Much of what is known about youths who engage in dangerous drugs like marijuana has come from primarily longitudinal studies and self-reported research by the youths only

Much of what is known about youths who engage in dangerous drugs like marijuana has come from primarily longitudinal studies and self-reported research by the youths only, yet with the majority being done among school students (Epstein, Hill, Roe, bailey, Iacono, McGue, Kristman-Valente, Catalano & Haggerty, 2017; Ewing, Osilla, Pedersen, Hunter, Hunter & Amico, 2015; Kerr, Tiberio & Capaldi, 2015). Some of these studies also tend to lack in being a national representation of the youth population who engages in marijuana use and have often been recruited from one off programs. In addition, there have also been a few studies being done using secondary analysis, with some even attempting to develop a nationally representation of the youths and including reports from both children and parents (Kerr, Tiberio & Capaldi, 2015; Miller, Siegel, Hohman & Crano, 2013).
Among the risk and protective factors studied family and peer factors have received significant attention in explaining why youths may or may not engage in marijuana use. Yet, the few published studies on juvenile drug offenders had drawn their sample from youths placed on probation or referred to a diversionary program such as the Teen Court (Ewing, Osilla, Pedersen, Hunter, Hunter & Amico, 2015) hence lacking literature on the topic and the need for research to be done. This current study therefore seeks to add to the longitudinal literature by examining the level of risk and protective factors which impacts on the lives of youths who engages in marijuana use and have been incarcerated.