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Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:27 AM

How Risky Is Marijuana Possession?

How Risky Is Marijuana Possession? Considering the Role of Age, Race, and Gender
Holly Nguyen1
Peter Reuter1
1University of Maryland, College Park, USA
Holly Nguyen, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Maryland, 2220 LeFrak Hall, College Park, MD 20742, USA Email: holly@umd.edu

doi: 10.1177/0011128712461122
Crime & Delinquency November 2012 vol. 58 no. 6 879-910

Abstract

Arrest rates per capita for possession of marijuana have increased threefold over the last 20 years and now constitute the largest single arrest offense category. Despite the increase in arrest numbers, rates of use have remained stable during much of the same period. This article presents the first estimates of the arrest probabilities for marijuana, conditional on use in the previous 12 months; this is an appropriate measure of the intensity of enforcement against users. We analyze differences by age, race, and gender from 1982 to 2008. The probabilities of arrest for a marijuana user were similar across age and race categories until 1991. By 2006, that had changed sharply. Arrest rates among current marijuana users are disproportionately high for adolescents, Blacks, and males. The rate has varied between 0.8% and 1.8% across years; the rate per incident of use has ranged between about 1/3,000 and 1/6,000. There is no compelling account of why marijuana arrest probabilities have increased nationally or why the focus has been on youth, minorities, and males but the disproportionate increase for young Black males raises issues of disparate impact.


Sorry--I can't link to the original article; it's for-pay only. PM me if you need a copy under Fair Use.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:40 AM

1. Not at all if you don't get caught. Otherwise it sucks royally.

 

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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:45 AM

3. Pot laws as a social control mechanism for young black males…

No wonder certain forces in our society are resistant to change.

Not to mention the incarceration industry, and not just the private prisons. Prison guard unions have also taken Neanderthal positions on the issue out of economic self-interest

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:34 PM

6. Private prison owners LOVE the GOP - they're the lifeblood of the prison industry.

 

Sure, I approve of prison for violent offenders, and even to a point for repeat social offenders, but pot? Seriuosly, pot? What fucking moron came up with THAT idea? It's a medicinal herb - there's a reason it's called "weed" - most herbs ARE weeds. If they decide lavender, thyme, pennyroyal, parsley, parcel, st. john's wort, lemon balm, rosemary, tarragon, oregano, basil, mint, chives, or any of our other prolific weeds were Schedule I drugs, my wife and I would be locked up for life!!! (NOTE: Hopefully in the same cell).



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Response to Jackpine Radical (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:44 AM

2. Here in Washington, prosecutors have dropped every single pending misdemeanor possession case

On Dec 6th, possession of 1 oz or less of pot by an adult 21 or older is no longer a crime.

Colorado has something similar.

Times are changing, and these States will be looked upon as the first major step toward ending the war on drugs.

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Response to prefunk (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:46 AM

4. It can't happen too soon for me, and

I post things like this as a small effort to push the movement along.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:02 PM

5. Well, keep at it. Every push, no matter how big or small, moves us forward!

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