A higher percentage of adults and juveniles arrested in the region last year admit to having vaped or dabbed marijuana, a new survey has found.
Nearly 90 percent of juvenile arrestees who agreed to be interviewed last year admitted to vaping THC extracted from marijuana at some point in their lives. That’s up from 66 percent who admitted it in 2017.
And eight of every 10 youth detainees interviewed last year said they had dabbed THC, up from from seven out of 10 in 2019. Dabs are concentrated doses of extracted THC that are heated and inhaled.
THC is the psychoactive ingredient that provides the high.
The data, released Thursday, comes from Criminal Justice Clearinghouse, a part of the San Diego Association of Governments, often referred to as SANDAG.
Vaping and dabbing by adult arrestees who agreed to be interviewed is also up over previous years. In 2020, 71 percent of adult arrestees said they had vaped THC. Four years ago, that number was 53 percent of the interviewees.
Among the adults, 64 percent said they had dabbed THC. Four years ago, it was 55 percent.
Twice a year, local researchers conducts confidential interviews with a sampling of adults and juveniles booked into San Diego County jails. The research specifically looks at drug use.
The data from 2020 relies on answers from 194 adults and 35 juveniles who agreed to be interviewed.
Several more people were interviewed each year from 2017 to 2019 — an average of 287 adults and 80 juveniles each year.
The newly released data focuses on marijuana use. Recreational marijuana use has been legal in California for people 21 years and older since voters approved it in November 2016.
Among other highlights in the data:
- 45 percent of adults said they did not think marijuana impacts a person’s ability to drive — and three-quarters of them said they have driven while under the influence;
- The other 55 percent said they did think marijuana affects driving ability, and half of them said they have driven while high; and
- One in every seven respondents said they use marijuana with another drug. Most often — more than half the time — that drug is methamphetamine. Alcohol is the next most popular substance used with marijuana.