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Reply #22


Response to tridim (Reply #2)

Sat Aug 3, 2013, 05:03 PM

22. Let's track some numbers

as far as spending, etc. over time. Here are a few links -

the largest db of marijuana arrests released to the public (from 2008) - http://www.drugscience.org/States/US/US_home.htm

http://www.alternet.org/story/64465/the_war_on_pot%3A_america's_$42_billion_annual_boondoggle

From 2007 - "...according to a new study by researcher Jon Gettman, Ph.D. -- $10.7 billion in direct law enforcement costs, and $31.1 billion in lost tax revenues. And that may be an underestimate, at least on the law enforcement side, since Gettman made his calculations before the FBI released its latest arrest statistics in late September. The new FBI stats show an all-time record 829,627 marijuana arrests in 2006, 43,000 more than in 2005."

Specific findings include the following:

http://www.drugscience.org/bcr/

--Nationally, there is little apparent relationship between increasing marijuana arrests and rates of use.

Marijuana arrests have nearly doubled from 1991 to 2009, increasing by 150% during the 1990s and increasing steadily in recent years, producing an annualized change of 6.56% per year during this period.

Overall, levels of marijuana use in the United States have remained fundamentally unchanged during this period. Population estimates of annual marijuana use, for example, have remained relatively constant over the last five years at approximately 25 million individuals.

From 2003 to 2007, the number of annual marijuana arrests increased by 2.93% per year, while the number of annual marijuana users decreased by 0.21% per year.

The overall marijuana arrest rate of between 3% and 6% of users is not enough to represent a meaningful deterrent.

--Young people and African-Americans are disproportionately affected by marijuana arrests.

Males aged 15 to 24 account for 52% of all marijuana arrests. While the national rate of marijuana possession arrests is 248 per 100,000, the arrest rate for males aged 15 to 19 is 1,911 per 100,000.

While the marijuana-use rate for African-Americans is only about 25% greater than for whites, the marijuana possession arrest rate for blacks is three times greater. This is not a regional disparity, but is seen in every state and most counties.

---The costs of arresting marijuana users are substantial, and raise serious questions about the cost effectiveness of marijuana prohibition.

Using the same method of calculation used by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, marijuana arrests cost state and local governments $10.3 billion in 2006.

Marijuana arrests represent 6% of all arrests. In many states, they represent the fifth, sixth, or seventh largest category of arrests.

The clearance rate (i.e. the percentage of crimes solved by arrest) for murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft was 26% in 2007, meaning that no one is arrested for three quarters of these serious crimes. In this environment, time and resources spent on roughly 850,000 marijuana arrests per year represent a significant opportunity cost.

In California, decriminalization of marijuana possession saved taxpayers $857 million in 2006 (details in the California state report (PDF)) -- this pdf is linked at the link.



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