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WIRE: FBI data shows significant decline in marijuana arrests in 2015

Washington, DC — Marijuana-related arrests in the United States have fallen to their lowest levels since the mid-1990s, according to data released this week by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, police made 643,122 arrests for marijuana-related offenses in 2015. Of those arrested, 574,641 (89 percent of all marijuana-related arrests) were charged with marijuana possession only, not cultivation or trafficking.

The 2015 annual arrest total represents more than a 25 percent decline since 2007, when police arrested a record 872,721 Americans for violating marijuana laws.

Since 2012, four states and the District of Columbia have legalized the adult use and possession of personal quantities of cannabis, leading to a dramatic decline in marijuana-related arrests in those jurisdictions.

Like in previous years, marijuana possession arrests were least likely to occur in the western region of the United States, where state laws have largely legalized or decriminalized minor marijuana possession offenses.

According to 2016 nationwide survey data compiled by the Associated Press, some six out of ten Americans now say that the adult use of marijuana should be legally regulated.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org.

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