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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 113335 Find in a Library
Title: Savings in California Marijuana Law Enforcement Costs Attributable to the Moscone Act of 1976: A Summary
Journal: Journal of Psychoactive Drugs  Volume:20  Issue:1  Dated:(January-March 1988)  Pages:75-82
Author(s): M R Aldrich; T Mikuriya
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 8
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study indicates that California has saved a minimum of one billion dollars since 1976 as a result of making possession of an ounce or less of marijuana a citable misdemeanor (Moscone Act of 1976) instead of a felony, as under previous law.
Abstract: Savings were examined from 1976 through 1985 in the areas of arrest costs, court costs, prison costs, and parole costs. Marijuana arrest expenditures were calculated according to a method designed by Post (California Senate Select Committee, 1974), who determined that approximately one-fourth of police time is devoted to the detection and apprehension of criminals, such that arrest expenditures are approximately 25 percent of all law enforcement expenditures. Weighting felony arrests at three times as expensive as misdemeanor arrests, the average cost per felony was determined by dividing total arrest expenditures by the number of felony arrests plus one-third of the number of misdemeanor arrests. Findings indicate that the Moscone Act has achieved its objectives of both reducing law enforcement expenditures related to possession of small amounts of marijuana to a minimum and relieving an overwhelming burden on the State judicial system. A 1987 study by Mandel indicates that lowering penalties for marijuana possession has not increased its use. 2 figures, 4 tables, 12 references.
Main Term(s): Marijuana
Index Term(s): California; Crime specific law reform; Drug law enforcement; Law enforcement costs
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