Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Jesser, Clinton J.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Sociology


Drug abuse--Social aspects--United States; Judges--Attitudes--United States; Marijuana--Law and legislation--United States


This study focuses on the attitudes of members of the criminal justice system regarding the effects of marijuana and the present laws governing the possession and use of this drug. This researcher wished to determine whether these judges and lawyers viewed marijuana as a grave social problem. The method used for collecting the data was a questionnaire and was composed in two sections. The first section dealt solely with background information and the second section focused on the attitudes maintained by the respondents regarding the effects of marijuana, its present laws and the future legislation. A great deal of the information concerning this research was taken from the national survey reported by the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse in 1972, as well as a number of other studies conducted on this topic throughout the years. The findings of the investigation determined that marijuana is indeed a social problem. The results of the present study were approximately half and half with some maintaining the attitudes that it was the drug which was the problem and the others believing that the laws caused the real problems. Other studies which were reviewed concluded that the dangerous effects of marijuana use were relatively minimal when compared to the costs of the laws pertaining to marijuana possession and use to both the individual user and society as a whole. The alternative in these instances was to opt for decriminalization of the possession and use of marijuana.


Includes bibliographical references.


v, 95 pages




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