October 22, 2001

1.6 Million Drug Arrests Made in 2000
Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics, Press Release Oct. 22, 2001

According to a report released Monday by the FBI, 1.6 million arrests were made for drug offense violations in the year 2000, a slight increase (0.5 percent) over 1999 figures.

For the sixth straight year, more people were arrested for drug offenses than for any other offense category. In fact, in the year 2000 more people were arrested for drug offenses than for murder, rape, arson, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, and auto theft combined.

The vast majority (81 percent) of drug offense arrests were for personal possession. Just shy of 41 percent of those arrests were for personal possession of marijuana.

“The statistics are appalling for what they say about the government’s skewed priorities,” said Richard Glen Boire, director of the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics (CCLE). 

According to the report, over 1 million Americans were arrested last year for possessing small amounts of drugs for their own personal use; 647,662 of those people possessed marijuana.

“Given that the FBI’s report indicates that roughly 50 percent of all violent crimes go unsolved, it’s time for the Government to reprioritize its resources, stop going after nonviolent drug users, and instead use its police powers to protect the citizenry from violent offenders,” said Boire. “Our drug laws need to be re-written so that they target people who engage in violent or dangerous behavior that harms others. Marijuana users and others who cause no harm to fellow citizens should be left alone. This would free up thousands of police hours which could be used for stopping and solving violent crimes.”

The entire Uniform Crime Report for 2000 can be viewed online at: http://www.fbi.gov/pressrel/pressrel01/cius2000.htm

About the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics
The Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, law and policy center working in the public interest to protect fundamental civil liberties. The Center seeks to foster cognitive liberty – the basic human right to unrestrained independent thinking, including the right to control one’s own mental processes and to experience the full spectrum of possible thought. Web site: http://www.cognitiveliberty.org/ccle/


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