LEAP points to new FBI report: A drug-related arrest every 19 seconds

September 19, 2011 | By | 3 Replies More

LEAP included me on a mass emailing that contains some stunning statistics:

New FBI Numbers Reveal Failure of “War on Drugs”

A new FBI report released today shows that there is a drug arrest every 19 seconds in the U.S. A group of police and judges who have been campaigning to legalize and regulate drugs pointed to the figures showing more than 1.6 million drug arrests in 2010 as evidence that the “war on drugs” is a failure that can never be won.

“Since the declaration of the ‘war on drugs’ 40 years ago we’ve arrested tens of millions of people in an effort to reduce drug use. The fact that cops had to spend time arresting another 1.6 million of our fellow citizens last year shows that it simply hasn’t worked. In the current economy we simply cannot afford to keep arresting three people every minute in the failed ‘war on drugs,'” said Neill Franklin, a retired Baltimore narcotics cop who now heads the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). “If we legalized and taxed drugs, we could not only create new revenue in addition to the money we’d save from ending the cruel policy of arresting users, but we’d make society safer by bankrupting the cartels and gangs who control the currently illegal marketplace.”

Today’s FBI report, which can be found at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010, shows that 81.9 percent of all drug arrests in 2010 were for possession only, and 45.8 percent of all drug arrests were for possession of marijuana.

A separate Department of Justice report released last month shows that Mexican drug cartels are currently operating in more than 1,000 U.S. cities, whereas two years ago they were in 230 U.S. cities. Meanwhile, a new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report released earlier this month shows that nearly one in 10 Americans admit to regularly using illegal drugs.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) represents police, prosecutors, judges, FBI/DEA agents and others who want to legalize and regulate drugs after fighting on the front lines of the “war on drugs” and learning firsthand that prohibition only serves to worsen addiction and violence. More info at http://www.CopsSayLegalizeDrugs.com.

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Category: Drug laws

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Mike M. says:

    I’ve come to the realization that the United States’ 46-yr old War On Drugs (or more accurately, ‘War On Some Drugs’) is an absolute success…when viewed for what it really is – a business that operates solely on the profit motive without a whiff of true human values. Who benefits from this ongoing phoney “War”? The prison system, judges, lawyers, cops, probation officers, government prosecuters, drug dealers (and this bucket includes the corrupt FDA, the corrupt US government as a whole, & major pharmaceutical companies), churches, some politicians, and assorted other rigid control freaks and freedom haters. The ‘War On Some Drugs’ creates a lot of money (for some) and a lot of job security, and it is the ideal substrate for growing the parasitic, fearful climate necessary for its own perpetuation.

    • Erich Vieth says:

      Mike: I think you nailed it: “The War on SOME drugs.” Well-to-do folks can get their doctors to prescribe functional equivalents to most street drugs, which will be paid for by big insurance companies, and which the “patient” (rather than the “user”) can use inside or outside of his/her home without fear of being arrested.

      If you even want to see a depressing scene, go to criminal court to see the judges scold the”criminals” during the sentencing, where they are quite often sent away with probation. It is a incredibly wasteful and nihilistic dance engaged in by judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, parole officers, bailiffs, clerks and the defendants. A huge bill is being paid by society to pretend that we are doing something about what is often not much of a problem. I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me how smoking marijuana is functionally different than being drunk (see this amazing story http://dangerousintersection.org/2010/01/23/against-all-odds-how-marijuana-was-legalized-in-denver/ ) I have never done either of these things. I’m not advocating doing these, but it is insane to criminalize either. As LEAP argues, the “war on drugs” is an attempt to reenact Prohibition.

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    The federal government, under the leadership of Barack Obama, continues the insane waste of energy and money:

    “Federal prosecutors have launched a crackdown on pot dispensaries in California, warning the stores that they must shut down in 45 days or face criminal charges and confiscation of their property even if they are operating legally under the state’s 15-year-old medical marijuana law.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/06/california-marijuana-dispensaries-crackdown_n_999196.html

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