This report presents 1998 data on marijuana use among arrestees, based on the findings from arrestee drug testing under the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Program (ADAM).
Currently, 35 urban sites participate in the ADAM program. Twelve of the 35 sites were new to the ADAM system in 1998. A comparison between 1997 and 1998 results in the 23 sites for which trend data are available indicates that marijuana-positive percentages varied across sites. Among all adult male arrestees, the median site rate of marijuana positives changed minimally, from 38.4 percent to 38.7 percent between 1997 and 1998. For females, the site median remained essentially the same in 1997 (23.8) and 1998 (23.7). In 29 of the 35 ADAM sites, at least one- third of all adult male arrestees tested positive for marijuana in 1998. In 26 of 32 sites collecting female data, at least one- fifth of females tested positive for marijuana. In many ADAM sites, marijuana use was not only concentrated among those arrestees under age 25, but was also increasing most rapidly in those age groups. The high rates of marijuana use among young adults, particularly males, suggest communities will be confronting marijuana use well into the foreseeable future. The 1998 ADAM results also show that other drugs are routinely used with marijuana. Cocaine and alcohol are the most common drugs used with marijuana, although substantial variations are seen with other drugs by site. If substantial portions of marijuana users become regular users of other drugs, the declines in other drug use that have been achieved could be reversed. This potential should be carefully monitored. 6 tables and 4 references
Date Published: April 1, 1999