The total number of persons arrested in the United States for violating cannabis laws rose for the third consecutive year, according to data released by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, police made 663,367 arrests for cannabis-related violations in 2018. That total is more than 21 percent higher than the total number of persons arrested for the commission of violent crimes (521,103). Of those arrested for cannabis crimes, some 90 percent (608,776) were arrested for cannabis possession offenses only.

“Police across America make a [cannabis]-related arrest every 48 seconds,” NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri said. “At a time when the overwhelming majority of Americans want cannabis to be legal and regulated, it is an outrage that many police departments across the country continue to waste tax dollars and limited law enforcement resources on arresting otherwise law-abiding citizens for simple [cannabis] possession.”

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