The number of arrests substantially increased from 1970 to 2008 but steadily declined from 2008 to 2015 before increasing again.
In America, every 25 seconds, someone is arrested for drug possession. According to the Center for American Progress (CAP), the number of arrests for possession has tripled since 1980, reaching around 1.3 million per year in 2015. One-fifth of those incarcerated is serving time for a drug charge. Another 1.15 million people are on probation.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the estimated number of arrests for drug abuse violations has increased. The number of adults arrested rose from less than 500,000 in 1970 to 1,841,200 (1.8 million) state and local arrests for drug abuse violations in the U.S. in 2007. Of the FBI's total arrests, drug-related arrests increased from 7.4 percent of the total arrests in 1987 to 13.0 percent of all arrests in 2007, the BJS report states.
However, according to a New York Times report, there was a substantial dip in the numbers after 2007. In 2008, the number of drug-related arrests fell by over one million to 1.70 million and fell further substantially in the subsequent years. In 2011, they came down to 1.53 million, and in 2014, they were at their lowest at 1.44 million. However, they increased again after 2015 and rose to 1.65 million in 2018.
This claim implies that drug-related arrests have increased steadily every year since 1970, however that is not true and therefore we conclude that this claim is false.