Billions of Dollars Wasted on Racially Biased Arrests

Here are the facts from the American Civil Liberties Union. A nonprofit organization whose stated mission is “to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.”

Over-Policing: Between 2001 and 2010, there were over 8 million pot arrests in the U.S. That’s one bust every 37 seconds and hundreds of thousands ensnared in the criminal justice system.

Wasted Time and Money: Enforcing marijuana laws costs us about $3.6 billion a year, yet the War on Marijuana has failed to diminish the use or availability of marijuana.

Staggering Racial Bias: Marijuana use is roughly equal among Blacks and whites, yet Blacks are 3.73 times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession.

Update (09/11/2013): In the original version of this report, the Minnesota dollar figure under “Money spent enforcing marijuana possession laws in 2010” on page 158 was mistakenly printed as $94,838,792. The correct figure is $42,071,288. We apologize for the error and have made the correction in the online version of the report.

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