Marijuana by the Numbers

Examining hashish by means of the obtainable knowledge provides us certainty. Numbers are exact. Statistics settle arguments and assist place points into context. So we’re taking a better take a look at hashish knowledge when it comes to arrests, use, cultivation, availability and consumption to seek out out what the numbers inform us about marijuana in the United States.

According to the annual National Drug Threat Assessment (NDTA), which is put collectively by federal regulation enforcement, “Marijuana is the most widely available and commonly used illicit drug in the United States.” This article seems extra intently at simply what that assertion means.

The knowledge on this article was all produced by the federal authorities. In that respect, it additionally reveals what info the authorities has about marijuana and marijuana customers. The fact is that the authorities is aware of how many individuals use marijuana, that prohibition has not lowered and even managed marijuana use, and that the objective of utilizing prohibition to discourage marijuana use is a delusion. The authorities can also be conscious that underneath prohibition the United States has grow to be the premier producer of marijuana in the world, setting the international commonplace for hashish cultivation. Just about anybody in the United States who needs marijuana can discover it simply, and what they discover is usually of the highest high quality. The authorities additionally is aware of that the unfold of hashish legalization is draining prohibition of any credible justification for its continued existence.

Arrests and Use

Marijuana by the Numbers

Roxanna Allen

In the United States, hashish legalization started to be carried out in 2013. The legal penalties ended by state legalization and decriminalization accounted for about 20 % of annual marijuana arrests from 2001 to 2010.

In 2007, 872,720 complete marijuana arrests have been made nationwide. That’s the largest variety of marijuana arrests ever made in a yr. Taking these 872,720 arrests as a place to begin, the elimination of 20 % of those because of modifications in state legal guidelines offers a baseline of 698,176 arrests. Thus the common variety of arrests for 2015-16 of almost 648,185 represents only a 7 % discount in marijuana arrests nationwide from 2007 and only a 5 % discount from 2010, the second-largest yr for marijuana arrests (853,839).

The common variety of annual marijuana arrests from 2001 to 2010 was 799,641. Reducing this by 20 % to account for current reform efforts that remove felony penalties supplies a baseline of 639,713 annual arrests. Compared to this baseline, the common variety of arrests for 2015-16 represents a rise of 1.three %. Marijuana arrests immediately are primarily at the similar degree as they have been a decade in the past.

By 2016, over 118 million Americans had used marijuana at the very least as soon as of their lifetime. There have been 37.6 million annual marijuana customers in 2016, of which 24 million had used marijuana in the previous month (and are thought-about common customers of hashish). In 2016, annual marijuana use was reported by 13.9 % of Americans, up from 11.5 % in 2011. Past-month use elevated from 7 % in 2011 to eight.9 % in 2016.

As famous above, legalization has eliminated the menace of arrest for hundreds of thousands of marijuana customers. Thus, whereas the variety of arrests in non-legalization states has remained about the similar because it was 10 years in the past, the variety of annual marijuana customers has elevated by about eight million, and the variety of common customers has elevated by about six million. So what does this say about the effectiveness of prohibition?

First, it’s useful to have some context right here with respect to the extent that numerous crimes end in arrests. The technical designation is “offenses cleared by arrest,” which simply means “arrested.” Second, such knowledge must be checked out when it comes to deterrence. There are two methods to take a look at this. Specific deterrence considerations the influence of arrest on the individual arrested; the challenge is the extent to which an arrest for a criminal offense discourages or prevents a person from committing that crime in the future. General deterrence considerations the impression of a possible arrest on different offenders; the prospect of arrest ought to discourage others from breaking the regulation. In 2016, about 45 % of violent crimes reported to the police have been cleared by arrest. The highest clearance proportion was for homicide, with 59.four % of murders leading to an arrest. Other clearance percentages for violent crime are as follows: rape (35.6 %), theft (29.6 %) and aggravated assault (53.three %). For property crime, the clearance percentages are a lot decrease, 18.three % general, with 13.1 % for housebreaking, 20.four % for larceny and 13.three % for motor-vehicle theft.

In 2011, there have been 29.7 million annual customers of marijuana. Of these hashish customers, 742,657 have been arrested (solely 2.5 %). There might be no argument that this arrest degree is efficient in deterring individuals from utilizing marijuana when this determine is in contrast with the clearance proportion of violent and property crimes.

Worse, when it comes to the effectiveness of prohibition, the proportion of marijuana customers arrested by police has been steadily reducing over the final a number of years. This is not any shock, as a number of states have stopped arresting individuals for hashish use. But when it comes to nationwide prohibition, the upkeep of arrest ranges in non-legalization states is just not enough to take care of the general impression of this coverage. The proportion of marijuana customers arrested underneath prohibition legal guidelines has been reducing from 2.5 % in 2011 to 2.1 % in 2012 and 2013, right down to 2 % in 2014 and now down to only 1.6 % in 2015 and 2016.


Marijuana by the Numbers

Roxanna Allen

In 2015, there have been 213,001 admissions to remedy providers for which marijuana was the main substance of abuse, down from 352,396 in 2011 (a discount of almost 40 %). According to the Treatment Episodes Data Set from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, marijuana accounted for 13.9 % of remedy admissions in 2015, in contrast with 18.2 % in 2011. However, 51.four % of marijuana-treatment admissions have been a results of a referral from the criminal-justice system—most of those people had entered a drug-treatment program as a situation of probation, parole or different courtroom directive. Furthermore, over half (54 %) of marijuana admissions concerned a number of different substances, incessantly alcohol and/or cocaine in addition to methamphetamine.

Just over 85 % of remedy admissions got some type of outpatient remedy. Only 45.2 % of all marijuana-treatment admissions have been recognized with hashish dependency, in accordance with skilled medical requirements. Another 31.eight % have been recognized with cannabis-abuse issues. While this means that many marijuana-related remedy admissions had a medical foundation for remedy, 23 % (about 49,000) of them didn’t. To summarize some key statistics right here, out of 213,001 remedy admissions for marijuana, simply over 109,000 individuals have been referred to remedy by the courts, near 76,000 had not used marijuana in the final month and 49,000 had no medical foundation indicating an issue with marijuana use.

Also of observe, 41.1 % of marijuana admissions for remedy weren’t coated by medical insurance and one other 39.four % have been coated by Medicaid. In instances the place a person had no insurance coverage, his or her remedy was often paid for by some type of authorities cost. Consequently, most individuals in drug remedy for marijuana have been there as an alternative choice to incarceration, with many agreeing to enter remedy even when they didn’t have medical drawback with abuse or dependency, and most of the value of this follow was paid for by taxpayers.

Cultivation, Availability and Consumption

Marijuana by the Numbers

Roxanna Allen

In 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) seized 5,348,922 marijuana crops in the United States. Of these, four,942,797 have been from outside develop websites whereas 406,125 have been from indoor develop websites. Agents raided 5,528 outside develop websites and 1,865 indoor websites. The DEA’s Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program made 5,657 arrests and seized belongings valued at near $52 million. These figures have been similar to the previous 5 years. While arrests have been down in recent times, general plant seizures elevated in 2016 from the prior five-year common of four.7 million. The variety of indoor websites raided in 2016 was under the prior five-year common of two,676, however the variety of indoor crops seized was higher than the five-year common of 378,995.

Asset seizure elevated considerably in contrast with the prior five-year common of $32 million.

Most of the DEA plant seizures in 2016 have been in California (71 %) and Kentucky (10 %). Other states of curiosity, with over 100,00 crops seized, have been Texas, Tennessee and West Virginia. California additionally had the most indoor develop websites seized (643), adopted by Michigan (207), Indiana (164), Florida (152) and Kentucky (95).

The NDTA stories that 80 % of responding businesses rated marijuana availability as excessive, and 16 % rated availability as average. Availability elevated over the previous yr in 34 % of those jurisdictions, whereas 61 % reported it was about the similar. Demand additionally elevated in 29 % of the jurisdictions.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health stories that in 2015, 56 % of Americans discovered marijuana was pretty or very straightforward to acquire. This determine elevated to 71 % for these in the 18-to-25 age group. However, amongst annual marijuana customers, 89.four % report that marijuana was pretty or very straightforward to get.

The 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) studies that solely 17.1 % of marijuana customers purchased marijuana from somebody they only met or didn’t know properly. Over three-fourths (77.6 %) purchased marijuana from a good friend, and 5.four % purchased marijuana from a relative or member of the family. Marijuana was most frequently purchased inside a house, condo or dorm (51.7 %), whereas 17 % purchased marijuana outdoors in a public space or parking zone. However, a follow-up query with extra detailed choices offered extra element about pot purchases as 18 % responded that they purchased it in a medical marijuana dispensary or membership. Most individuals weren’t capable of purchase marijuana close to the place they lived, with 42.7 % reporting that they might achieve this and 57.2 % reporting buying it some place else. Almost all respondents (95.three %) didn’t promote any marijuana from what they most just lately bought. On the different hand, 52.9 % reported sharing or giving a few of their final pot buy to somebody. Most marijuana shoppers (66.2 %) purchased between one and fewer than 5 grams throughout their most up-to-date buy, with 26.four % reporting a purchase order of 5 to lower than 10 grams and seven.four % reporting a purchase order of 10 grams or extra.

Additionally, the 2015 NSDUH reported that 2,297,279 Americans 18 years and older bought unlawful medicine together with 339,488 youngsters—bringing the complete variety of estimated US drug sellers to 2.6 million.

As of February 1, 2016, the NDTA was conscious of 1,473 licensed medical-marijuana companies in Colorado. It notes that, at the time, 25 states and Washington, DC, had permitted medical marijuana. In 2016, federal regulation enforcement was additionally monitoring legalized marijuana in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Washington, DC, in addition to protecting monitor of state approval for cannabidiol (CBD) in 17 states and industrial hemp in 27 states.

Federal regulation enforcement, in on the lookout for new problems with concern relating to marijuana cultivation, stories in the 2016 NDTA that “Electricity and water consumption are increasing in some localities due to increasing domestic cultivation from both state-approved and illicit grows. A 2012 study estimated the energy consumption for indoor cannabis production is around one percent of national electricity use, or $6 billion each year. This study also claims that one average kilogram of final marijuana product is associated with 4,600 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. Open source reporting shows that more than 1,200 licensed growing facilities use roughly half of Colorado’s new power demands and, last year, those facilities combined to use about the same amount of energy as 35,000 households.”

Another concern of federal regulation enforcement has been the growing efficiency of marijuana. In 2014, its testing of seized samples of marijuana indicated a mean efficiency of 12 % with the highest degree reported to be 37 %. In 1995, the common efficiency was simply three.95 %. The common THC degree of concentrates in 2014 was 55 %, in comparison with 13 % in 1995. Some focus seizures have examined above 82 % THC.

According to the NDTA, the United States consumes between 4 and eight million kilograms of marijuana annually, with appreciable commercial- and low-grade marijuana being imported from Mexico (although imported marijuana is now acknowledged as inferior to domestically produced marijuana). “In 2015, ArcView, a market research firm for investors in the state-approved marijuana industries, reported $5.4 billion dollars in state-approved marijuana sales in the United States, up from $4.6 billion dollars the previous year.”

The Future

Marijuana by the Numbers

Roxanna Allen

One space during which the federal authorities has it utterly proper considerations the way forward for marijuana in the United States. According to the NDTA, “Domestic use of marijuana will remain high and is likely to increase. Domestic production and trafficking of marijuana will likely increase as more states adopt relaxed marijuana laws.” The feds consider state legality might be exploited to supply marijuana on the market in different states; whereas they might be hard-pressed to confess it, this is only one extra argument for nationwide legalization.

The NDTA additionally forecasts ongoing trafficking of Mexican marijuana, and that imported marijuana will improve in high quality to compete higher with domestically grown hashish. “Fragmented and developing medical and personal use laws” create a variety of uncertainty for the public and for the marijuana business, and this makes the concern far more difficult and sophisticated for everybody concerned, together with the public, regulation enforcement, monetary establishments and the medical group. But one factor is for certain, and on this the marijuana group and federal regulation enforcement are in complete settlement: “Marijuana will remain a part of domestic and international political discussions for the foreseeable future.”

This function has been revealed in High Times’ journal, subscribe proper right here.


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