from the files of the



[From the 1968 pamphlet     "FACTS ABOUT MARIJUANA"
--- Author Los Angeles (Ca) Police Dept.]

"Violent behavior has long been associated with the abuse of marijuana. There is little question that this occurs . . . In 1966 the Los Angeles Police Department conducted a survey into the relationship between marijuana and criminal behavior. Hundreds of cases were documented during a one-year period in which marijuana was involved as a factor of criminal behavior. The next several pages contain a few criminal cases selected from the survey to illustrate this relationship. (Los Angeles Police Department)

  • While on patrol, radio car officers observed a vehicle which fit the description of one used in a robbery a short time before. Officers stopped the vehicle and upon interrogation the driver admitted he had been involved in a robbery. A search of the vehicle disclosed a partially burnt marijuana cigarette on the floorboard. Under the seat officers found a large bag of marijuana. The suspect stated he was a marijuana smoker and had smoked two marijuana cigarettes that day.

  • Officers received a radio call that shots had been fired. Upon investigation it was discovered that the suspect had been earlier ejected from a bar for a disturbance. Fifteen minutes later he returned and fired several shots from a shotgun in the street outside the bar. When the patrons of the bar quickly emptied into the street the suspect fired in their direction striking one in the leg. Numerous shotguns, rifles and pistols were found in the suspect's home when arrested. In the closet was found a large quantity of marijuana. The suspect admitted smoking marijuana that day and on numerous previous occasions.

  • Radio car officers observed three suspects leave a doughnut shop and enter a vehicle which had been reported stolen. The vehicle was stopped and the suspects arrested. In the vehicle a .38 caliber revolver and 18 marijuana cigarettes were discovered. One of the arrestees had just been released from San Quentin and all three were later identified by victims as a robbery team involved in numerous robberies.

  • Officers received a call regarding a family dispute. The officers were met by the suspect's wife who stated that she and her husband had had an argument and she threatened to leave with the children. The suspect became violent and struck her several times in the face. When she fell down, he kicked her several times in the ribs. The suspect then dragged the victim to a staircase and pushed her down the stairs. Officers could smell the odor of marijuana emitting from within the house in which the suspect had locked himself. After entry was made and the suspect arrested, officers found in the suspect's bedroom a quantity of zig-zag paper and a pipe filled with marijuana.

  • A victim reported to the police that she had been kidnapped and robbed during the early morning hours. She stated that a man had held a knife at her throat and forced her into his car. The suspect then tried to force the victim to smoke a marijuana cigarette but she refused. The suspect then removed $30 from the victim's purse and forced her out of the car. The arresting officers located the suspect's apartment and at the time of the arrest officers found a partially smoked marijuana cigarette in an ashtray and a large bag of Marijuana in a closet.

  • Radio car officers observed a parked vehicle containing five juveniles, the youngest of whom was 13. The vehicle had previously been reported stolen. As officers approached the car they detected the odor of marijuana smoke. All of the subjects admitted to smoking marijuana at this time and also to smoking marijuana just prior to stealing the car.

  • A 17 year old subject ran up behind the victim, age 78, struck her with his fists and grabbed her purse. The victim -fell to the sidewalk striking her head and she later died from a skull fracture. Witnesses identified the subject and he was arrested for murder. In the subject's home 20 marijuana cigarettes were found. The subject's' record included 19 prior arrests.

  • Officers observed a suspect driving a stolen vehicle. When the officers pulled along side and identified themselves by showing their badges, the suspect increased his speed and forced the police vehicle into the curb. The officers continued their pursuit and the suspect's vehicle narrowly missed oncoming traffic. On several occasions during pursuit the suspect attempted to force the police vehicle off the roadway. The suspect was eventually stopped when officers shot out his rear tires. When the suspect's home was searched several marijuana cigarettes were found. The suspect's wife stated that the suspect had smoked a marijuana cigarette before leaving the house.

  • Radio car officers received a call regarding a disturbance at an apartment house. Upon their arrival the manager related that a man had run up the stairs with a bumper jack in his hand and had entered an apartment. When the officers reached the apartment, they could hear a female inside screaming, "Don't kill me George, please don't kill me. " The officers knocked on the door and identified themselves and the female cried, "Oh God please come in. He's killing me. " The officers forcibly entered and observed the suspect standing over the victim with the jack handle over his head poised to strike. The suspect was taken into custody and a marijuana cigarette was found in his pocket. The suspect stated he had smoked at least four marijuana cigarettes that day.

  • A landlady of an apartment house reported that one of her female tenants had fired two shots at her. The officers went to the suspect's apartment and after knocking and identifying themselves the door was opened and the suspect pointed a .25 automatic pistol at them. Upon disarming the female the officers heard the toilet flush and upon entering the bathroom observed the defendant's boyfriend attempting to dispose of a quantity of marijuana. When the female suspect was being booked officers found two plastic bags containing marijuana in her purse.

  • Officers received a radio call "woman screaming. " When they arrived the officers were met by a man and a woman each claiming they were victims of an assault by the other. Both parties showed evidence of injury. The female suspect stated, "I smoked two or three roaches. He looked at me with a weird look in his eye and called me a profanity. I picked up the ice pick and hit him with it. I am high now." It was noted that the male had been stabbed three times. A search of the house disclosed marijuana debris in several ashtrays.

  • Radio car officers answered a call to a playground regarding an assault suspect. The officers were told by the playground director that he had ordered the 16 year old subject from the athletic field because of a disturbance he was causing. The playground director suspected the youngster was intoxicated because his voice was slurred, his eyes partially shut and he was staggering. The subject had also become antagonistic and swore and swung his fists at the director. Marijuana debris was found in the subject's pocket and he then admitted that he had smoked three marijuana cigarettes just prior to the altercation.

  • While on patrol officers observed a vehicle traveling at a rate of speed in excess of 110 m. p. h. Due to heavy traffic, officers were unable to overtake the vehicle and a roadblock was established. The vehicle was finally stopped and as the three suspects emerged from the vehicle a heavy odor of marijuana was apparent. A marijuana cigarette was found smoldering in the ashtray along with two other roaches. Several other marijuana cigarettes were found throughout the car.

  • A radio car received a call regarding a robbery that had just occurred and observed the suspects in their vehicle fleeing the scene. When officers removed the two suspects from the vehicle the odor of marijuana was detected. Several marijuana roaches and a small revolver were found in the car.

  • According to the book, --"The Marijuana Smokers," by Erich Goode I wrote to the Los Angeles Police Department about this study made on the relationship between marijuana and criminal behavior. I received a reply from Clifford J. Shannon, Captain, and Commander of the LAPD's Public Affairs Division, which stated: "All available information from the 1966 survey on the relationship between marijuana and criminal behavior is contained in... the Los Angeles Police Department booklet, 'Facts About Marijuana.' The survey has not been published as a separate document." In other words, what was called a "survey" and a "study" was the collection of scattered cases wherein marijuana was supposedly connected in some way or another with the commission of crime.

Herbie the Leaf
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