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Friday, December 9, 2022

The FBI doesn’t know how many marijuana arrests were made in 2021 … and that’s their damned mistake

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Earlier today, October 5, the FBI released its annual 2021 Crime Report in the Nation, which aims to give lawmakers and citizens alike an accurate picture of arrest data across the country.

But the numbers this year looks blurry.

That’s because 2021 is the first year that the agency completely switched from its long-running data collection system – the standardized crime report – to the new National Incident Reporting System (NIBRS).

Unfortunately, According to CNN’s Priya KrishnakumarNIBRS “requires more detail (and effort) in logging crimes, which the FBI said lowered participation rates.”

As a result, agencies represent More than a third of the country’s population– Including the NYPD and LAPD – not all of their data has been provided. Only half of the agencies provided an entire year’s worth of numbers.

As a result, Krishnakumar noted, “the 2021 report relies heavily on estimates of their national numbers.”

The local cops just stopped sending their data to the FBI

The FBI’s annual data set has usually provided some insight into national marijuana arrest trends. But not this year.

“As voters and elected officials nationally reassess federal and state marijuana policies, it is inconceivable that government agencies are unable to produce any explicit data about the estimated costs and scope of marijuana ban in America,” NORML Deputy Director Paul Arminano said in a statement. earlier today.

However, it remains clear from the limited data available that marijuana seizures and prosecutions remain the primary driver of drug war enforcement in the United States and that hundreds of thousands of Americans continue to be arrested annually for these violations despite the fact that the majority of voters no longer They think that adult use of marijuana should be a crime.”

Extracting some kind of value from the data

Despite the chaos that has been delivered to them, we want to tip our hats to the Armentano colleagues at NORML, Who broke the numbers?— although it’s an incomplete set — to draw some notable conclusions about drug-related arrests in the United States last year:

  • Law enforcement seized cannabis and cannabis just over 400,000 times last year – 45% of all drug seizures.
  • That made cannabis the most popular drug seized in the United States in 2021.
  • Police made at least 170,856 marijuana-related arrests in 2021. NORML suspects the actual number is much higher.
  • Texas led the state in the most marijuana-related enforcements and arrests.

Despite the chaotic nature of the data, we can nonetheless conclude that cannabis arrest rates continue to decline overall across the United States, since they peaked with more than 800,000 arrests in 2008. As mentioned by LeaflyArrest rates have fallen by a staggering 36% in 2020 alone.

Let’s hope this trajectory continues, and next year we can all have more confidence in the numbers.

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