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Drug Use Among Domestic Marijuana Growers

NCJ Number
Contemporary Drug Problems Dated: (Summer 1991) Pages: 191-217
Date Published
27 pages
The attitudes and use of marijuana and other drugs by commercial marijuana growers were studied using data from interviews with 31 marijuana growers who had been arrested in Illinois between 1980 and 1990, as well as interviews with 20 Illinois law enforcement officials and 10 officials from surrounding States.
The participants all grew 20 or more plants. The analysis revealed that the growers had been in the business for an average of 5 years; six grew all or part of their crops indoors. Most of the growers were also marijuana users, and most had at least tried other drugs. Most did not think that growing marijuana was morally wrong, but they realized that others might feel differently. Most thought that legal penalties should be reduced but that strict government controls should be in place. They were particularly interested in keeping marijuana out of the hands of teenagers, although many had no way of preventing this from happening with their own crops. Little overlap appeared to exist between growing marijuana and trafficking in other drugs. It appeared unlikely that most of these growers would move into trafficking in cocaine and heroin. Although some officials regarded marijuana growing as a precursor to dealing in other drugs and several regarded marijuana growing as a way to support a cocaine habit, more officials made a distinction between marijuana growers and those in the business of cocaine or heroin. 25 references

Date Published: January 1, 1991