Forty-five percent of drug seizure offenses in 2021 involved the confiscation of either cannabis or hashish, according to data provided by the National Incident-Based Reporting System and reported by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Specifically, the agency reported 885,509 crimes in 2021 involving the seizure of a controlled substance (NIBRS Table 32). Of these, 400,340 involved the seizure of cannabis. Marijuana was far and away the substance most likely to be confiscated in drug-related incidents.
Unlike in past years’ reports, it is unclear how many people were arrested by law enforcement in 2021 for marijuana-related violations. That is because national estimates, for the first time in over five decades, are no longer publicly available from the FBI. However, according to annual arrest statistics archived by NORML, police have made over 28 million cannabis-related arrests since 1965. Annual marijuana-related arrests peaked at over 800,000 per year in 2008 before steadily declining over the past decade.
“At a time when voters and their elected officials nationwide are re-evaluating state and federal marijuana policies, it is inconceivable that government agencies are unable to produce any explicit data on the estimated costs and scope of marijuana prohibition in America,” NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano said. He added, “Nonetheless, it remains clear from the limited data available that marijuana…