these arrests. The median age in drug possession or use arrests was 26. Eleven percent of drug possession or use arrests in 2010 involved a juvenile, 18% involved persons age 40 or older, and 6% involved persons age 50 or older."
Drug Arrest Trends in the US 1990-2010: "There were 80% more arrests for drug possession or use in 2010 (1,336,530) than in 1990 (741,600). Between 1990 and its peak in 2006, the arrest rate for drug possession or use increased 75% (figure 37). The arrest rate declined between 2006 and 2010, ending in 2010 at 46% above its 1990 level and at a level similar to those seen between 1997 and 2002."
"Net-widening refers to 'an expansion in the number of offenders arrested and charged after the implementation of [a drug court] because well-meaning police and prosecutors now believe there to be something worthwhile that can happen to offenders once they are in the system (i.e., treatment instead of prison).'387 When drug courts are created, police in some cities have arrested more people and prosecutors have filed more charges.388
"In 2015, 73.1 percent of all arrestees were males. Males accounted for 79.7 percent of persons arrested for violent crimes and for 61.7 percent of persons arrested for property crimes.
• Males comprised 88.5 percent of persons arrested for murder and nonnegligent manslaughter in 2015.
• Of the total number of persons arrested for drug abuse violations, 77.4 percent were males.
• Females accounted for 43.2 percent of all persons arrested for larceny-theft offenses in 2015.
• Of persons arrested for aggravated assault in 2015, 23.1 percent were females.
"Reductions in recidivism are so small that if they exist at all they are statistically meaningless. Net-widening is so large that, even if drug courts truly were effective in reducing recidivism, more drug defendants would continue to jam our prisons than ever before."
Total Annual Arrests in the US by Year and Type of Offense
In 2015, law enforcement agencies in the US made 10,797,088 arrests for all offenses, of which 1,488,707 were drug arrests, 505,681 were for violent offenses, and 1,463,213 were for property offenses. A total of 643,121 marijuana arrests were made that year, of which 64,480 were for trafficking or sales, and 574,641 were for simple possession of marijuana.