September 14, 2011 – California reported a moderate decline in marijuana arrests in 2010, according to the latest figures from the Criminal Justice Statistics Center.
There were 16,585 felony and 54,849 misdemeanor marijuana arrests, down from 17,008 and 61,164 respectively in 2009. This marks the second year in a row that arrests have declined, after posting a recent high in 2008.
Hispanics accounted for 35% of felonies and 42% of misdemeanors; blacks for 25% of felonies and 16% of misdemeanors; and whites for 33% of felonies and 36% of misdemeanors. Males accounted for 90% of the felonies and 87% of the misdemeanors.
Total drug felony arrests in the state increased slightly to 179,034, due to a jump in the number of arrests for dangerous drugs to 63,983 from 56,384 in 2009. Narcotics arrests (which include heroin and cocaine) declined from 43.956 in 2009 to 39,563 in 2010.
As of Dec 31, 2010, there were 1401 inmates in state prison for marijuana felonies, according to the California Department of Corrections.