Total U.S. Marijuana Arrests on the Rise Again

Despite adult-use legalization in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Washington, DC, marijuana arrests rose nationally in 2016 by 1.5%, according to the FBI's latest Uniform Crime Report

Here's the seven-year breakdown:

2016 - 653,249 (arrests up 1.5%)

2015 - 643,121 (arrests down 8%)

2014 - 700,993 (arrests up 1%)

2013 - 693,058 (arrests down 8%)

2012 - 749, 825 (arrests down 1%)

2011 - 757,969 (arrests down 13%)

2010 - 853,638

The good news is that pot arrrests have declined 24% since 2010. Generally, 88% of all such arrests are for possession, and 12% are for manufacturing and sales.

“Arresting people for a substance that is objectively safer than alcohol is a travesty,” says Morgan Fox, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Despite a steady shift in public opinion away from marijuana prohibition, and the growing number of states that are regulating marijuana like alcohol, marijuana consumers continue to be treated like criminals throughout the country. This is a shameful waste of resources and can create lifelong consequences for the people arrested.”

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.