What's worse, the fact there was one pot-related arrest every 42 seconds across the U.S. in 2011 or that it was actually a marked decrease in the frequency of nationwide pot busts from the previous year?
According to the latest annual FBI Uniform Crime Report data, there were 757,969 total pot busts in 2011 – with more than 87 percent for possession – down from 853,838 pot arrests in 2010.
There was a drug-related arrest every 21 seconds last year (1,531,251 total) and nearly half of those arrests were for marijuana.
Of all 2011 drug arrests, 18.2 percent were for sales/manufacturing and 81.8 were for possession. Of those, 6.2 percent of the sales/manufacturing busts and an incredible 43.3 percent of the possession arrests were for pot.
By region, the Midwest and its harsher pot laws recorded the highest percent of busts for both pot sales and possession. The relatively liberal and medical pot friendly West easily had the lowest percent of busts for possession but surprisingly the notoriously anti-pot South had the lowest percentage of sales/manufacturing arrests. The Northeast fell in between the two extremes in both categories.
Hopefully as the number of Americans who use pot increases, the arrest numbers will continue declining, aided by city and state decriminalization, medical po,t and recreational legalization efforts.