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Implications of Cannabis Legalization on Juvenile Justice Outcomes and Racial Disparities.

Am J Prev Med. 2020 Feb 04;:

Authors: Firth CL, Hajat A, Dilley JA, Braun M, Maher JE

Abstract
INTRODUCTION: The objective of this study is to assess the changes in rates of juvenile cannabis criminal allegations and racial disparities in Oregon after legalization of cannabis (July 2015) for adults.
METHODS: This study included all allegations for cannabis-related offenses that occurred from January 2012 to September 2018 in Oregon. Negative binomial regression models were used to examine monthly cannabis allegation rates over time, and tested differences between youth of color and white youth, adjusting for age, gender, and month the allegation occurred. Analysis was conducted in January-March 2019.
RESULTS: Cannabis allegation rates increased 28% among all youth and 32% among cannabis-using youth after legalization. Rates of allegations were highest for American Indian/Alaska Native and black youth. Rates for black youth were double that of whites before legalization, and this disparity decreased after legalization. For American Indian/Alaska Native youth, rates were higher than whites before legalization, and this disparity remained unchanged.
CONCLUSIONS: Adult cannabis legalization in Oregon was associated with increased juvenile cannabis allegations; increases are not explained by changes in underage cannabis use. Relative disparities decreased for black youth but remained unchanged for American Indian/Alaska Native youth. Changing regulations following adult cannabis legalization could have unintended negative impacts on youth.

PMID: 32033855 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]


Source: ncbi 2

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