Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dr. Myrstol presents marijuana study to Commissioner of Public Safety and Alaska State Troopers

Dr. Myrstol presents the findings of the study.

Dr. Brad Myrstol, Justice faculty, presented the highlights of the study, The Predictive Validity of Marijuana Odor Detection: An Examination of Alaska State Trooper Case Reports 2006-2010, to Alaska Commissioner of Public Safety Joe Masters, Alaska State Troopers head Col. Keith Mallard, and other Trooper officers on March 23. The report was commissioned by the Alaska State Troopers (AST).

The study includes an overview of the legal status of marijuana by Prof. Jason Brandeis, J.D., Justice faculty, and an analysis of data by Dr. Myrstol from 333 marijuana grow searches conducted by AST during the calendar years 2006 through 2010. Marijuana was found and seized in 96.3% of the cases reviewed.

Prof. Brandeis teaches courses on American government, constitutional law and civil liberties, and is a frequent speaker on constitutional law and other legal issues. Prof. Brandeis also maintains a private law practice through which, subsequent to the date of the writing and release of this report, he provided legal representation in administrative agency proceedings for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Alaska.

The primary purpose of the study was to provide an empirical estimate of the extent to which AST investigators' detection of marijuana odors served as a reliable indicator of the presence of illegal quantities of marijuana.   Detection of marijuana odors was found to be significantly associated with the discovery of relatively large amounts of marijuana - that is, quantities of four ounces or more, as well as 25 or more plants.

Details of the project are available on the Justice Center website.