skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 56344 Find in a Library
Title: MARIJUANA AND HASHISH - A PROPOSAL FOR DECRIMINALIZATION
Journal: CRIMINAL JUSTICE QUARTERLY  Volume:6  Issue:3  Dated:(FALL 1978)  Pages:94-123
Author(s): J J DEGNAN
Corporate Author: New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 33
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice
Princeton, NJ 08540
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS REPORT DISCUSSES GENERAL PERSPECTIVES OF THE DRUG PROBLEM AND DECRIMINALIZATON, STUDIES OF THE MARIHUANA ISSUE, MODELS FOR DEEMPHASIZING CRIMINAL LAW, AND STATUTORY MODELS FOR NEW JERSEY.
Abstract: THE CRIMINAL LAW MUST EMPHASIZE POTENTIAL AND ACTUAL ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOR, AND GOVERNMENTAL RESPONSE MUST BE CONCERNED WITH HARMFUL CONSEQUENCES TO SOCIETY FROM DRUG USE, RATHER THAN WITH RISKS TO INDIVIDUALS. THE SHAFER COMMISSION IN 1972 ATTEMPTED TO EXAMINE THE FULL EXTENT OF MARIHUANA USE IN THIS COUNTRY AND CONCLUDED THAT, ALTHOUGH MARIHUANA DOES NOT EMERGE AS A MAJOR THREAT TO THE SOCIAL ORDER, ITS USE SHOULD BE DISCOURAGED. IT CONCLUDES FURTHER THAT CRIMINALIZATION AND INCARCERATION OF MERE, POSSESSORY OFFENDERS IS NEITHER A NECESSARY NOR DESIRABLE MEANS OF IMPLEMENTING THAT POLICY. AS A RESULT OF SUCH FINDINGS MANY STATES HAVE REDUCED MAXIMUM SENTENCES FOR MARIHUANA USE OR POSSESSION, AND OTHER STATES HAVE MADE LEGISLATIVE DECLARATIONS OF DECRIMINALIZATION OF POSSESSION OF MARIHUANA FOR PERSONAL USE. LENIENCY TRENDS ARE REPORTED FOR ALASKA, CALIFORNIA, COLORADO, MAINE, MINNESOTA, NEW YORK, OHIO, AND OREGON. CURRENT LAW IN NEW JERSEY PENALIZES THE POSSESSION OF ANY AMOUNT OF MARIHUANA IN EXCESS OF 25 GRAMS BY AS MUCH AS 5 YEARS IN JAIL OR A $15,000 FINE. FOUR MODELS ARE SUGGESTED FOR CHANGING NEW JERSEY LAW: (1) THE SHAFER COMMISSION MODEL ALLOWING PRIVATE POSSESSION FOR PERSONAL USE AND PRIVATE DISTRIBUTION OF SMALL AMOUNTS FOR NO PERSONAL GAIN, (2) THE NEW JERSEY DRUG STUDY COMMISSION'S MODEL IMPOSING CIVIL FINES FOR ANY POSSESSION OR USE, (3) THE STAMLER MODEL CHARACTERIZING POSSESSION OF 10 OR FEWER GRAMS AS A NUISANCE PUNISHABLE BY NO MORE THAN $100 FINE, (4) THE DIVISION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE MODEL IMPOSING CRIMINAL PENALTIES FOR DISTRIBUTION BUT MAKING POSSESSION A CIVIL VIOLATION NOT TO EXCEED $200 FINE. THE DIVISION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE CONCLUDES THAT ALTERNATIVES TO CRIMINAL SANCTIONS SHOULD BE EMPLOYED FOR MARIHUANA USE, THAT DISCOURAGEMENT OF USE SHOULD BE PURSUED BY OTHER MEANS, AND THAT ELIMINATION SOUGHT THROUGH CRIMINAL PENALTIES SHOULD BE RESTRICTED TO COMMERCIAL TRAFFICKERS. (KJM)
Index Term(s): Alaska; California; Colorado; Decriminalization; Drug effects; Drug law offenses; Drug laws; Drug regulation; Law reform; Maine; Marijuana; Minnesota; New Jersey; New York; Ohio; Oregon
Note: DERIVED FROM A SPEECH GIVEN TO THE NARCOTICS ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS ASSOCIATION
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=56344

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.