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Marijuana use on the rise, prescription drug use falling

Marijuana use on the rise, prescription drug use falling

Minnesotans may be interested to learn that the National Survey on Drug Use and Health has released its results from 2011 and the number of people abusing prescription drugs is the lowest it has been since 2002. Marijuana use, however, is on the rise, with young people. The question is, why is one falling while one is rising? One man believes it is because of a lack of alternative sentencing programs for people arrested of marijuana use.

Programs that focus more on public health and treatment are more likely to reduce marijuana use, says the executive director of Drug Policy Alliance. The organization is vocal in its support of treatment instead of locking people up and giving them criminal records. And, other sources report that alternative sentencing programs are more likely to reduce recidivism among young drug users.

Instead, many police and prosecutors in Minneapolis-St. Paul focus on criminalizing and incarcerating anyone arrested for marijuana possession.

The survey also found that the number of people between the ages 18 and 25 were 14 percent less likely to abuse prescription medicines than the year before. There are only 1.7 million young people who abused prescription medication, or only 3.6 percent of the country. Much of this decline is likely linked to the increasingly visible public health campaigns and cutting off drugs at the source.

Being charged with drug possession in Minnesota is dangerous and there are real risks associated with having a criminal record, spending time in prison and paying heavy fines. This is why it is so important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help protect people accused of using drugs.

Source: USA Today, “Prescription drug abuse drops among young people,” Donna Leinwand Leger, Sept. 25, 2012

Visit our drug possession page to learn about the dangers associated with drug charges in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

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