Answer: 0.1% of state prisoners are being held for marijuana possession only.

In total, one tenth of one percent (0.1%) of state prisoners were marijuana possession offenders with no prior sentences. For Federal prisoners (who represent 13 percent of the total prison population in the U.S.):

  • About half (51%) had a drug offense as the most serious offense in 2009.
  • 99.8 % of Federal prisoners sentenced for drug offenses were incarcerated for drug trafficking.
  • Simply stated, there are very few people in state or Federal prison for marijuana-related crimes.


    Prisons are not filled with marijuana possession offenders.