Do The Math: The 'War' On Pot Is Largely A War Upon Young People

A new study out today estimates that one-third of US young people will be arrested or taken into custody for illegal or delinquent offenses (excluding arrests for minor traffic violations) by the age of 23.
CBS News/Web MD reports on the findings here:

Study: Nearly 1 in 3 U.S. youths will be arrested by age 23
Parents and non-parents alike might be shocked to learn a new study estimates that roughly 1 in 3 U.S. youths will be arrested for a non-traffic offense by age 23 – a “substantively higher” proportion than predicted in the 1960s.
The study, posted online by the journal Pediatrics, shows that between about 25% to 41% of 23-year-olds have been arrested or taken into police custody at least once for a non-traffic offense. If you factor in missing cases, that percentage could lie between about 30% and 41%.
What was learned was that the risk was greatest during late adolescence or emerging adulthood. The study also shows that by age 18, about 16% to 27% have been arrested.
… The researchers base their conclusion on data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, ages 8 to 23. Data analyzed in the new study came from national surveys of youth conducted annually from 1997 to 2008.
Their finding contrasts with a 1965 study that predicted 22% of U.S. youths would be arrested for an offense other than a minor traffic violation by age 23.
Why the Rise in Arrests?
The researchers cite some “compelling reasons” for the increase.
“The criminal justice system has clearly become more aggressive in dealing with offenders (particularly those who commit drug offenses and violent crimes) since the 1960s,” the authors, all criminologists, write. In addition, “there is some evidence that the transition from adolescence to adulthood has become a longer process.”
From the 1920s through the 1960s, the proportion of the population that was incarcerated remained remarkably stable at about 100 inmates per 100,000 people, researcher Robert Brame, PhD, of the department of criminal justice and criminology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, tells WebMD. Today, Brame says, that figure has soared to 500 inmates per 100,000 people.

While it is commendable that CBS is highlighting the findings of this troubling data, it’s frustrating that the network’s editors appear blissfully unaware
of what is one of the most painfully obvious drivers of this surge in juvenile arrests: the ever-increasing enforcement of marijuana prohibition.
As I stated from the stage at the 2008 NORML national conference, “It’s Not Your Parents’ Prohibition,” the so-called ‘war’ on pot is largely a criminal crackdown on young people.

Young people, in many cases those under 18-years-of-age, disproportionately bear the brunt of marijuana law enforcement.
… According to a 2005 study commissioned by the NORML Foundation, 74 percent of all Americans busted for pot are under age 30, and 1 out of 4 are age 18 or younger. That’s nearly a quarter of a million teenagers arrested for marijuana violations each year.
… [I]f we ever want the marijuana laws to change, that we as a community have to better represent the interests of young people, and we must do a better job speaking on their — and their parent’s — behalf.
(Read my entire remarks here.)

Since 1965, police have made an estimated 21.5 million arrests for marijuana-related offense, according to cumulative data published by the FBI. Some 8 million of these arrests have occurred since 2000.
Assuming that nearly three out of four of those arrested in the past decade were under age 30, that equates to the arrest of some 6 million young people — including 2 million teenagers — for marijuana-related offenses since the year 2000.
In short, marijuana prohibition isn’t protecting kids; its endangering them. We now have an entire generation that has been alienated to believe that the police and their civic leaders are instruments of their oppression rather than their protection.
And the sad fact is: they’re right.
So what are you going to do about it?

69 thoughts

  1. Of course it is….They want the young people to be slaves in their prisons. its all about the money. I realy think the young are getten tired of all the bull crap. it want be long. and we will have all the cops working in our prisons insted. All its going to take is a little more pushing. before the young push back. mark my words. If Ron is not elected its going to happen.

  2. It’s shameful that the Justice Department can look at this data and turn the other way. Greed will never rest.

  3. “From the 1920s through the 1960s, the proportion of the population that was incarcerated remained remarkably stable at about 100 inmates per 100,000 people, researcher Robert Brame, PhD, of the department of criminal justice and criminology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, tells WebMD. Today, Brame says, that figure has soared to 500 inmates per 100,000 people.”
    Does this study account for the rise in total population in general between the 1960’s and today? or how many adolescents are actual users of marijuana? Im not following where they are drawing their conclusion on how the war on pot= war on the youth of america?
    I am a staunch supporter of legalizing marijuana even though I don’t smoke myself, but I find that this article/study doesn’t take into account alot of different variables that make this study biased. More research and data needs to be collected before people can find this a valid conclusion.
    [Paul Armentano responds: The study assesses the percentage of young people arrested, not the total number of young people, so the ‘rise in total population’ is irrelevant.]

  4. this is because they want to cripple our youth before they have a chance to succeed. they want to use every arrest and every find as a definate see this is our point its destroying our nation excuse. it is the lack of acceptance of research and knowledge and that is the crime. the fact that the nixon administration had studies that showed marijuana should be legal and theres no reason to not have it be. we will always have a economy needing to be bailed out if we do not legalize and tax for medical and recreational uses. it is no different than smoking a cigarette and does not intoxicate to the same degree as booze. the only way to kill with it is to crush with enough weight of it. the time has come legalize and stop useing marijuana as an excuse to tax and poverty strike our youth.

    ALSO, #1…YOU are right. watch and see what happens when Ron Paul is screwed out of this election. He has popular vote and the media is using their “influence” to tell us Paul has no chance of winning so we dont “waste” a vote by voting for him. Hell, they even have Norml thinking he has no chance, didnt American people learn anything in history class with the “Dewey defeats Truman” event? Just do your part by telling people to vote. Their own feeling and choices will lead them to Ron Paul.

  6. Well Obama,remember when you were up and coming. Getting high all those times and all you wanted was pot and peace? in school it sure was fun. And through all that there you are PRESIDENT! Now there’s the best example. No wonder the republicans want you out. The jig is up!

  7. They are not “blissfully unaware” by any stretch. They know exactly what their doing. It’s no secret that CBS higher-ups have been to the gidenberg meetings.

  8. You would think that facial recognition on facebook would be enough for law enforcement. But noooo, they want everybody fingerprinted and in the system somehow. An astonishing 33% arrested before 23 years old. Thats shameful, disgusting and way out of control. I wonder how much longer the American people will put up with this. Gov. Nixon’s son from Missouri was busted at a pot party with pot on him…but “they” dismissed the charge. The elites must be stopped. But I would settle for cannabis legalization for now. We can legalize the constitution after the election!

  9. I personally can say from my own experience it is definately a war on young people. And the results of this war is sad, it’s forcing us pot smokers to be locked up with violent offenders and in turn having to become violent or act violent to protect ourselves, or simply make it through a JDC/DOC. I was put on probation at 16 for a minor consumption. Due to failed UA’s for pot alone got me put into a treatment center, holding centers, and one DOC by the age 16. If anyone out there can tell me that being locked up in these facilities did not take a toll on me far more then pot ever could while also forcing me to communicate with violent offenders and harsher drug users and ultimately schooled me into an intire different life in drug use and violence. But who am i to tell our government they are to blame for this countries problems especially with the youth, I was only forced to live this post while the govt wich is more corrupt then anyone will only have to read it. My name is Tyler Weber i am a now 23 year old from MN and i have been messed up since i was 16 due to a flawed government. Where is the problem? pretty obvious. It must stop before all of our youth are corrupted and used as only tools to make money for the same people ruining there lives and this country…

  10. What better way than to target young blacks and hispanics for a non violent victimless crime. Arrest them for marijuana. It’s easy to smell. It’s a benign herb that many people enjoy. The rich kids will get probation and drug treatment. The poor people will get to either rat out those above them or do jail time where they can learn to be real criminals. Don’t forget with jail on their records they can fill up the poverty level jobs or join the military. The rich kids will have the records removed….the poor kids will have their lives basically ruined. It’s not right, fair, moral, Christian, ethical, or does not serve any useful purpose. Legalize marijuana and stop the stupidity.

  11. My friend, 17, was arrested for a pipe containing THC resin. The cops already knew she was drunk, but weren’t going to do anything. They let this other crazy, drunk, violent chick go walking down the street, but thought my friend, who cooperated peacefully, was somehow a “threat”.

  12. Before being arrested for a pipe containing THC, my 17 year-old friend only smoked pot and hardly drank. Now she’s on probation, she doesn’t smoke pot (because of the risk of drug testing), but has decided to recreationally use other hard drugs and pills. Great way to get some teens to use hard drugs!!!

  13. This once young arrested cannabis user is now middle aged. So maybe they should include that as well in their study. It had dramatic affects on my growth as an adult that wouldn’t of happened if the law wasn’t made by lunatics.

  14. Ron Paul openly stated he is for the decriminalization of Marijuana in the Jay Leno Show. NORML needs to step up to the plate and endorse him already. He is for personal liberties, something your organization has been craving for centuries at least. Instead of asking Obama why he is not sticking to his word? we need to realized that he betrayed his word. It does not look good for Obama, in fact, some argue he wont win it next year, so why not endorse the candidate that give this scene everything what it has asked for and maybe more. I look forward on hearing your endorsement, or else you have throw you in jail for life for having 2 OZ of weed Newt Gingrich. Thank You
    [Editor’s note: NORML, like most all non-profit organizations, does not endorse and/or promote political candidates or parties.]

  15. Yeah, and this is why I feel NORML should explicitly support legalization or at least decriminalization for ALL people, not just those 18 or 21 and up. When you give a teenager a criminal record, it creates a significant roadblock to their future, from college enrollment to employment to renting an apartment.
    [Editor’s note: NORML supports the responsible adult use of cannabis. Until society and law recognize people under the age of 18 as being ‘adults’, no responsible drug policy reform organization is going to advocate that non-adults should have legal, non-medical access to cannabis products.
    Should youth be victimized forever because they get caught with cannabis while under 18 years of age? No, of course not. But, like with alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceutical products, there needs to be reasoned penalties for youth caught breaking laws…and if a person is under 18 years of age, they’re a non-adult, can’t make consensual agreements under the law and get caught with cannabis that is not prescribed by a licensed physician and with the parent’s permission, there should be penalties for such and NORML has supported this common sense approach since 1970 defining what is responsible, socially acceptable cannabis use in modern America.
    See NORML’s Principles of Responsible Cannabis Use here.]

  16. It doesn’t make me want to laugh.
    Maybe the word “marijuana”, “cannabis”, or “hemp” need to be said more often before those words will be federally banned in the United States.
    Please vote in the presidential primaries.

  17. I am a 57 year old woman who has observed that in the state of Washington, being a young person is probable cause for the police to search vehicles and do “pat downs”. This usually happens at large concert venues, while cars are waiting in line to park. Sounds like profiling to me…
    Also a great way for the federal government to save some bucks by denying student loans to those who have been convicted of a marijuana offense

  18. With illegal searches and total intimidation, the numbers will continue to rise. They will take those same numbers and give them a choice between jail or their diversion programs, then claim that it is a real problem because of the number of people seeking help for their problem. They will never admit that they themselves are the problem. For some the motto of TO SERVE AND PROTECT has become TO HARASS AND INTIMIDATE.

  19. it is pretty much known that cops like to bust younger people for pot because it’s a good way to give experience to rookies in a low threat environment. Absolutely doesn’t make it right, but explains the phenomenon. Those of us who smoke are not prone to violence (at least while smoking), making us much easier targets.

  20. To jj:
    Stop blaming the christians. Those who actually follow the teachings of Jesus Christ have no desire to ruin your life.
    It’s the hypocrites who want to win the Christian vote that are to blame. Did Jesus persecute people Absolutely not. He forgave. He even stated that one would not be judged by what goeth into the mouth, but what comes out of it.
    It all goes back to the propoganda and lies perpertrated by the feds that have confused the christian people. Even leading evangelists like Pat Robertson have spoken out about the problems of prohibition.
    If you need to blame someone, blame your elected officials.
    as for Dr. Ron Paul, At least he will expose the corruption and hypocricy that is known as the federal government!

  21. It’s a common stereotype among law enforcement that the youth smoke pot and that if your hair is a little longer than George Clooney’s, than you are suspect of smoking weed. There’s tons of stereotypes they use including racial ones to make a bust. Making pot legal for adults would make it harder for teens to get it, so why not do that?

  22. Something else:
    I fimly believe that prohibition is an infringement on my rights under the constitution as a citizen of the United states.
    Can’t you see what the feds have done to you? now the groundwork has been done, the framework laid to centralize even more power for the federal government to subvert your rights.
    Suppose for example that say California or Colorado votes to legalize cannabis. Now all the federal government has to do is declare that state an enemy of the United States, move in, occupy, steal the citizens and states property, arrest and detain, assasinate, without due process any citizen of that state.
    Those who protest peacefully will be arrested, detained without due recource.
    It’s no longer about the will of the people. It’s about the will of the Federal government enforcing it’s will. Continuously centralizing it’s authority, to ensure that they, not you remain in power and putting down any attempt to restore the constitution to it’s proper role as the foundation of government.

  23. Pot should be legalized, you all made very good points. I think it should be left up to the people to decide. I think there should be a mass vote of the entire American population on weither to have pot legalized or not, not to make it a law, but to show the idiots in washington what the people want, not even that, also the freedom to enjoy life as we choose, I’m 19 and Ive smoked for years. Unfortunatly, with greedy bill collectors scratching on my door and garnishing my wadges i cant afford to even think about a medical marijuana card, The government is fucked. and it is completely run by money. Pot fixed me, it saved my life. why should i be cuffed and sent to jail with wife beaters, child molesters, and more serious drug offenders? Am i truely a criminal? because i couldn’t take the nightmares “legal” medication gave me? I couldn’t afford it anyway. Who’s Really the criminal here?

  24. Either there is something very deeply wrong with the war on marijuana or America’s youth are approximately 1/3 criminals. I think the obvious answer is the problem is the war on marijuana. I’ve written to my senators, congressmen,and the president numerous times and have rarely got a response. When I did get a response, it was a canned response. I don’t think the actual senator, congressman, or the president actually ever read my words.
    We are not a nation of criminals. We are a nation of people that believe in freedom; freedom earned at the cost of countless lives in past wars. However, it seems that our nations current leaders (at least most of them) are trying to take away our freedoms and, to a large extent, they are using marijuana as a tool to do so. It is really pathetic!
    We really have to get rid of the dogs of war and support anyone who is in office, or running for office, who will help us to end what will amount to tyranny if it isn’t stopped!

  25. The War on Drugs is doing much worse than sending our youth to jail . . . its sending 18yr olds and older to places like Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001. Drug money influenced 9/11 and drug money kills and wounds 50% or more of our soldiers and it finances our enemies on a daily basis, which explains why we’ve been there so long. Most people would rather be in a prison than to have their legs blown off. Since a foreign enemy attacked us, it has made hundreds of thousands of men and women feel compelled to serve . . . drug money sponsored terror attacks in London, Spain, Russia, India, China etc makes them feel like they need to do something about it. America spends $394.5 Million to (Government Stats) $1.4 Billion (Brown University Study) each and everyday since September 11, 2001, to keep drugs illegal . . . Its not rational to assume fighting drug money and going to two wars because of drug money sponsored attacks –to not be a part of our drug enforcement costs. Millions of incarcerations and over a quarter million lives lost to drug enforcement (Civilian and troop deaths for the U.S. and Middle East). The War on Drugs according to Brown University will cost America $3-4 trillion in just a bit over a decade. Our taxes are letting the DOJ arrest Americans and kill Americans via their supporting the enemy through a law built by them at the 1961 U.N. Single Convention . . . cause and effect is a bitch.

  26. Anyone know how the NRA, AARP, or Tea Party always get their way with Congress. Maybe were missing something.
    [Editor’s note: Easy…these organizations donate tens of millions of dollars annually to politicians. Cannabis law reform organizations in total possibly raise and donate around $50K a year.
    When citizens, notably cannabis consumers, care enough to donate millions per year to groups like NORML, one can logically assume that elected policy makers will finally start to bend to the will of the almighty dollar bill.]

  27. When I was 18 I at least knew what the 4th amendment rights were during traffic stops. I had friends that would say yeah well you can’t say this or say that to a cop, they are going to do what they want. That might be true but when I was 18 I refused a search of my vehicle when asked. There were 2 state troopers at my vehicle when I refused a search. Then they asked if they could check my vehicle for weapons, I had no weapons and refused to let them look in my vehicle for that as well and stated I don’t even carry weapons. Checking and searching is the same as far as I’m concerned but the cops tried to pass it off as 2 different things saying they didn’t ask to search my vehicle they asked if they could check it for weapons. People claim the cops have a right to look in your vehicle for weapons, I would like to know how that is? I still refused that as well and the cops never entered my vehicle but tried to say checking and searching is 2 different things.
    I knew about probable cause. I had no pot in my vehicle, had a clean record, no guns or knives, but I had alcohol hidden. Either way that didn’t make me a guilty person just for refusing a search, everyone has the right to privacy. There was no evidence a crime was being committed. Part of that came from reading and my father teaching us about our rights. Lot of young people don’t know and if you tell them they still fear cops and the badge and think the cops are going to walk all over them and violate their rights. It can happen but they should at least learn their rights and not be afraid to express those rights to authority when asked if they can search the vehicle during a traffic stop. Don’t smoke pot in the vehicle and don’t keep it in plain view. A cop asks to search the vehicle and there is no probable cause, you refuse the search.

  28. #25,
    I will stop blaming Christian ideology for ripping this country in half once they stop giving doorways to child molesters, stop being racists, stop telling non-Christians they are going to hell if they dont praise Jesus, stop over-populating the world by not allowing abortions or birth control or the next day pill, and when they stop degrading people based on their sexual preference.
    People like Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann are prime examples of this Supremist Ideology used by Christians to scare people. This is not how or why the USA was founded. To be exact, the Founding Fathers left old England in search of FREE land where religion/spirituality was open to choice of the individual. THUS SEPERATION OF CHURCH AND STATE.
    Im not saying we need to do away with Christians, Muslims, or any religion. I am for anything that gives humans HOPE. BUT saying the President of the USA HAS to be Christian and use religious ideology in ALL politcal choices is BS.
    OH, and as for not blaming Christians for my problems, if you dont want blamed for certain things, then stop giving us reasons to blame you. If you have a group of cops, half bad half good, and they bust in your door, then they are ALL bad cops by default. Same goes for Christians.
    And hey, if you dont like my ideology, then do as your Father hath told you, Forgive me.

  29. Also, these opinions of mine are not just made up. They came from watching many Christians throughout my childhood and teenage years. I watched Christian preachers molest their children, I watched Christians go get drunk and beat their wives, I have watched Christians throw their children out of their homes because their children are gay, and I have watched Christians, past and present, be openly racist. The thought of being able to go pray and all is forgiven is just too much BS. Just start doing what is RIGHT AND WRONG in your mind and show compassion toward your fellow men and women and the world will become a different place, a place of peace. Not of holy wars, nazi wars, witch trials, crusades, or knocking on someone’s door just to tell them their whole family is going to hell because we dont pray through Jesus Christ to our GOD.

  30. Well, speaking as A) A youth, and B) a marijuana smoker, I have been in situations that made me feel that the police are harassing me or my friends because we are pot-smoking teenagers. Personally, I can understand this. When you start smoking pot, you don’t expect to have full immunity, you know the risks as soon as you make the choice to smoke. That being said, however, it’s not a good feeling, thinking to yourself “Could this be the day I go to jail?”
    The fact is, it’s no longer just a fun way to relax, it doesn’t work like that anymore. Could you relax if you thought there was a possibility of being arrested or charged for something you do every day? It’s no way to live. I know at least 10 people, just off the top of my head, that went somewhere to smoke a joint, and came back with probation. Is that REALLY a solution to the problem? Again, speaking as a youth, there’s no way I could write a letter to my MP or MPP about legalization, and have it taken seriously. Also, on a side note, when everybody wanted Obama in office, there were rumors flying around of him legalizing pot. Unfortunately, it’s never that simple. At the end of the day, the Supreme Court will overrule any decision regarding legalization of a controlled substance. It’s their job, and the American people made it that way. They told you it was to prevent tyranny in the oval office, but it’s just another way of putting a puppet president with a nice platform into office. You THINK he’s making the decisions, but he’s just the bearer of bad news. That’s the way it is, I’m sure that’s the way it’s gonna be for quite some time.

  31. The cops are like this as a reflection of parental standards. It is the dominant parenting strategy to use negative reinforcement for getting desired behavior out of their offspring. Parents want the police to be threatening in order to further discourage those evil drugs.

  32. “It’s the hypocrites who want to win the Christian vote that are to blame.” –Guy
    I.e. not the Christians themselves; he has a point.
    That reminded me of a similar paradox involving the parents: remember, they have made a huge labor and financial investment in their children; it is not illogical to think they deserve some reward. If the child gets “caught with pot” they feel betrayed out of real money, old-age security, comfort, dignity etc.– because the cannabis arrest disqualifies the youngster for student loan, admission to high rank college, high pay career path etc. It could at a stroke lower lifetime earnings by a $million or more, and when your parents are 80 that will be echoing in their heads.
    Now a step further– this one police intervention in the child’s life can cause the parent to disown, evict, the spouse to leave or divorce etc., i.e. cause a family break-up which is then conveniently blamed on the cannabis.
    As to the New Jim Crow– Negro Youth Preferentially Targeted– this adds up to low-pay job track (relative slavery: more work for less money), massively reduced career earnings in African-American populations, which then won’t have enough money left over to donate to political campaigns, so some Whitey outspends and gets elected instead (example: 15% of US pop., sometimes 2% of US Senate).

  33. If you want to end the federal war on drugs, vote for Ron Paul! He does not believe that the federal government has any business interfering with individuals’ personal choices!

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  35. @JJ. Not that i don’t agree with norml on this article, but you do realize that libertarianism is a political party and Christianity is a religion, right? I hope you also realize that the two can overlap. You have been trained by a media that only shows the crazy people because the silent majority is not interesting and does not bring in good ratings. Also I hope you realize that splitting the country would be the worst idea possible, because it would force millions to leave their homes so that they could be in the country they belong in. The logistics of such a feat would be astronomical. Radical ideas that have no possibility of ever happening are only detrimental to this organizations cause. Please use logic when making an argument. Just because the other side doesn’t use logic does not mean we shouldn’t

  36. And in addition, I do agree that nobody should force their beliefs on anybody else, but two wrongs do not make a right. be the bigger person and ignore them. You can’t just generalize a population made of millions of people like that. By doing that your stooping to their level. I personally am Christian but i have Buddhist, Jewish, Agnostic, Athiest, and Wiccan friends. Ignorance is generalizable, religion is not

  37. The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year olds) took only 3 months and 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971 – before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc. Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took one (1) year or less to
    become the law of the land – all because of public pressure. Support HR 2306 and RON PAUL 2012.

  38. phew, I’m damn thankful that as a 20, almost 21 year old I’ve somehow, by some miracle avoided getting arrested…and that’s considering having been involved in drug use for ~5 years and having fallen into on and off opiate dependence for 3 of those years up to close to 4 months ago.
    Hell, I realized just how aligned my stars must be when some time ago, while I was yet very irresponsible both due to age and dependence clouding my judgement, a co-worker of equal status(a miserable and sickeningly passive-agressive [along with many other adjectives I could muster] person that who I ultimately only feel sympathy for)that long had a problem with me due to a number of factors that were quite apparently out of my control, I’m told rummaged through my personal bag while I was away for lunch, found left over drugs and paraphernalia and called the police directly instead of notifying our boss, completely ignoring company mandates…apparently the police officer (also thankfully again a customer of our medical supply business who I had helped previously) showed up while I was still away, and as he stood there next to my bag that he was fully aware had hard drugs in it, said “I’m not going to do anything here. If the the boss (my uncle, I’m assuming one of the multiple reasons my co-worker felt ill-will towards me) really wants me to do something about it, have him call me himself.”. He then left and went so far as to not confiscate a thing, and I was unaware anything had even taken place upon returning.
    Of course my co-worker, being the snake he is, convinced the two other people in the office not to tell me or my brother, who worked with me and came to lunch with me, what he’d did, and took the opportunity to wait and call both my mother (breaching mandates in more than one way) and my boss, resulting in me not even being aware until my mother called me after I’d left work. Sill, an absolute freaking trifle compared to how the day could have turned out.
    Sorry about that long story, I got a little carried away, but my point is that despite my uncanny luck I’ve seen a lot of this sham of a war in recent years, and I can personally attest to how devastating and truly counter-productive it is first hand. I’ve said this to others before, and it’s true; I’m the only person I’ve personally come in contact with that has been involved in drugs and not faced (sometimes rather serious and scarring) legal repercussions that most of the time did not help prevent, but actually facilitated many of those I knew’s descent into real criminal offenses and harder drugs/addiction (a large part of which came from probation/drug testing and the relatively short half life of many hard drugs compared to marijuana).
    Unfortunately though young people are such easy targets with such a small voice or ability to defend themselves from bullying, so regardless of the fact that young people are even more vulnerable to damage at the hands of our twisted justice system they’ll remain in the crosshairs for as long as this disgusting, warped farce that is our “war on drugs” is allowed to continue, as it inevitably will until enough people have had enough.

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