Sanders Doesn’t Understand Drug Use and Incarceration

Data shows it’s very rare to go to prison for simply smoking marijuana

“We are imprisoning or giving jail sentences to young people who are smoking marijuana.”

Bernie Sanders on Tuesday, October 13th, 2015 in a Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas


  1. The Justice Department periodically carries out surveys of inmates in state and federal correctional facilities, the last of which was from 2004. According to this study, only about three-tenths of 1 percent of state prison inmates were there because of marijuana possession alone, without a more serious charge. (0.3% of state inmates in jail for possession alone).
  1. The data shows that among the roughly 67,600 offenders sentenced to prison in federal criminal cases between Oct. 1, 2011 and Sept. 30, 2012, only 28 of them were incarcerated on drug-possession charges alone — roughly four one-hundredths of 1 percent of all incarcerations. And that includes all drugs, not just marijuana. (0.04% Federal inmates due to all drug possession).
  1. Looked at another way, the same report found that 99.9 percent of those sentenced to federal prison for any drug-related crime during that year-long period were sent to prison for something more serious than simple possession (> 99.96% of Federal inmates are in for something other than smoking marijuana). Read more: Pot Smokers Fill Prisons.

Bernie Sanders says people are getting prison sentences for smoking marijuana = wrong

In California, on 9/30/10 Gov Schwarzenegger signed SB 1449 which made possession up to 1 oz of marijuana an infraction/violation (similar to a ticket, NOT even a misdemeanor). A $100 fine if in possession over 1 oz and NO mandatory court appearance and the infraction WILL NOT appear on a criminal record.

By: P Drum

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