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More People Got Arrested For Pot Than Violent Crimes In 2015

There's an average of one marijuana possession arrest every 55 seconds.

By Stephanie Liebergen | October 12, 2016

More people were arrested for marijuana possession last year than all violent crimes combined. 

That's according to a new report from Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union. The groups looked at drug arrests, convictions and sentences around the country. 

SEE MORE: Marijuana Legalization Initiatives Could Inject $7.8B Into The Economy

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To personalize the numbers in the nearly 200 page report, the group shared stories from from people affected by the nation's drug laws in Louisiana, Texas, Florida and New York.

Based on their calculations, there's an average of one marijuana possession arrest every 55 seconds. And the cost of those arrests — from policing to the legal and corrections systems — is over $1,000 every minute. 

When considering all drug arrests, their data found state law enforcement officials make more than 1.25 million drug arrests for possession each year. 

The study is trying to prove the criminal justice system needs major reform — something that's supported by the Obama administration. 

SEE MORE: The DEA Still Isn't Easing Up On Medical Marijuana Restrictions

The report includes suggestions for all levels of the criminal justice system, including decriminalizing the possession of all drugs for personal use.  

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