It was never our intention to take on marijuana as an issue. We stated in a post on society controlling itself (rather than the criminal justice system doing it) that we assumed that personal use of marijuana was going to be either decriminalized or legalized and that we hoped that society knows what it’s doing from a public health prospective.
We had comments stating that marijuana was not connected to crime or violent crime.
We said “oh really” and went on to cite research that marijuana is heavily connected to crime through arrest data. See http://crimeinamerica.net/2010/01/27/crime-news-time-to-legalize-marijuana/. There are other sources providing similar findings.
Now we have the data below from The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at the Columbia University. See http://www.casacolumbia.org/templates/Home.aspx?articleid=287&zoneid=32
Before we cite the data below, we have continuously stated that we do not advocate arrest for personal possession of marijuana; the criminal justice system is suffering from massive budget cuts and priorities lie elsewhere. See http://crimeinamerica.net/2010/02/17/budget-cuts-hurting-justice-system-crime-news/. But we do want a full and complete discussion of the public health implications of marijuana use.
We post our material on other blog services and the discussion on marijuana received well over 100 comments; some sophomoric and some serious. But it’s clear to us that those frequenting major blog directories that few in that demographic are taking the issue seriously. That’s unfortunate. They clearly see marijuana as a benign drug with no public health consequences.
From 1992 to 2006, the potency of marijuana increased by 175.0 percent.
Marijuana is associated more strongly with juvenile crime than alcohol use.
From 1992 to 2006, there has been a 492.1 percent increase in the proportion of treatment admissions for persons under age 18 where clinical diagnosis was reported for marijuana abuse or dependence.
From 1992 to 2006, there has been a 188.1 percent increase in the proportion of treatment admissions for persons under age 18 who cite marijuana as their primary drug of abuse.
From 1995 to 2002, the percentage of drug related emergency department findings for marijuana as a major substance of abuse among 12- to 17-year olds increased by 136.4 percent.
Rates of daily marijuana use among 12th graders tripled from 1992 to 1999 and have stubbornly resisted significant change since then. In 2007, approximately 204,000 high school seniors (5.1 percent) used marijuana on a daily basis.
Despite recent declines in teen marijuana use, in 2007 the percentage of teens who had ever used marijuana was 26.8 percent higher among 8th graders, 44.9 percent higher among 10th graders and 28.2 percent higher among 12th graders.
Marijuana is the second most frequently detected psychoactive substance among drivers (alcohol is the first) and is associated with impaired driving skills.
Marijuana use interferes with brain functions and has been linked to other mental health problems in young people, such as depression, anxiety and conduct disorders.
Recent research suggests possible associations between marijuana use and schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.
The good news is that in recent years teen marijuana use and the percent of all teens who meet clinical criteria for marijuana abuse and dependence have declined.
The bad news is that 10.7 million teens still report that they have used marijuana.
Crime in America.Net