I find it fascinating that some people seem to believe that it is okay to imprison thousands of people for marijuana possession. A study in Florida found that 1800 people had been imprisoned for marijuana possession over the past 3 years in one county (Orange County). Who cares that 75% of people are not charged, or do not go to prison for drug possession. That's still 600 people/year that the tax payers pay to keep in jail for a crime that hurts no one. Not to mention the fact that those folks cannot receive pell grants in the future, they have a permanent criminal record that will hold them back forever, and become a new reason for police harassment and imprisonment in the future. This sounds like a big deal to me.
“Fact: About 750,000 people are arrested every year for marijuana offenses in the U.S. There's a lot of variation across states in what happens next. Not all arrests lead to prosecutions, and relatively few people prosecuted and convicted of simple possession end up in jail. Most are fined or are placed into community supervision. About 40,000 inmates of state and federal prison have a current conviction involving marijuana, and about half of them are in for marijuana offenses alone; most of these were involved in distribution. Less than one percent are in for possession alone.”
Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/lists/top-10-marijuana-myths-and-facts-20120822/myth-prisons-are-full-of-people-in-for-marijuana-possession-19691231#ixzz2N4APexqM
This article states that number of people in jail for possession alone is less than one percent – 1%. Let’s do the math, one percent multiplied by 750,000 marijuana arrests (750,000 multiplied by .01) equals 7,500 people.
xxXChelsea, an 18 year-old member claims that 45 million have been locked up since the Drug War began in over 40 years since Nixon was in office; she cite no data sources as proof.
According to the study done by Rolling Stones, one percent or about 7,500 are put in jail annually for simple possession. Let’s do the math, 7,500 annually divided into 45,000,000 (45 million). 45,000,000/7,500 per year equals 6,000. That is, it would take 6,000 years to put 45 million people in jail for simple possession of marijuana. But, xxXChelsea is saying that 45 million have been locked up since the Drug War began 40 years ago for all types of drug offenses.
But, the Rolling Stones article is only about marijuana. Let’s see if we can find out how many people are in jail for drug offenses.
One study says a total of 331,600 were in US Prisons for drug offenses (94,600 Federal and 237,000 State).
Another study has 108,000 in federal prisons, 280,000 in state prisons (excluding California) and 171,161 in California for a total of 559,161 in jail or prison.
For arguments sake, let’s take the 559,161 and assume that that many people are put in jail or prison each year for drug related offenses; even though less than . How many years would it take to get 45 million people in jail? It would take 80 years (45,000,000 divided by 559,161).
But, the fact is that much fewer than 559,161 are arrested and put in jail each year for drug offenses. But, many drug users like to spread MYTHS about how many are put in jail for drug offenses, e.g., 45 million since Nixon in 1969, which is about 44 years ago.
If there is one single person serving prison time for marijuana there is one too many. Regardless if the prison is "full" of people with minor marijuana infractions. The fact is that "marijuana infractions" should not exist. Why are people still arguing about this? Just decriminalize it and let them go. If they belong in prison they will make there way back there another way.
People are arrested, tried, and detained daily for possession, consumption, and sale of marijuana. It is getting less as the years go on as people are starting to stand up for themselves. When you live this, it's more than a far off statistic that I happen to read from the US Census Bureau.
As of 2011, 757,969 people were ARRESTED for marijuana compared with 853,839 as of 2010.
Regardless of how big or "teensy" the ratio of marijuana related offenses is compared to other criminal drug offenses does not matter. Anyone in jail for a marijuana related offense, and ONLY a marijuana related offense, should immediately be pardoned from jail.
A guy was in jail for a felony because his friend had a joint in his pocket in his house within 500 yards of a school and he got jail time plus 4 years of probation, not to mention the felony on his record. Also he recently failed a UA for THC and is currently serving 9 months in jail with no bail... This is in Texas and he is currently in jail.
The government spends way more money on the: prison, law and military and far to less on nature. The government could: use select tree cutting method instead of clear cut or just use hemp paper. Get the people under pot charges out of jail do they can get back to their job and family. Vote for green party!!!
Something like 40% of criminals incarcerated in America are there for non-violent drug offences. Maybe not all of them for some weed, alot of meth, heroin and coke as well, but either way they only hurt themselves really....Now I know this might sound crazy to you right wingers but its time to change an ancient law
I remember watching a documentary explaining the benefits of a full prison system. Something like 40% of criminals incarcerated in America are there for non-violent drug offences. Maybe not all of them for some weed, alot of meth, heroin and coke as well, but either way they only hurt themselves really....
I only chose 'yes' because 60-70k people in prison for possession alone is insane. I wouldn't go so far as to say the prisons are 'full of people' but I think that phrase was used as a 'shock' rather than to actually mean that the prisons are wall-to-wall with possession prisoners.
Page 5 and 6, table 3 and 4 will lay it out for everyone to see.
Also, for more wonderful statistics on drugs and the war against behavior, check out this (which is also a book):
This is complete with academically accepted citations (most of them come from the government's own website).
Don't rely on rhetoric to form your opinions, get the facts, and get them from the people harming us as their numbers might actually be skewed to show less than there actually is.
I clicked 'yes' to this, but only because there are far too many people in prison for possession. But, the statement "full of people" is false, because, according to the DoJ, only 4% of total incarcerations were for possession alone (pg 5 -6 http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/p12tar9112.pdf#sthash.kiWh5IO1.dpuf ).
The fact that this equates to 67k prisoners for possession is still staggering. That is far too many people. One might also suggest that there are some jails that are full of people for marijuana possession, but that would be a hard thing to find - a lot of data to sift through. Nonetheless, my answer goes to 'yes'.
I think Rolling Stone magazine is doing what most magazines do best. Promote and sensationalize stories to sell more magazines. There are something like 2.5 million people in jail in the United States. Maybe more. The statistic I read was from 2008. Even if it was something like 750,000 marijuana related prisoners we are only at 33%. That is hardly "Full" from marijuana possession. Plus I didn't see a break down of how many are in jail for having only a small personal use amount compared to a large quantity with intent to sell. I am sure the stats are out there, but I doubt there are a ton of people in jail for having a couple joints. I know many of my friends have been pulled over with just a small amount and the worst they got was a court appearance. Now I do still believe marijuana should be legal and controlled just like alcohol. It wouldn't hurt if our jails were less crowded and then even if people were in jail for marijuana it would be because they are doing something that is a bigger deal. Like selling to kids or skipping out on taxes :)
This is making it sound like the majority of the people in jail are there only because they were either carrying or distributing marijuana. This is not the case. Many times people are stopped for other reasons and the police find marijuana (or other substances on them) which increases the penalty. Not only this, but many times when involving drugs of any kind, violence is also involved. The prison system also holds people for burglaries, rape, murder and other heinous crimes.
One thing people often forget to cite with their studies is that not only do the overwhelming majority of these inmates have possession as a charge they also have "with intent to distribute or sell" the product. There are also a number of factors that they refuse to cite such as the inmate had MULTIPLE other previous arrests or that the individual was growing in large quantities. They also forget to cite that some of these individuals had illegal firearms on their person when arrested. The majority of people who get picked up for Possession alone are let off with fines or community service. I was even in court one time a few years ago where a judge let off a guy for possession and said to him, the court is going to cite you with having a broken taillight. I sh-t you not, this happened in court. I was baffled. Regardless, the prison system is not Full of people who only have a possession charge. There are multiple things to consider and that is why they are in jail.
I work with a lot of cops and nearly all tell me they don't waste their time when it's just pot. But 99% of the time it's not just pot. It's meth, coke, prescription meds, stolen goods, or some super high idiot spouting off about his constitutional rights.
Don't be a jerk. Cops are people too. Don't try to drive with your knees when you're sprarking up a bowl in the fast lane and then blame it on your Grateful Dead bumper sticker when you get pulled over.
There are a lot of people in prison for drug offenses, but it is to my knowledge that it is more for cocaine or crack than for marijuana. We do need to reform our drug policies as well as length of prison sentences, but I don't think marijuana is a majority of the problem.
Often when someone is convicted of a crime they are given a suspended sentence and probation. If they are stupid enough to carry or smoke pot while on probation and they get caught, they have violated the terms of their probation and they now have to go to prison to serve their original sentence (for a different crime -- NOT marijuana possession) which had previously been suspended. It is a complete misrepresentation of facts to say they are in prison for the marijuana possession.
People get arrested and convicted on other charges and then they are sometimes given a suspended sentence and probation with conditions. While on probation they must abstain from using illegal drugs. If they are stupid enough to use marijuana and fail a drug test while on probation then they violate their probation and go to prison to server their original sentence for the crime they committed in the first place (which was NOT marijuana possession). To say they went to prison for marijuana possession or use is a complete misrepresentation of the facts.
These types of convictions would overburden our prison system. There are just too many cases of this type of violation. With no intention to distribute or use in a motor vehicle it is useless to consider these people criminals. I just had this discussion with my Bible study group where some people thought it necessary to legalize this drug in order to prevent such convictions. I don't believe that really happens!