The FBI has just released its Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) data for 2012, which complies arrest data for the whole of the USA. While the numbers have not changed much from the year before, the absolute numbers are stunning and I doubt most Americans are aware of how elevated and skewed they actually are.
The most stunning figure is that law enforcement made an estimated 12.2 million arrests in 2012. That’s an arrest almost every two seconds of every single day. That’s straight up horrifying. Of these arrests, only 521,196 were for violent crimes.
This is where the war on drugs really proves itself as a complete and total ridiculous failure and waste of money and resources, not to mention the fact that it destroys the lives of individuals and communities for no good reason.
Let’s get into some details on the drug war. The total number of drug arrests in 2012 was 1.56 million, and an an absolutely absurd 82% of those arrests were for possession alone, as opposed to sales/manufacturing. It gets even crazier. Of the total drug related arrests, a shocking 42% were for mere marijuana possession, a substance that my adopted home state of Colorado has just legalized along with Washington. So an American is arrested for marijuana possession every 48 seconds in this country. This is a complete and total disgrace and needs to change immediately. It’s also a large reason why the United States has 5% of the World’s Population, yet 25% of its Prisoners.
For access to the FBI’s raw data on this, click here.
Follow me on Twitter!