FBI Data Shows Cannabis Arrests are on the Rise for Second Year in a Row
Arrests for criminal offenses related to cannabis are up for the second year in a row, according to data from the FBI. The consecutive increases tabulated by the annual FBI Uniform Crime Report come despite the continued legalization of recreational and medicinal marijuana in the United States, including four states that did so in late 2016.
Police made a total of 659,700 arrests for cannabis crimes last year, up from 653,249 the year before. The figure from 2016 was the first increase in marijuana arrests in more than a decade and this year’s data shows a continuation of that trend. More than 90 percent of the arrests for cannabis offenses, about 599,000, were for simple possession. More than 65,000 arrests for other marijuana offenses, including sales and cultivation were also made in 2017. A cannabis arrest was made an average of every 48 seconds last year, according to media reports.
Arrests for marijuana-related offenses last year were more than 21 percent higher than the 518,617 arrests for crimes of violence, according to an analysis by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Justin Strekal, the political director for NORML, said in a press release that the increase in arrests is contrary to