CA NORML Costs of Prohibition


CALIFORNIA ARREST STATISTICS - 2002*

From National NORML Report:
Crimes of Indiscretion: Marijuana Arrests in the United States (Mar 2005)

Marijuana Arrest Total = 60,111
State Ranking = #1

Marijuana Arrest Per 100,000 = 171.18 (national average = 239)
State Ranking = #41

Marijuana Sales Arrest Total = 12,123
Marijuana Sales Arrests Per 100,000 = 34.52

COUNTIES WITH HIGHEST ARREST RATE PER 100,000 (1=Highest)
1. Alpine (2,955.27)
2. Sierra (759.84)
3. Humboldt (442.19)
4. Plumas (440.04)
5. Trinity (437.04)

County with the highest number of marijuana-related arrests (2002): Los Angeles = 15,797

COUNTIES WITH LOWEST ARREST RATE PER 100,000 (1=Lowest)
1. San Benito (96.03)
2. Tulare (103.53)
3. Mono (105.06)
4. San Mateo (105.98)
5. San Joaquin (108.68)

NOTES OF SPECIAL INTEREST

Racial Disparity

In California, African Americans are arrested on marijuana possession charges in disparate numbers. In 2002, white citizens were arrested at a rate of 134 per 100,000 as compared to 391 for African Americans. This trend carried over to the adult population arrested on marijuana possession charges with whites being arrested at a rate of 143 per 100,000 as compared to 335 for African American adults.

Per capita, African Americans as compared to whites in California are arrested at a 5:1 ratio on marijuana sales charges
African Americans are disproportionately arrested on marijuana sales charges in California demonstrated by African Americans being arrested at a rate of 209 per 100,000 as compared to 32 for whites. This trend carried over to the adult population arrested on marijuana sales charges with white adults being arrested at a rate of 29 per 100,000 as compared to 163 for African American adults.

Notable trends in state/county arrests

Like most states, in CA the age group that is arrested on marijuana possession charges at the highest rate are ages 15-19 (38% of marijuana possession arrests) and 20-24 (25% of marijuana possession arrests).

Marijuana arrests as a Percentage of Drug Arrests vs. Percentage of all arrests (2002)
26% vs. 5%

Economics
Taxpayers1 costs to enforce marijuana laws in California = $1 Billion**

*Based on 2002 data
**Compiled from 2000 data


CA NORML 2261 Market St. #278-A San Francisco CA 94114 (415) 563-5858 canorml@canorml.org