Removal of penalties / Decriminalization

Reports and Studies

01/18/13 | National-level drug policy and young people's illicit drug use: a multilevel analysis of the European Union

11/14/12 | Decriminalise drug use, say experts after six-year study

07/13/12 | Marijuana Decriminalization: The Impact on Youth 1975-80. Monitoring the Future. Occasional Paper Series, Paper 13.

This 1981 study examines marijuana use and attitudes in the 10 states that had previously removed possible jail time as a penalty for simple possession of marijuana. As the abstract says, "the study attempted to assess the impact of the law on the attitudes, beliefs, and peer norms of high school seniors and young adults relating to marijuana use. ... Overall, the results indicate that decriminalization of marijuana had virtually no effect either on use or on related attitudes and beliefs about marijuana use among young people in this age group."

07/13/12 | A Quiet Revolution: Drug Decriminalisation Policies in Practice Across the Globe

This report by, a British organization focused on harm reduction in drug policies, looked at data from over 20 countries that have adopted some form of decriminalization of drug possession, including several that have only decriminalized marijuana possession. It found that decriminalization did not lead to significant increases in drug use in those countries, strongly indicating that harsh penalties for possession have little to no effect on drug use rates.

02/06/12 | Decriminalization/Teen Use Analysis



10/27/14 |
Editorial: No Progress on Marijuana Arrests

08/05/14 |
Inquirer Editorial: Enough stonewalling

07/07/14 |
The Harris boycott [Editorial]

06/02/14 |
Editorial: Michigan should review pot laws

05/28/13 |
Let’s stop wrecking lives over a bag of weed



01/22/15 |
South Carolina Medical Marijuana and Decriminalization Bills Introduced

01/22/15 |
Wyoming House Judiciary Committee Approves Decriminalization Bill

01/12/15 |
Arizona Legislature to Consider Bills to Legalize and Decriminalize Marijuana

12/16/14 |
Bill to Reduce Penalties for Possession Filed in Texas

12/16/14 |
Virginia to Consider Decriminalizing Marijuana Possession






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