Postscript to this post: A minute or so later, General McCaffrey went on to explain that marijuana possession is effectively a “non-prosecutable offense” today:
This statement seems at odds with the more than 6.2 million arrests since 1990 for simple marijuana possession that a 2006 study analyzed [pdf]. According to that report, arrests for possession of marijuana have actually risen – as the War on Drugs was transformed from a war primarily against heroin and cocaine to one against marijuana. The main reason for this discussed by the report is that marijuana arrests pad arrests statistics, although other studies have measured a discernable increase in violent crimes as a result of every police resource wasted on combating marijuana.
Perhaps what General McCaffrey was referring to was of the enormous number of those arrested for marijuana possession, only a very small number of those arrested, booked, and otherwise put through the system are convicted of or even charged with any crime.