Trends in cannabis use among justice-involved youth in the United States, 2002–2017

Michael G. Vaughn, Millan AbiNader, Christopher P. Salas-Wright, Katherine Holzer, Sehun Oh, Yeongjin Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Little is known regarding trends in cannabis use among justice-involved youth. We hypothesize that cannabis use will be higher over time among justice-involved youth who, on average, are more likely to be exposed to and seek out cannabis. Objectives: The present study compares trends in cannabis use among justice-involved youth (past year) with youth in the general population age 12–17 who have not been arrested in the past year. Methods: Public-use data as part of the 2002–2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), which does not include state-level identifiers, was used. Males constitute 51% of the total sample. Among justice-involved youth, 66.4% were males. We employed logistic regression analyses with survey year as an independent variable and past-year cannabis use as the dependent variable. A series of logistic regressions examined the association between cannabis use and psychosocial and behavioral factors. Results: The prevalence of past-year cannabis use among justice-involved youth (3.09% of the sample) steadily increased from 54% in 2002 to 58% in 2017 (AOR = 1.018, 95% CI = 1.004–1.034), while the concurrent prevalence of cannabis use among youth with no past year arrests decreased from a high of 14% in 2002 to 12% in 2017 (AOR = 0.993, 95% CI = 0.990–0.997). Conclusion: Study findings suggest that cannabis use is increasing among justice-involved youth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)462-471
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jul 3

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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