States that legalize or decriminalize cannabis witnessed huge declines in race-based arrests with adults while those that affirm cannabis prohibition proceed to undergo developments in arrest rate variations, a unique study in a significant scientific journal issued by the American Medical Association discovered.
The study looked at metrics from 43 states and recognized a clear pattern. It might appear obvious on its surface, but stopping or relaxing laws criminalizing cannabis is linked to major cannabis arrest drops associated with states that have continued cannabis prohibition.
The data tied to the number of cannabis arrests, which notably converged on inclinations correlated with race, examined metrics from 2008 to 2019. The ones performing the study from Eastern Virginia Medical School and Saint Louis University discovered that states that legalized cannabis witnessed 560 fewer arrests per 100,000 African-American people and nearly 196 fewer arrests for caucasian people on average over the aforementioned period.
Decriminalization, however, was linked to approximately 450 fewer arrests per 100,000 Black people and a plummet of 120 for white people.
In opposition, cannabis arrests for adults and juveniles increased gradually in states that did not execute a cannabis reform policy the study, issued by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Health Forum in October, bookend.
And exceeding raw cannabis arrest rates, racial inequalities in cannabis arrests also rose in states that maintained cannabis prohibition while falling in states that enacted cannabis reform.
Summarily, findings discovered that states that implemented a cannabis reform policy witnessed significant decreases in cannabis-related arrests, unlike states that had installed no such policy reform. Despite this, they remarked that the timing of these inclinations following the installation of cannabis reform breeds questions about the universalizability of these effects to additional states.
There was also another refinement. Cannabis arrest metrics on juveniles designated that young people posed a lower risk of being arrested for a cannabis-related crime under basic cannabis decriminalization as compared to cannabis legalization.
Supreme cannabis arrest biases showcased minute changes in White and Black youth arrest rates in states that implemented cannabis legalization, which was not surprising, considering that juveniles are prohibited from a legalized cannabis market that hones in on adults 21 years and older. Nevertheless, the demand remains for targeted strategies to address juvenile arrests and cannabis-related arrest incongruities, as well as further monitoring of cannabis reform policy outcomes.
In either case, the research validated something that cannabis reform advocates have long debated: States that did not implement cannabis policy revisions showed no significant change in cannabis-related arrests for caucasian individuals and an increase for African-American individuals through developing cannabis arrest rate inequality over time.
The drop in cannabis possession arrests amid cannabis decriminalization states corresponding with its installation hints that the cannabis policy itself is reckoning for the development. While states that brought forth cannabis legalization were previously undergoing marked declines in cannabis-related arrests prior to the cannabis policy, states with decriminalization showcase evidence that the cannabis reform policy itself is the most apparent reason for a cannabis-related arrest rate decrease.
The researchers resolved by stating that while the consequences do not favor cannabis decriminalization nor legalization, rises in cannabis-related arrest rate differences in states without cannabis reform policies showcase the need for targeted interruptions to discuss the racial injustice. The research metrics aren’t particularly unusual for readers who’ve stalked cannabis policy reform and the racist impressions of the war on drugs.
Even the chair of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Nora Volkow, has regularly remarked and criticized the racial injustices in cannabis criminalization enforcement.
JAMA also issued a study earlier this year that found that youth cannabis use does not rise after states enact cannabis legalization for medicinal or recreational use, challenging another cannabis prohibitionist anecdote.