News Release: Marijuana Prohibition A Failure – ACLU Report Confirms

ACLU report on marijuana prohibition confirms failure in “Black and White”

Atlanta GA: June 6, 2013 – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has just released a sobering report on the impact of marijuana prohibition and concluded the policy of arresting citizens for possession has been a huge failure.  Furthermore, the ACLU has called for an end to marijuana prohibition.

The report, “The War on Marijuana in Black and White”, is the first of its kind. They reviewed a decade of data on marijuana arrests and found that between 2001 and 2010, there were over 8 million marijuana arrests in the United States, 88% of which were for possession. Marijuana arrests have increased between 2001 and 2010 and now account for over half (52%) of all drug arrests in the United States, and marijuana possession arrests account for nearly half (46%) of all drug arrests. In 2010, there was one marijuana arrest every 37 seconds, and states spent combined over $3.6 billion enforcing marijuana possession laws. The report also finds that, on average, a Black person is 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than a white person, even though Blacks and whites use marijuana at similar rates.

Not only has prohibition caused racial injustice, it has cost taxpayers billions of dollars that could have been used to truly address the issues of drug abuse and crime.

Georgia CARE (Campaign for Access, Reform & Education) is working to reform Georgia’s draconian marijuana laws and has called on the Georgia General Assembly to introduce legislation allowing medical use of marijuana as well as decriminalization measures.

“The report confirms what advocates for reform have been saying for decades. Marijuana law enforcement does more harm than the plant itself”, said James Bell director of Georgia CARE.  “We can no longer ignore the impact of prohibition. We must change these laws and stop arresting otherwise law abiding citizens. “

Georgia CARE will continue building a reform coalition and a lobbying campaign this summer and plans to introduce reform legislation in the 2014 legislative session.

A Guide to Georgia’s Marijuana Laws by NORML

NORML: A Voice for Responsible Marijuana Smokers

Since its founding in 1970, NORML has provided a voice in the public policy debate for those Americans who oppose marijuana prohibition and favor an end to the practice of arresting marijuana smokers. A nonprofit public-interest advocacy group, NORML represents the interests of the tens of millions of Americans who smoke marijuana responsibly.



Personal Use

1 oz or less misdemeanor 1 year $ 1,000
More than 1 oz felony 1 – 10 years $ 0

With intent to distribute

10 lbs or less felony 1 – 10 years $ 0
10 – 2000 lbs felony 5 – 30 years $ 100,000
2000 – 10,000 lbs felony 7 – 30 years $ 250,000
More than 10,000 lbs felony 15 – 30 years $ 1,000,000
Within 1,000 feet of school grounds, a park, or a housing project, or in a drug free zone felony 20 -40 years $ 40,000