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Are prisons packed with people arrested for marijuana possession?

You may have heard people talk about the War on Drugs and how all it's really done is pack the prisons full of people who were picked up on marijuana possession charges. Is this true, or is it a myth? Are prisons really overcrowded because of this one common drug?

Certainly, tens of thousands of people are arrested and jailed for marijuana charges. However, the problem of prison overcrowding is perhaps not quite as bad as some would make it out to be.

Statistics show that around 750,000 people get arrested annually in the United States for marijuana offenses.

That being said, most of them don't wind up behind bars. Many never face prosecution. Even those who do may not go to jail over possession charges alone.

Statistically speaking, around 40,000 people in federal and state prisons have been convicted of marijuana charges. Of that, around half of then only were convicted due to marijuana. Most people who do end up in jail have other charges as well.

Even of those who only have marijuana charges, most do not have possession charges. They have distribution charges. Reports claim that those behind bars for marijuana possession and nothing else make up under 1 percent.

So, what happens to those who are convicted and don't get jail time? They can still face punishments, such as probation and/or monetary fines.

No matter what type of drug charges you're facing, it's important to know all of your legal defense options. Remember that certain convictions can stick with you for life and have a drastic impact on your future, even if you don't go to jail.

Source: Rolling Stone, "Myth: Prisons are full of people in for marijuana possession," Julian Brookes, accessed Oct. 20, 2017

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