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Pot by the numbers

on October 29, 2010

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In all recorded history, no one has ever died from a marijuana overdose–and that includes hoovering down three batches of pot brownies.  Why? To put it simply, a person would have to consume 40,000 times the marijuana contained in one joint.  That averages out to about 1,500 pounds of pot. “Eating ten raw potatoes can result in a toxic response,” wrote Drug Enforcement Administration Judge Francis Young in a 1988 ruling on medical marijuana.  “By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death.” There is a vast supply of fascinating facts like this one that never seem to make it into print.  These marijuana numbers and statistics can provide an important general overview of what our country is facing with pot and Proposition 19, the California measure to legalize marijuana on the November 2nd ballot. To take you through trivia about drug arrests, marijuana use, and our attitudes about legalization, Oakland North built this interactive overview of doobie data. To scroll through the information, click the arrows.

Sources:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), 2010. http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/NSDUH/2k9NSDUH/tabs/Sect1peTabs1to10.pdf

(SAMHSA), 2010. http://oas.samhsa.gov/NSDUH/2k9NSDUH/2k9ResultsP.pdf

Results from the 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/nsduh/2k7nsduh/2k7results.cfm

Results from the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings http://oas.samhsa.gov/nsduh/2k8nsduh/2k8Results.cfm

Results from the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings http://oas.samhsa.gov/NSDUH/2k9NSDUH/2k9ResultsP.pdf

Results from the 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/nsduh/2k7nsduh/2k7results.cfm

Results from the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings http://oas.samhsa.gov/nsduh/2k8nsduh/2k8Results.cfm

Results from the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings http://oas.samhsa.gov/NSDUH/2k9NSDUH/2k9ResultsP.pdf

Source: Kilmer, Beau; Caulkins, Jonathan P.; Pacula, Rosalie Liccardo; MacCoun, Robert J.; Reuter, Peter H., “Altered State? Assessing How Marijuana Legalization in California Could Influence Marijuana Consumption and Public Budgets” Drug Policy Research Center (Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation 2010), p. 8. http://www.rand.org/pubs/occasional_papers/2010/RAND_OP315.pdf

Get the Facts: DrugWarFacts.org http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/Marijuana#Data http://drugwarfacts.org/cms/?q=node/53

Office of the Attorney General, Arrest Statistics: TOTAL FELONY ARRESTS BY GENDER, OFFENSE AND ARREST RATE, ALAMEDA COUNTY, 2008 http://stats.doj.ca.gov/cjsc_stats/prof08/01/3A.htm

Office of the Attorney General, Arrest Statistics: TOTAL MISDEMEANOR ARRESTS BY GENDER, OFFENSE AND ARREST RATE, ALAMEDA COUNTY, 2008 http://stats.doj.ca.gov/cjsc_stats/prof08/01/4A.htm

Office of the Attorney General, Arrest Statistics: TOTAL FELONY ARRESTS BY GENDER, OFFENSE AND ARREST RATE, STATEWIDE, 2008 http://stats.doj.ca.gov/cjsc_stats/prof08/00/3A.htm

Office of the Attorney General, Arrest Statistics:  TOTAL MISDEMEANOR ARRESTS BY GENDER, OFFENSE AND ARREST RATE, STATEWIDE, 2008 http://stats.doj.ca.gov/cjsc_stats/prof08/00/4A.htm

Numbers for “Nationally”: AP/CNBC Marijuana Poll.  1001 people randomly polled April 7-12 2010 http://www.cnbc.com/id/36601126/

Numbers for “California”: Indybay: San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center California http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/09/30/18660361.php

Numbers for “Nationally”: AP/CNBC Marijuana Poll.  1001 people randomly polled April 7-12 2010 http://www.cnbc.com/id/36601126/page/3/

Numbers for “California”: Ballotpedia.  California Proposition 215 (1996) http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/California_Proposition_215_(1996)

AP/CNBC Marijuana Poll.  1001 people randomly polled April 7-12 2010 http://www.cnbc.com/id/36601126/page/5/

Bennett, Jessica.  Welcome to Potopia, California. Newsweek.  Online.  Oct. 25, 2010 http://www.newsweek.com/2010/10/25/prop-19-making-pot-legal-in-california.html

Check out all of our Oakland elections coverage on our Campaign 2010 page.

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1 Comment

  1. A on October 29, 2010 at 10:46 am

    “1,663,582 Americans arrested for drug offenses in 2009; More people than the population of Oakland”

    Um, I mean technically that’s true, but what kind of comparison is that? It’s four times the population of Oakland! “More than the population of San Diego” would be a little more appropriate, or if you want to keep it close to home then “twice the population of San Francisco”…



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Oakland North is an online news service produced by students at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and covering Oakland, California. Our goals are to improve local coverage, innovate with digital media, and listen to you–about the issues that concern you and the reporting you’d like to see in your community. Please send news tips to: oaklandnorthstaff@gmail.com.

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