Convenient labour: the prevalence and nature of youth involvement in the cannabis cultivation industry.
ABSTRACT The emergence of cannabis cultivation in industrialised countries may offer adolescents, especially those living in regions suitable for outdoor cultivation, new opportunities to participate in the drug trade. The current study examines the prevalence and the nature of youth involvement in cannabis cultivation in an important agricultural region of Quebec, Canada.
A self-report delinquency survey was administered to 1262 adolescents between 13 and 17 years who were attending one of four secondary schools in that region. The study location was not chosen arbitrarily. The region was known for having a larger than average outdoor cannabis industry, and various media reports suggested that a substantial number of students missed school days during the cannabis harvest season, in October.
A first set of findings show that 12% of respondents reported having participated in the cannabis cultivation industry in the past year. Such a prevalence rate is higher than for any other type of crime found in the survey (except for the general category of mischief)--including assault and theft, and is comparable to the prevalence rates found for drug dealing. Such a high prevalence rate comes in part out of need for labour in this low population density region: 35% of respondents who reported having participated in the industry in the past year, were "labourers", while many others only participated in small sites, destined for personal use. Another set of findings suggest that growers are a very diverse group: although cultivation is the most prevalent money-generating crime for gang members in the region, girls and otherwise conventional adolescents are also involved in high numbers.
These results emphasise the need to design policies that concern not just the prevention of drug use among youth, but also youth involvement in the supply of drugs. In addition, it underlines the difficulty of planning general interventions in what appears to be a very heterogeneous population of growers.
- SourceAvailable from: Bill Mccarthy
Article: MENTORS AND CRIMINAL ACHIEVEMENT*[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Much of the research focusing on conventional occupations concludes that mentored individuals are more successful in their careers than those who are not mentored. Early research in criminology made a similar claim. Yet contemporary criminology has all but ignored mentors. We investigate this oversight, drawing on Sutherland's insights on tutelage and criminal maturation and incorporating ideas on human and social capital. We argue that mentors play a key role in their protégés' criminal achievements and examine this hypothesis with data from a recent survey of incarcerated adult male offenders in the Canadian province of Quebec. In this sample, a substantial proportion of respondents reported the presence of an influential individual in their lives who introduced them to a criminal milieu and whom they explicitly regarded as a mentor. After studying the attributes of offenders and their mentors, we develop a causal framework that positions criminal mentor presence within a pathway that leads to greater benefits and lower costs from crime.Criminology 01/2006; 44(1):17 - 43. · 2.47 Impact Factor
Article: Three facts about marijuana prices *[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Australians are among the largest consumers of marijuana in the world, and estimates show that their expenditure on marijuana is approximately twice that on wine. In the present paper, the evolution of Australian marijuana prices over the last decade is analysed, and a decline in real terms by almost 40 per cent is shown. This decline is far above that experienced by most agricultural products. Why has this occurred and what are the implications? One possible reason is the adoption of hydroponic growing techniques that have enhanced productivity and lowered costs and prices. Another reason is that laws have become softer and penalties reduced. Patterns in prices are found that divide the country into three broad regions: (i) Sydney, where prices are highest; (ii) Melbourne and Canberra, which have somewhat lower prices; and (iii) everywhere else, where marijuana is cheapest. An exploratory analysis indicates the extent to which the price declines have stimulated marijuana consumption and inhibited the consumption of a substitute product, alcohol. Copyright 2004 Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society Inc. and Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd..Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics 01/2004; 48(2):271-300. · 1.42 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Linking recently collected data to form what is arguably the longest longitudinal study of crime to date, this paper examines trajectories of offending over the life course of delinquent boys followed from ages 7 to 70. We assess whether there is a distinct offender group whose rates of crime remain stable with increasing age, and whether individual differences, childhood characteristics, and family background can foretell long-term trajectories of offending. On both counts, our results come back negative. Crime declines with age sooner or later for all offender groups, whether identified prospectively according to a multitude of childhood and adolescent risk factors, or retrospectively based on latent-class models of trajectories. We conclude that desistance processes are at work even among active offenders and predicted life-course persisters, and that childhood prognoses account poorly for long-term trajectories of offending.Criminology 07/2003; 41(3):555 - 592. · 2.47 Impact Factor