70 percent of men arrested in Mpls last year had illegal drugs in their system [GRAPHIC]
|85 percent of under-21 males arrested last year in Minneapolis had illegal drugs in their system, the study finds.|
The report looked at drug use rates for arrestees in 10 large American cities, and Minneapolis' 70-percent rate ranked fifth highest.
In 2011, 52 percent of men arrested in Minneapolis tested positive for marijuana, 20 percent for cocaine, 10 percent for an opiate, and four percent for meth. Twenty-one percent were under the influence of multiple illegal drugs.
As far as trends go, the study shows that from 2000 through last year, cocaine use among Minneapolis' male arrestees declined, while opiate use is on the rise. Marijuana and meth use held relatively steady. About 28 percent of arrestees tested positive for cocaine in 2007, compared to 20 percent last year. On the flipside, the rate of those under the influence of opiates when arrested roughly doubled from 2000 through last year.
In a finding that may come as a surprise for those who think smoking pot mellows people out, 54 percent of those arrested in Minneapolis for violent crimes last year tested positive for marijuana. Each and every single man arrested for drug distribution tested positive for an illegal substance.
In a summary of the findings, an MSNBC report quotes Gil Kerlikowske, director of national drug control policy, as saying the data "confirm that we must address our drug problem as a public health issue, not just a criminal justice issue."
"We cannot simply arrest our way out of the drug problem," he added.
If you're curious, here's a graphic comparing the percent of men testing positive for illegal drugs across the 10 cities studied: