TF Archives

FBI Risks Alienating 750,000 Cannabis Users A Year

Author: Jonty Adderley
Friday, November 2, 2001
The FBI arrested 734,498 people for cannabis offences last year, the American crime fighting organisation revealed this week, which was more than the numbers busted for murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault combined (Alternet). The publication of the statistics coincided with a new study conducted at the Texas A&M University which suggested that punishment can often prompt people to break laws even more.

"When a person is punished by society for a deviant behaviour such as drug abuse, he or she is stigmatised and alienated, and this increases the likelihood of that person becoming motivated to act against social conventions," Howard B. Kaplan from the University's Laboratory for Social Deviance told the Washington Post. People who've been punished also risk succumbing to 'secondary deviance', Mr Kaplan added, which describes cases where they redefine their 'deviant' behaviour as 'acceptable or even good'. (FBI crime information)