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Rehab or Jail? Why Marijuana Admissions to Rehab are Increasing | The NORML Stash Blog

I am the producer of The NORML Network, the host of the NORML SHOW LIVE and The NORML Stash Blog, and NORML's Outreach Coordinator. I'm married, live in Portland, Oregon, and I am a registered medical marijuana caregiver in this state. I've worked days as an IT geek and nights as a professional musician. Previously, I have been the host of my own political talk radio show on satellite radio. I've been the High Times "Freedom Fighter of the Month" and I travel across the country to educate people on marijuana reform. I've dedicated my life to bringing an end to adult marijuana prohibition and re-legalizing cannabis hemp, and I'm honored to be chosen by NORML to give voice to the Marijuana Nation and to speak for those who can't speak up.


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10 responses to “Rehab or Jail? Why Marijuana Admissions to Rehab are Increasing”

  1. FAIL: Dr. Kevin Sabet's Anti-Marijuana Legalization Arguments Debunked | The Russ Belville Show

    [...] furious that the scarce resource of rehab beds is wasted on the 57% of marijuana smokers who are only in rehab because they got caught with marijuana, and that 37% of all marijuana smokers admitted to rehab hadn’t even smoked pot in thirty [...]

  2. drugcourtswork

    I work with a judge at a drug court and I have seen a lot of success coming from Marijuana users who attend drug court. Drug court has helped them stay clean of marijuana and get their lives in order by finding them jobs, places to live, and education. The marijuana users are not taking the beds of hard core drug users. Preference is given for “high risk” drug offenders, and that often includes marijuana users, but more hard core drug users. I have definitely seen differences in Marijuana users who first start attending and those who finish.

  3. Delpart

    Thanks Russ. I had trouble digesting that report for some reason. And my apologies for the side-track in regards to employment vs drug courts. Seems rather out of context now.

    Looking closer at the report though, …

    Other community referrals seems as though it may include the courts as well.

    pg 115
    “Other community referral. Community or religious organization or any Federal, State, or local agency that provides aid in the areas of poverty relief, unemployment, shelter, or social welfare. Self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Al-Anon, and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are also included in this category. Defense attorneys are included in this category.”

    See last group listed there. Plea bargain arrangements come to mind seeing that one. I dont see a breakout for that section to say whether it is significant or not, but surely indicative of even more numbers in what might be called indirect referrals from the court system.

    Food for thought at least.

  4. Bud Green

    Got citations for the stats listed above?

  5. Joshua Snyder

    Well, according to that data, only 15% are self-referrals when it comes to marijuana, and 57% are criminal referrals. So that leaves 100%-(15%+57%)=28%. Is part of that remaining 28% the job program(sober up!) referrals?

    Also, with total marijuana arrests going up from 682k to 847k, that’s a 25% rise in marijuana arrests from 1998 to 2008. Also you have to take into account that we have all those new drug courts, as you mentioned, which increasingly defer minor cannabis offenders to the rehab system. So one would expect to see at least a 25% rise or so in the number of admissions from the criminal justice system, which account for 57% of all admissions. If you count the leaning towards rehab sentences by courts nowadays, you can probably assume let’s say another 10%….25%+10%=35%. So with arrests rising 165K(25%) in those intervening years, it should be no surprise that all marijuana rehab entries went from accounting for 13% of all rehab admissions to 17%. That’s only a 30% increase by the numbers in the past 10 years when we were expecting 35% just via the criminal justice system. So, marijuana drug rehab admissions from the criminal system are definitely primarily responsible for the total increase from 13%-17%.

  6. Delpart

    I’m sure a goodly portion of the self referrals not mandated by a court are from people choosing to continue working over losing their jobs from a positive “random” test result. Even with Federal Government jobs, this is the way it works. You check into rehab and they put you on probation while you “get sober.”

    Not sure how one would obtain such data but I’m real curious as to the percentage. I’ve met far too many people who’ve reported they had undergone drug rehab to keep their jobs.

    Something to consider maybe. Federal funding of the drug free workplace is just unbalanced when it comes to MMJ as you’ve covered in the past. This is one of the twists.

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