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Number of US Arrests for Cannabis Related Offences Fell in 2022

The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) arrested fewer people for cannabis-related offences in 2022 than 2021, as legalisation efforts continue to spread across the country.

According to the DEA’s annual ‘Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program Statistical Report’, the number of cannabis-related arrests fell 24% from 6601 in 2021 to 5061 in 2022.

Despite the fall in arrests, the number of seizures rose by around 3% over the same period, seeing 5.7m illegal cannabis plants confiscated, while around 37k THC-infused edibles and around 60k cannabis concentrates were also taken.

Ganjapreneur reported that the DEA was ‘responsible for the eradication of 4,435,859 illegally cultivated outdoor cannabis plants and 1,245,980 illegally cultivated indoor plants for a total of 5,681,839 illegally cultivated marijuana plants. The program also removed 2,840 weapons from cannabis cultivators.’

These represented the highest number of cannabis plant seizures since 2011, with the DEA reporting around $45m in assets were seized in 2022, though this was considerably less than the $103m seized in 2021.

Morgan Fox, the political director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) said in a statement: “The reasons we are still seeing relatively high levels of marijuana eradication and interdiction are simple.

“Despite considerable state-level progress, more than half of all US states continue to ban regulated adult-use cannabis markets.

“Furthermore, the federal government over taxes state-licensed cannabis businesses and makes it extremely difficult for them to access basic financial services so that they can better compete with unregulated operators.”

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