(photo: 710928003 / flickr)

Marijuana possession remains one of the major reasons people are arrested in the United States, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report for 2011. Last year the police made just over 750,000 arrests just for marijuana. That translates into one marijuana arrest every 42 seconds in America. While this is a slightly drop from 2010 this remains an unacceptable statistic.

Effectively half of all drug arrests in the county last year were for marijuana. An overwhelming 87 percent of these marijuana arrests were simply for possession.

Marijuana possession alone accounts for just over five percent of all the arrests made in the America last year. By comparison, there were only just over 500,000 arrests for all violent crimes combined.

This is in spite of the fact that 2011 was also the first year Gallup found a majority of Americans believe marijuana should be legalized. As a country, we are wasting a huge amount of law enforcement resources and saddling thousands of people with criminal records to enforce a policy that most Americans no longer even agree with.

Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at http://pendinghorizon.com