New FBI Marijuana Arrest Data Riddled With Inconsistencies As Agency Touts Changes To Reporting System

October 6, 2022 ·

FBI has spent the past seven years and millions of tax dollars working to update its crime statistics reporting system—and the end result for 2021 data is raising more questions than answers for people tracking drug enforcement trends including marijuana-related arrests.

Still, the agency’s fragmented data on drug criminalization released on Wednesday continues to show that cannabis is the primary driver of the drug war—with marijuana and hashish accounting for almost half of all drug-related seizure incidents, for example.

The transition to FBI’s National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) was meant to provide refined, nationally representative information about crime trends in the U.S., but the new data paints an incomplete picture, particularly as it concerns drug arrests across the U.S. over the last year.

The newly reformatted statistics and terminology don’t clearly depict those arrests, or what percentages are related to cannabis and other substances. And while FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program has historically been limited by the fact that not all local and state law enforcement agencies report their individual data or do so consistently, there are even wider gaps this year.

Just 19 states fully transitioned to NIBRS as of April, with 31 others having only partially made the transition. That seems to fall significantly short of the agency’s goal to have 75 percent of law enforcement on the new program in 2021. (marijuanamoment.net) Full Story

In category:Politics
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