Pot by Numbers

The Roar Meter is a weekly story in numbers.

  • First state to legalize medical marijuana usage: California, in 1996
  • Number of states that now have comprehensive laws legalizing medical marijuana usage: 29 plus D.C., Guam, and Puerto Rico
  • Number of states with limited usage laws allowing some medical marijuana usage: 17
  • Number of states with legalized recreational marijuana: 8
  • Number of states where marijuana possession is a misdemeanor: 13
  • Number of states where marijuana possession is a felony: 2
    • Wisconsin is a misdemeanor for first offense and felony for second
  • Number of states where marijuana sale is a misdemeanor: 3
  • Number of states where marijuana sale is a felony: 11
    • In many states sale of marijuana is illegal but the severity of the criminal charges depend on the amount of marijuana or other factors.
  • Percentage of drug-related arrests in 2010 that were for marijuana: 52
  • Marijuana arrests from 2001-2010: 7 million
  • Marijuana usage by white 18-25 year olds: about 30%
  • Marijuana usage by black 18-25 year olds: about 25%
  • Likelihood of being arrested for marijuana related charges if you are black vs white: four times higher
    • In Iowa, D.C., Minnesota, and Illinois, black people are as much as 8.5 times likelier than whites to be arrested on marijuana charges
  • Amount spent yearly to enforce marijuana laws: $3,613,969,972

Annika Barranti Klein is a writer, knitter, women’s banked track roller derby referee, and radical homeschooling mother. Her work has appeared at The Toast, The Establishment, and on Book Riot. She is a cis, white, bi-furious intersectional feminist.

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