Arresting and putting low-level juvenile offenders into the criminal-justice system pulls many kids deeper into trouble rather than turning them around.
Marijuana — it’s one of the primary reasons why California experienced
a stunning 20 percent drop in juvenile arrests in just one year,
between 2010 and 2011, according to provocative new research.
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
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.