FBI data shows more cannabis arrests than all violent crimes combined


According to 2016 crime data released by the FBI, more people were arrested for cannabis possession than any other violent crime in the United States.

Cannabis possession accounted for more than 5 percent of all arrests last year with more than one in 20 arrests involving a cannabis possession charge. Roughly 1.5 million people were arrested for drug-related offenses in 2016 and the data had risen slightly every year.

“Criminalizing drug use has devastated families across the US, particularly in communities of color, and for no good reason,” Maria McFarland Sánchez Moreno, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a press release. “Far from helping people who are struggling with addiction, the threat of arrest often keeps them from accessing health services and increases the risk of overdose or other harms.”

An August poll from Quinnipiac reported support for social cannabis use among Americans landed around 60 percent, but the crime data indicated there hadn’t been significant changes to policing cannabis on a national level.