Police made at least 227,108 cannabis-related arrests in 2022, according to data compiled by the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer, showing a slight increase in cannabis-related arrests from the 219,489 that were made in 2021.
The 2022 data was released in October and reported by NORML.
“Hundreds of thousands of Americans continue to be arrested annually for these violations even though a majority of voters no longer believe that the responsible use of marijuana by adults should be a crime,” NORML deputy director Paul Armentano said in a press release.
The actual total of marijuana related charges could be much higher as the FBI’s online database only includes data from 83% of law enforcement agencies nationally, representing 75% of the population. The remaining 17% have failed to report their arrest data to the bureau (37% failed to report their 2021 data).
“While there has clearly been a long-term decline in the total number of marijuana-related arrests nationwide, it is discouraging that there still remains significant gaps in the available information,” Armentano said. “At a time when voters and their elected officials nationwide are re-evaluating state and federal marijuana policies, it is inconceivable that government agencies are unable to produce more explicit data on the estimated costs and scope of marijuana prohibition in America.”
Cannabis-related crimes made up about 30% of all drug-related arrests reported by law enforcement for 2022.
Arrests for cannabis-related offenses hit an all-time high in 2007, with more than 870,000 arrests, accounting for about 48% of all drug-related arrests that year.
A total of 23 states and the District of Columbia have legalized adult-use marijuana possession since 2012.