News Release
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October 22, 2001

Marijuana Violations for Year 2000 Hit All Time High, FBI Report Reveals

Washington, DC: Police arrested an estimated 734,498 persons for marijuana violations in 2000, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation's annual Uniform Crime Report, released today. The total is the highest ever recorded by the FBI, and comprises just under half of all drug arrests in the United States.

"Today's war on drugs is really little more than a war on marijuana smokers," charges NORML Foundation Executive Director Allen St Pierre. "Enforcing marijuana prohibition costs taxpayers approximately $10 billion per year. This is a tremendous waste of national and state criminal justice resources, which should be focused on combating serious and violent crime, including terrorism."

Of those charged with marijuana violations, almost 88 percent - some 646,042 Americans - were charged with possession only. The remaining 88,456 individuals were charged with "sale/manufacture," a category that includes all cultivation offenses - even those where the marijuana was being grown for personal or medical use.

The total number of marijuana arrests far exceeds the total number of arrests for all violent crimes combined, including murder, manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault.

Since 1990, nearly 5.9 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.

"It's time we stopped arresting adults who use marijuana responsibly," says St. Pierre.

For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of The NORML Foundation at (202) 483-8751. The report appears online at:

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