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Aggressiveness: "This study explored the longitudinal associations of alcohol and marijuana use and violence over
ages 11-20 in the youngest sample of males from the Pittsburgh Youth Study (N = 503). We
examined trends in alcohol and marijuana use and violence, howthey covaried both concurrently
and over time, and whether frequent substance use predicted violence and vice versa in
multivariate models controlling for common risk factors. The analyses focused on frequent alcohol
or marijuana users, those who scored in the highest 25% of frequency. Throughout adolescence,
substance use was more prevalent than violence. Most substance users did not engage in
violence, and the proportion of substance users who engaged in violence was smaller than the
proportion of violent offenders who were also substance users. Concurrently, frequent use of
alcohol and marijuana were both significantly associated with violence. Longitudinal associations
between frequent drinking and violence were weak, whereas longitudinal associations
between frequent marijuana use and violence were more consistent. However, the relationship
between frequent marijuana use and violence (and vice versa)was spurious; itwas no longer significant
when common risk factors such as race/ethnicity and hard drug use were controlled for.
We conclude that the marijuana-violence relationship is due to selection effects whereby these
behaviors tend to co-occur in certain individuals, not because one behavior causes the other;
rather, both are influenced by shared risk factors and/or an underlying tendency toward deviance."
Source: Abstract, "Teasing Apart the Developmental Associations Between Alcohol and Marijuana Use and Violence," Wei, Evelyn H., Rolf Loeber, and Helene Raskin White, Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, Vol. 20, No. 2, May 2004, p. 166.
Addiction: see Drug War Facts:
Addictive Properties of Commonly Used Drugs.
Enforcement Costs: "According to the calculations here, legalization would reduce government expenditure by $5.3 billion at the state and local level and by $2.4 billion at the federal level."
Tax Revenue: ". . . [M]arijuana legalization would generate tax revenue of $2.4 billion annually if marijuana were taxed like all other goods and $6.2 billion annually if marijuana were taxed at rates comparable to those on alcohol and tobacco."
Source: "The Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition," Jeffrey A. Miron, Visiting Professor of Economics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, June 2005.
"The steady supply of and demand for marijuana overall and the strong, stable market for its distribution often allow for the financial stability of drug traffickers, many of whom traffic marijuana to bankroll other criminal activity, such as producing or distributing other illicit drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine. Marijuana sales yield high, steady profits for producers and distributors, yet the drug is relatively inexpensive for users.
Source: "National Drug Threat Assessment 2005," National Drug Intelligence Center, US Dept. of Justice, Feb. 2005, p. 41.
"Mexican criminal groups control most wholesale marijuana distribution throughout the United States; however, Asian criminal groups appear to be increasing their position as wholesale distributors of Canada-produced marijuana. According to law enforcement reporting, Mexican DTOs and criminal groups control most wholesale marijuana distribution in the Great Lakes, Pacific, Southeast, Southwest, and West Central Regions and control much of the wholesale marijuana distribution in the Northeast Region."
"Marijuana distribution is widespread throughout the country, as evidenced by the presence of 14 principal distribution centers for the drug, one or more of which are located in nearly every region of the country (see Appendix A, Map 6). Much of the midlevel and retail distribution of marijuana in these and other cities is controlled by African American, Asian, and Hispanic street gangs; however, independent dealers control most midlevel and retail marijuana distribution in smaller communities and rural areas. In fact, independent dealers are likely to retain control of distribution in smaller communities because they often distribute locally produced marijuana rather than foreign-produced marijuana."
Source: "National Drug Threat Assessment 2006," National Drug Intelligence Center, US Dept. of Justice, Jan. 2006, p. 16.
In 2004, there were 1,745,712 drug arrests of which 45.2%, or 789,061, were for marijuana.
Source: Crime in the United States: FBI Uniform Crime Reports 2004 (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 2005), p. 278, Table 4.1 & p. 280, Table 29
"Alternatively, experience with and subsequent access to cannabis use may provide individuals with access to other drugs as they come into contact with drug dealers. This argument provided a strong impetus for the Netherlands to effectively decriminalize cannabis use in an attempt to separate cannabis from the hard drug market. This strategy may have been partially successful as rates of cocaine use among those who have used cannabis are lower in the Netherlands than in the United States."
Source: Lynskey, Michael T., PhD, et al., "Escalation of Drug Use in Early-Onset Cannabis Users vs Co-twin Controls," Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 289 No. 4, January 22/29, 2003.
"People obey laws they believe to be just; they do not obey the marijuana laws because they know they are unjust, even absurd. Kids quickly see through lies. Many kids may discount the proper scare tactics about really dangerous drugs, like heroin and PCP, because the dangers of marijuana have been so overstated."
Source: "It Is Time for Marijuana to be Reclassified," George D. Lundberg, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Medscape General Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Health Policy, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, Medscape, on the web at http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/510902, last accessed April 13, 2006.
"Marihuana's relative potential for harm to the vast majority of individual users and its actual impact on society does not justify a social policy designed to seek out and firmly punish those who use it. This judgment is based on prevalent use patterns, on behavior exhibited by the vast majority of users and on our interpretations of existing medical and scientific data. This position also is consistent with the estimate by law enforcement personnel that the elimination of use is unattainable."
Source: Shafer, Raymond P., et al, Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding, Ch. V, (Washington DC: National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, 1972).
"In 2003 . . . more than 900,000 (3.6 percent) youths sold illegal drugs."
Source: "Alcohol Use and Delinquent Behaviors among Youths," April 2005, SAMHSA, USDHHS.
"The Institute of Medicine found that 'scientific data indicate the potential therapeutic value of cannabinoid drugs, primarily THC[tetrahydrocannabinol], for pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation.' Yet research has been sporadic, with the federal apparatus posing multiple hurdles to scientists. The FDA must approve research on scientific grounds and an institutional review board must approve on ethics grounds. The only legal source of marijuana is a farm in Mississippi run by NIDA. As gatekeeper of the supply, NIDA must also approve the research project. The marijuana supplied by the NIDA facility lacks purity and strength, depriving researchers of a stable source of raw material. Once a study is approved, the DEA monitors distribution of marijuana to physicians and patients and requires tight security (eg, locked safes, adequate ventilation, secure transportation, and accurate scales to weigh the arriving and dispensed product). Since the mission of NIDA does not include development of marijuana as a prescription medicine, private funding sources are required. To objectively answer the questions about the efficacy and safety of marijuana, the federal government must be open to the results of scientific research."
Source: "Medical Marijuana, American Federalism, and the Supreme Court," Lawrence O. Gostin, JD, LLD, Journal of the American Medical Association, Aug. 17, 2005, Vol. 294, No. 7, p. 843.
"The findings on youth alcohol use suggest that successful marijuana related efforts in the "War on Drugs", which can be expected to reduce the supply of marijuana and, hence, increase its price will not only lead to less marijuana consumption, but will have the unintended consequence of raising alcohol consumption (at least among youths). This is consistent with DiNardo and Lemieux's (1992) finding that increased minimum legal drinking ages, while reducing alcohol consumption among youths, had the unintended consequence of leading to an almost one-for-one increase in marijuana use.
"The findings related to youth motor vehicle accidents suggest that reductions in the full price of marijuana, resulting from either lower money prices and/or reduced legal sanctions for possession/use, lead youths to substitute away from alcoholic beverages and other intoxicating substances towards marijuana. Furthermore, the subsequent reductions in the consequences of drunken driving (non-fatal and fatal accidents) and driving under the influence of other substances more than offset the increases in the consequences of driving under the influence of marijuana. Similarly, an increase in the full price of beer, resulting, for example, from the increased taxation of alcoholic beverages and/or higher minimum legal drinking ages, lowers beer consumption and raises marijuana consumption. This would be expected to reduce drunken driving, but to raise 'stoned' driving. The net effect of the beer price increase, however, is to reduce the probabilities of non-fatal and fatal youth motor vehicle accidents."
Source: "Do Youths Substitute Alcohol and Marijuana? Some Econometric Evidence," Frank J. Chaloupka and Adit Laixuthai, National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No. 4662, Feb. 1994, p. 32.
"Law enforcement reporting from the Southwest Border indicates that as cross-border marijuana smuggling has increased, so too has the frequency of violent incidents, again a situation that should only intensify with increased production in and smuggling from Mexico. Reporting further indicates a trend toward increased armed confrontations between law enforcement and marijuana growers, particularly in California, resulting in 2003 being cited as the most violent year in the 20-year history of that state’s eradication program. In addition, DCE/SP data indicate that the number of weapons seized during outdoor and indoor eradication operations nationwide has trended upward, rising nearly 30 percent from 2001 to 2003."
Source: "National Drug Threat Assessment 2005," National Drug Intelligence Center, US Dept. of Justice, Feb. 2005, p. 63.
"Anslinger's campaign may have been just a tool in the beginning, but fueled with this kind of racial tinder, it quickly got out of hand. The Treasury Department was barraged with cries for help from civic leaders: 'I wish I could show you what a small marijuana cigarette can do to one of our degenerate Spanish-speaking residents. . . .'
'. . . a direct by-product of unrestricted Mexican immigration. . .'
'Mexican peddlers have been caught distributing sample marijuana cigarettes to school children.' Anslinger's boss, Treasury Secretary Morgenthau, was starting to get pressure from police, mayors, and western governors to do something about the dreaded plant on a national scale. All of a sudden Anslinger, a victim of his own success, was given the unenviable assignment of controlling the use of an indigenous weed that was growing wild alongside gravel roads in all forty-eight states. But there was no turning back now."
Source: "Drug Crazy," Mike Gray, 1998, pp. 77-8.
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