Cannabis is everywhere! Whether you call it weed, pot, or marijuana, cannabis by any other name is still cannabis. From your stereotypical street drug dealer to medical cannabis dispensaries to courtrooms across America, we cannot escape the hot buzz that is weed. While it may be hot, it is nothing new; since being made illegal over a hundred years ago, proponents of its use and benefits have rallied and advocated for its declassification as an illicit substance, upon deaf ears until very recently. Individuals’ states and companies have been making moves to decriminalize and regulate this drug.
The ongoing debates and public discourse associated with cannabis legalization have broader implications for criminal justice policy and social equity in the United States. The Need for Weed: Marijuana Policy and Public Politics in the Criminal Justice System address the impact of cannabis policy on crime and policing, as well as its impact on social justice and public policy more broadly.
Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Cannabis-Associated Crimes & Risk
Chapter 3 Social Justice & Equality
Chapter 4 Enforcement, Policing, & Cannabis
Chapter 5 Cannabis, Incarceration, & Public Policy
Chapter 6 Social Costs of Cannabis Policy
Chapter 7 Conclusion
Appendices The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 DSM-5
Dr. Kellie A. Wallace earned her Ph.D. in Criminal Justice and Criminology from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, where her research and work focused on the criminalization of mental illness. She has Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Sociology from the College of the Holy Cross, a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice Studies from Suffolk University, as well as a Master’s and a post-Master’s (CAGS) degree in Mental Health Counseling, also from Suffolk University. Prior to returning to academia, Dr. Wallace was a clinical therapist in the Greater Boston Area, providing outreach services to low-income communities, specializing in working with individuals who struggled with substance use disorders, had forensic involvement, or identified as LGBTQ*. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Lasell University in Newton, Massachusetts as well as a veterinary technician in the Greater Boston Area.
Scott H. Belshaw is currently an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. Dr. Belshaw holds a Ph.D. in Juvenile Criminal Justice from Prairie View A&M University. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Social Sciences from the University of Houston-Downtown. He also holds both a Master of Arts in Liberal Arts from Houston Baptist University and a Master of Arts in Criminology from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Dr. Belshaw’s criminal justice experience includes working many years with the Harris County Texas Community Supervision and Corrections Department serving as a probation officer, gang intelligence officer, and court liaison probation officer. Dr. Belshaw has published books on organized crime and constitutional law. He has published numerous research articles in criminal justice journals. Dr. Belshaw is currently serving as the Director of the Cyber Forensics Lab at the University of North Texas.
Jared R. Dmello, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice & Criminology at Sam Houston State University and a Research Associate at the Center on Public Security at Rutgers University. He earned his Ph.D. in Criminal Justice and Criminology, Option in Terrorism Studies, from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He also holds a Master’s in Criminal Justice from UML, a Master’s in National Security Studies from California State University, San Bernardino, and a Bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa. Dr. Dmello’s work primarily focuses on illicit networks, ranging from criminal street gangs to terrorist organizations, though he has extensive experience in a broad range of topics pertaining to criminology, security studies, and program evaluation. Dr. Dmello is also a Past President of the Texas Association of Criminal Justice Educators and a recipient of the Ken Peak Innovations in Teaching Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.