ERIC Number: ED143980
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976
Drug Use by High School Students in an Environment of Shifting Legal Penalties: Some Concommitants of Changes in the Legal Status of Marijuana. Supplement Abstract Service.
Stuart, Richard B.; And Others
In Ann Arbor, Michigan, penalties for the possession of small amounts of marijuana were changed three times in four years. This provided an opportunity to assess the relationship between changes in the legal status of marijuana and the use of marijuana and five other classes of drugs. Data were collected by anonymous self-report questionnaires completed by 3,940 high school students in Ann Arbor and in three neighboring communities over the four-year period. Changes in the legal status of marijuana appeared to have little impact upon its use by high school students. Also, during the time that the possession of marijuana was decriminalized, use of the so-called "hard" drugs remained stable. Analysis of the combinations of drugs used casts doubt upon the "escalation" theory of cumulative drug use. Students' decisions to use drugs were shown to be influenced by many factors, including their information about drugs, their attitudes toward drugs in society, their past experiences with drugs, and their perception of their friends' use of drugs. Finally it was found that students' attitudes toward decriminalization of the possession of drugs were highly selective. (Author)
Descriptors: Behavior Patterns, Drug Abuse, Drug Addiction, Environmental Influences, High School Students, Marihuana, Narcotics, Questionnaires, Social Behavior, Social Science Research
Order Department, American Psychological Association, 1200 Seventeenth St., N.W., Washington, D.C. (HC $8.00, MF $4.00, order number JSAS MS. 1361, prepayment required)
Publication Type: Reference Materials - Bibliographies
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Psychological Association, Washington, DC. Journal Supplement Abstract Service.