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Rise of Marijuana as the Drug of Choice Among Youthful Adult Arrestees, Research in Brief

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2001
19 pages
Publication Series
This paper examines the rise of marijuana as the drug of choice among youthful adult arrestees.
Data for this study came from urinalysis among booked adult arrestees at 23 locations served by the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring program, as well as self-reports of past-month marijuana use recorded by the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, and Monitoring the Future programs. The paper uses an epidemiological perspective to place in context the increased use of marijuana among arrestees and the general population. It compares the course of the recent marijuana upsurge with that observed for previous crack and heroin epidemics, and compares time trends in marijuana use across age groups, populations, and geographic locations. Increases in marijuana use during the study period (1987 through 1999) were limited primarily to youths. With exceptions in a few locations, the pattern of growth in marijuana use among youthful adult arrestees was similar to that observed previously for heroin and crack: lull, rapid expansion, and plateau. Marijuana appears to be the drug of choice for arrestees born since 1970, who seem much less likely to progress to crack or heroin injection than their predecessors. Notes, figures, table

Date Published: June 1, 2001