FBI Releases Statistics, Impact of Weed Arrests

In 2014, members of law enforcement in America arrested more than 700,000 people on marijuana-related charges, according to data released by the FBI.

Of that total, 88.4 percent were made for possession of marijuana alone. That translates to a rate of one arrest every 51 seconds.

Despite many states legalizing the use of recreational marijuana, the country saw a trend of arrests increasing — reversing the seven-year trend of declining possession arrests.

In 2013, 609,570 people were arrested for marijuana possession. The highest number of arrests took place in 2007, with 775,137 arrests being recorded.

Overall, just under 45 percent of drug arrests made in 2014 were marijuana-related, with more than 83 percent of total drug-related arrests being made for possession alone. Seventeen percent of marijuana-related arrests were for sale and manufacturing of the drug.

People who get arrested for marijuana possession usually are able to escape serving any heavy jail time, but the charges do stick to their records. This causes a slew of problems — ranging from getting fired, difficulty finding employment and long-term financial problems such as jail time for unpaid fines. Those that are already financially disadvantaged tend to be primarily affected.

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