In 2010 a grand total of 784,021 Americans were arrested for marijuana possession. According to the ACLU, that's 45.7 percent of all drug arrests. The advocacy organization estimated national pot policing costs at more than $1.7 billion in 2010, with an added $1.37 in state-incurred court and legal costs and $496 million in pot punishment-related costs.
"The aggressive enforcement of marijuana possession laws needlessly ensnares hundreds of thousands of people in the criminal justice system, crowds our jails, is carried out in a racially biased manner, wastes millions of taxpayers' dollars and has not reduced marijuana use or availability," the ACLU report concludes. "Marijuana possession arrests also waste precious police resources and divert law enforcement from responding to and solving serious crimes. It is time for marijuana possession arrests to end."