Marijuana Drug War

Marijuana Drug War

The drug war in the United States has shifted from a full fledge pursuit to end the cocaine bust to the current predicament of marijuana over the past decade. Today, half of all drug tests nationwide are attributed to marijuana according to the analysis of federal crime statistics. Since 1992, the number of heroin and cocaine cases has plummeted from 55 percent to 30 percent while marijuana arrests rose from 28 percent to 45 percent. (See marijuana history for more information.)

The Increase in Marijuana Related Arrests

The biggest reason for this increase is the perception that marijuana is a safer drug. It tends to be a substitute for harder drugs and alcohol and there are no reported deaths due to overdose either. In the last decade, 6.5 million Americans have been arrested on marijuana charges, a greater number than the entire populations of Alaska, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming combined. In 2006, state and local law enforcement arrested 829,625 people for marijuana violations. Annual marijuana arrests have nearly tripled since the early 1990s and it is the highest number ever recorded by the FBI. In many cases, those arrested don’t result in felony convictions however. Only 6 percent of the arrests did result in convictions. Therefore, prisons have not had significant impact due to this low number.

Over time, however, critics argue, and increasingly so, that the U.S. drug war, which costs an estimated $35 billion a year, has had a minimal impact on the control of illegal substances. The conservative American Enterprise Institute published a report in March titled “Are We Losing the War on Drugs?”. Arguments made by the author state that the criminal punishment on marijuana does not appear to be justified.

What’s shocking is that as state governments attempt to crack down on the marijuana war, there is an increase in arrests due to possession. New York City’s arrest trends, which enforced their “zero tolerance” policies during Rudolph Giuliani’s administration, increased tenfold from 1990 to 2002. From 5,100 to more than 50,000 arrested were reported in the span of 12 years. Nine of 10 of arrests in 2002 were for possession rather than dealing.

Marijuana Addiction

If you or someone you know is battling an addiction to marijuana who requires marijuana drug rehab, we are here to help. Please call our toll free number to speak with someone about treatment options to overcome addiction.