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Report Shows Arrests Don’t Deter Marijuana Use

Audio

Aired 11/5/09

A new study reveals that, since 2003, marijuana arrests in California have risen faster than the national average. The report finds marijuana usage during that time has remained largely unchanged.

— A new study reveals that, since 2003, marijuana arrests in California have risen faster than the national average. The report finds marijuana usage during that time has remained largely unchanged.

The study from Shenandoah University in Virginia finds that African-Americans are disproportionately affected by marijuana arrests. Their rate of marijuana use is about 25 percent higher than whites, but their arrest rate for possession is three times higher.

Bruce Mirken is with the Marijuana Policy Project.

"I think that what this shows is what we're doing doesn't work terribly well," Mirken says. "It doesn't stop people from using marijuana, it causes terrible racial disparities, it costs us billions of dollars, to no good effects."

The California Assembly held a hearing last week on the concept of taxing and regulating marijuana. Supporters hope to put that idea on the ballot next year.

Comments

Avatar for user 'ParadiseLost'

ParadiseLost | November 5, 2009 at 3:25 p.m. ― 4 years, 12 months ago

Let me see if I got this right. Arrests don't stop people from using marijuana, but despite the problems associated with being arrested (jail, legal costs, tougher to get a job, etc.) marijuana doesn't poise a serious addiction problem. LOL - again & again & again - ad infinitum.

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Avatar for user 'samantha'

samantha | November 6, 2009 at 11:59 a.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

Why does this report only quote a pro-marijuana activist and not someone who doesn't support marijuana legalization? The report doesn't prove arrests don't deter some marijuana users as numerous other factors could account for the amount of use such as that the penalties are mainly a small fine for use, a lot of pro-pot propaganda encourages use, etc. Then, if we stop arrests completely, will marijuana use stay the same or decline? Mirken implies that arrests haven't worked, but he doesn't suggest that something else will work, or even that it is desirable to control use.

Paradise Lost says Marijuana doesn't pose a serious addiction problem, but doesn't have any support for that. 10% of users become addicted and twice as many young users are at risk for addiction which is not a trivial amount, especially when more people seek treatment for addiction for marijuana than anything else except alcohol.

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Avatar for user 'RSteeb'

RSteeb | November 7, 2009 at 8:10 a.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

To keep cannabis illegal while tobacco and alcohol are dispensed freely is *MURDEROUSLY STUPID*.

If we stop arrests immediately, JUSTICE will be served.

Period.

-Richard P Steeb, San Jose California

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Avatar for user 'merryjanecolitas'

merryjanecolitas | November 7, 2009 at 10:08 a.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

Laws deter people? Rarely. Laws are there to protect the citizens, not deter crime. I guess if you want the rule the people using fear instead of respect, but I thought we came here for a change. Always a change...

The truth about marijuana is beginning to be discussed in the mainstream media. It just might be a little too late for them to jump on this bandwagon. The internet has taken over the fight where the media has failed to report the truth for so long.

For the first time in my life, I have hope. Hope that we will finally realize we can VOTE these politicians out of office.

Did you know that Anandamide, the cannabinoid neurotransmitter/receptor in all humans, was named after the Sanskrit word for Inner Joy? Yes, we all have cannabinoid receptors everywhere in our body which the THC CB1 attaches to or some such scientific jumble which I love to try to wrap my brain around.

From the Great Eminem:

"Mad enough to scream and sad enough to tear."

Stop letting your officials legislate your inner joy.

Please, doubters, re-educate yourself on this subject. With the proliferation of the internet, it has proven quite difficult for the government to use its typical powers of persuasion to control the spread of information.

And don't even think about taxing it. Do you want to tax the aloe plant in my backyard too? Or the mint? Arnold wouldn't even discuss marijuana, vetoed every piece of progressive legislation regarding marijuana that came across his desk. Now he's broke and he wants to tax it? Come on guys, at least keep the morals you claim. You can’t have it both ways. I mean you can, but we won’t have you for very long. I am all for re-legalizing weed, but I want Arnold to receive 0 credit for it.

Like the laws that ban talking on the cell phone while driving.
Laws do not deter Maria.
Like the laws that prevent banks from committing fraud. (I worked in real estate for 15 years. Don’t get me started.)
Laws do not deter people.
Like the laws that protect the vaccine manufacturers from litigation for any wrongdoing.
Laws do not deter people.
Like the Consumer laws that keep our pets and families safe.
Laws do not deter people.

But some laws do put the fear of God into good people. Americans should not be afraid of their own government. It’s time for a shift in the balance of power. I might end up dead, but either way, I am no longer afraid. I just can’t live that way anymore. Be vigilant and remember these are the same people that stole your retirement and your children’s future. THEY CANNOT BE TRUSTED.

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