Crime in America
Heavens, we were told by marijuana advocates that this wouldn’t happen; that the debate about the endless medical and recreational wonders of pot would not increase use in the general population. We were also told that marijuana use doesn’t affect the ability to drive a car and that there is no connection between marijuana and crime.
Obviously, none of this is true or even close to being true.
The government in the 1930’s gave us “Reefer Madness” (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reefer_Madness) and marijuana advocates in 2010 gave us the moral equivalent of the film during their arguments to legalize the drug.
There simply came a point where the average citizen recognized distorted logic in the claims of advocates. For example, too many remember their own marijuana use decades ago while driving while trying not to kill themselves and others. To be told that there was no relationship between marijuana use and driving skills would make supporters into opponents. People just do not like being lied to.
Again, as we have said endless numbers of times, we do not advocate arrests/incarceration for marijuana possession. The budget-challenged criminal justice system has much bigger fish to fry. By-the-way, the best suggestion we’ve received from readers is an age limit; only those 50 years of age and older who agree in writing to do nothing but sit in their homes while under the influence can legally use marijuana.
The percentage of U.S. high school seniors reporting past month marijuana use continues to slowly increase, according to data from the 2010 Monitoring the Future (MTF) study.
In 2010, 21.4% of 12thgraders reported using marijuana in the past month, continuing a trend of slight increases that have occurred each year since 2007 (see figure below).
While the current prevalence of marijuana use is far below the peak of 37.1% in 1978, it has returned to a level not seen since 2002.
According to Lloyd Johnston, the principal investigator of the study, while “this upward shift is not yet very large, its duration and pervasiveness leave no doubt in our minds that it is real” (p 2).
One possible explanation for this increase in marijuana use may be that the perceived risk of harm from marijuana use has decreased in recent years. The percentage of high school seniors who thought there was a great risk of harm from using marijuana decreased from 52.4% to 46.8%* in 2010—the lowest level since 1979.