skip navigation


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: 136310 Find in a Library
Title: Exploring the Dimensions of Support for Decriminalizing Drugs
Journal: Journal of Drug Issues  Volume:22  Issue:1  Dated:(Winter 1992)  Pages:53-74
Author(s): R A Weisheit; K Johnson
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 22
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis; Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study uses surveys of citizens and criminal justice employees to reveal the multidimensional nature of views regarding the decriminalization of marijuana.
Abstract: Marijuana was selected as the drug of interest, because it is the focus of much public ambivalence regarding its physiological harm and use. It has also been decriminalized in some areas, and it is most likely to be included in any future decriminalization policy. One survey sample consisted of 100 residents of downstate Illinois (outside of metropolitan Chicago) contacted through a telephone survey, and the other consisted of 622 Illinois criminal justice officials contacted through a mail survey. Both groups supported strict legal penalties for marijuana offenses and believed that if legal restrictions were eased, other types of crime would increase. Ironically, they also expressed doubts about the effectiveness of the law in stopping marijuana use. They believed that even if they had all the resources necessary, the police could not stop marijuana use. At the same time, respondents were willing to pay higher taxes for more drug enforcement. This study highlights the problem of viewing either decriminalization or criminalization as unitary concepts. Implications for public policy are discussed. 1 figure, 4 tables, and 42 references
Main Term(s): Decriminalization
Index Term(s): Drug legalization; Marijuana; Public Attitudes/Opinion
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*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.