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Marijuana Policy Project: Marijuana Arrests Set New Record for 4th Year in a Row, Exceed All Violent Crimes Combined

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 24, 2007
9:26 AM

CONTACT: Marijuana Policy Project
Bruce Mirken, MPP director of communications, 202-215-4205 or
415-668-6403

 
Marijuana Arrests Set New Record for 4th Year in a Row,
Exceed All Violent Crimes Combined
 

WASHINGTON - September 24 - For the fourth year in a row, U.S. marijuana arrests set an all-time record in 2006, according to the just-released FBI Uniform Crime Reports. Marijuana arrests totaled 829,627, an increase from 786,545 in 2005. Similar to previous years, 738,916 or 89 percent were for possession, not sale or manufacture, and marijuana possession arrests again exceeded arrests for all violent crimes combined.

"The steady escalation of marijuana arrests is happening in direct defiance of public opinion," said Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C. "Voters in communities all over the country, from Denver to Seattle to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, and Missoula County, Montana, have passed measures saying they don't want marijuana arrests to be a priority, yet marijuana arrests have set an all-time record for four years running. It appears that police are taking their cue from White House Drug Czar John Walters, who is obsessed with marijuana, rather than the public who pays their salaries.

"The bottom line is that we are wasting billions of dollars each year on a failed policy," Kampia continued. "Despite record arrests, marijuana use remains higher than it was 15 years ago, when arrests were less than half the present level, and marijuana is the number one cash crop in the U.S. Marijuana is scientifically proven to be far safer than alcohol, and it's time to start regulating marijuana the same way we regulate wine, beer and liquor."

With more than 23,000 members and 100,000 e-mail subscribers nationwide, the Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States. MPP believes that the best way to minimize the harm associated with marijuana is to regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. For more information, please visit www.MarijuanaPolicy.org.

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