Violent behavior as related to use of marijuana and other drugs

J Addict Dis. 2001;20(1):49-72. doi: 10.1300/J069v20n01_06.


The relationship of the degree of use of each of ten types of illicit drugs with each of eight types of violent criminal offenses, is reported for an African-American, inner-city, low SES, young adult study sample (N = 612). Prospective data from the time of birth was available for the statistical analyses, to provide 51 control variables on factors other than substance use which might predict to later violent behavior

Findings: Greater frequency of use of marijuana was found unexpectedly to be associated with greater likelihood to commit weapons offenses; and this association was not found for any of the other drugs, except for alcohol. Marijuana use was also found associated with commission of Attempted Homicide/Reckless Endangerment offenses. Cocaine/crack and marijuana were the only two types of drugs the frequency of use of which was found, for this sample, to be significantly related to the frequency of being involved in the selling of drugs. These findings may not apply to a middle-class African-American sample.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / epidemiology*
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / epidemiology
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data*
  • Comorbidity
  • Crime / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs*
  • Incidence
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Marijuana Abuse / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data*


  • Illicit Drugs