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750,000 Arrested for Marijuana – Though Most Americans Want It Legalized

• November 01, 2012 • 9:18 AM

Here are a few numbers that don’t add up. Just-released stats from the FBI show that about three-quarters of a million Americans were arrested on marijuana charges last year—most of them for simple possession, as StoptheDrugWar.org reports. Meanwhile, a brand-new Huffington Post poll finds that nearly 60 percent of Americans want the weed legalized. Okay, you might expect such news from the liberal cabal at HuffPo, but their survey comes on the heels of a Gallup poll that declared 50 percent—the highest total ever—supported legalization.

The gap between public policy and public attitudes is pretty clear on this front. But there’s another disconnect the arrest data makes clear. Of all the 1.5 million arrests made for drug violations, only 6.4 per cent were for illegal sale or possession of prescription drugs, the lowest total for any type of controlled substance. This, despite the fact that prescription pills are by far America’s most dangerous recreational drugs; pill overdoses kill 15,000 people in the U.S. every year—more than heroin and cocaine combined.

Vince Beiser
Vince Beiser is an award-winning journalist based in Los Angeles, California. Follow him on Twitter @vincelb.

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