Half of arrestees have marijuana in their system. Drug use increases.

Crime in America

We just posted another article yesterday about marijuana, see http://crimeinamerica.net/2011/01/24/marijuana-use-continues-to-increase-as-perceived-risk-decreases/. It’s always interesting to us that we could write on some of the most controversial topics imaginable yet there’s no topic that brings more e-mails and phone calls than this one. People are passionate about pot.

There are plenty of people who insist that there is no connection between marijuana and crime. They eloquently insist that getting stoned rules out acts of violence and criminality.

“Dude-all I want to do when I get high is ….”

The article below states that 70 percent of those arrested in Hennepin County, Minnesota (http://hennepin.us/) have drugs in their system and half used Marijuana.

Yes, marijuana stays in the bloodstream far longer than other drugs so the arrestee could have smoked two weeks ago, but that‘s not our experience.  Most caught up in the criminal justice system are frequent users.

We won’t elaborate on what we said yesterday about not wanting arrests or incarcerations for personal use of marijuana (see the article) but to deny its relationship to criminal activity is simply silly.

By-the-way, some readers of yesterday’s article agreed that personal use of marijuana should have an age restriction. We were just being snarky but some believe it’s a viable choice.

But the most discouraging aspect to today’s story is not drug use but the fact that there was a ten percent increase since 2009.

There are multiple signs throughout the country that drug use is increasing (http://crimeinamerica.net/2011/01/11/more-americans-using-drugs-marijuana-increases-use-by-kids-grows-baby-boomers-record-large-gains/)and that “may” mean that our almost consistent twenty-year decrease in crime may be coming to an end. See http://crimeinamerica.net/crime-rates-united-states/ for crime rates.

Study: 70% of inmates are on drugs at booking

From the Minneapolis StarTribune

Seven in 10 inmates booked into the bustling Hennepin County jail on any given day last year had illegal drugs in their system, though most of them had had some kind of treatment.

This unique snapshot of drug use by inmates before their arrest comes from an annual federal study that includes the county and nine other jail sites across the country. It involves randomly selected inmates who take part voluntarily, giving information about their drug habits, criminal activity and housing and job status, and providing a urine sample within 48 hours of being booked.

Substance abuse by arrestees at the Hennepin County jail in Minneapolis was over 70 percent in 2010, a 10 percentage-point increase from 2009. The drug most commonly found was marijuana, in about half of those tested, followed by cocaine, in nearly one-fifth.

More than 90 percent of state prison inmates have been diagnosed as chemically abusive or dependent. Last year, 2,938 inmates were directed to treatment, but 1,200 didn’t get the chance to start because of space limitations. Of those who did begin treatment, which takes an average of eight months, two-thirds completed it.


See http://crimeinamerica.net/2010/08/16/the-drug-crime-connection-remains-strong-marijuana-is-the-prominent-drug/ for more on nationwide drug testing.



  1. It is silly to believe that there is no connection between crime and pot. The simple fact of it being illegal makes it true, and don’t get me wrong the only violence I’ve ever heard of that included pot was a huge deal with distributors. It is not on a local level. It was the same way back in the 1930’s with alcohol. Once prohibition started, mobsters and gangs had stiles or imported it. We ought to do what they did to get rid of the violence back then. They made it legal, and all the Cappons and Bugsys had to find a different racket, and the violence over alcohol disappeared.

  2. With this logic I bet the majority of criminals use or have recently used alcohol. So should we then prohibit alcohol. These are just silly statistics to even compare. Want to decrease crime, start with education. Simple as that. The majority of Americans have tried marijuana at some point in his or her life, so is it logical to also say that trying pot will make you become a doctor, lawyer, or even the President of the United States, No. It is just ridiculous to even try to draw these kind of misleading statistics.

    Dan Friedenreich

  3. Sirs, legalize it. Alcohol is legal, yet it is feadly. And yes we continue to insist that marijuana is a benign herb. The system has created this mess, and the constitution states no laws shall be made to restrict these type of things. The truth is an overwelming majority are agaist it being a crime. Legalize it, and crime will drop.

    • Hi Anon: Thanks for writing. Truth is, the vast majority of Americans do not believe that marijuana should be legalized and there’s more than enough research indicating that there would be considerable social harm from legalization. We don’t believe that people should be arrested for personal use, but we don’t believe that it should be legalized.
      We appreciate your comments. Best, Adam.


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