Marijuana has been recently decriminalized in a few states in the USA, and based off of data from California the overall rate of youth arrests will drop dramatically. This is good news because now so many young lives won’t be destroyed for participating in using a drug that has negligible health effects (way less than alcohol) and is an insanely costly law to enforce. In Canada, the majority of Canadians encourage decriminalization for similar reasons.
The San Francisco-based Center on Juvenile & Criminal Justice (CJCJ) recently released a policy briefing with an analysis of arrest data collected by the California Department of Justice’s Criminal Justice Statistics Center. The briefing, “California Youth Crime Plunges to All-Time Low,” identifies a new state marijuana decriminalization law that applies to juveniles, not just adults, as the driving force behind the plummeting arrest totals.
After the new pot law went into effect in January 2011, simple marijuana possession arrests of California juveniles fell from 14,991 in 2010 to 5,831 in 2011, a 61 percent difference, the report by CJCJ senior research fellow Mike Males found.