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New Data Shows Marijuana Legalization Reduces Violent Crimes

Marijuana Crime Arrests

The Pennsylvania State University Department of Sociology and Criminology collaborated with the Norwegian School of Economics to conduct a study regarding marijuana legalization and crime rates among U.S./Mexico border states. Their findings show that over the last several years violent crime has decreased in U.S. states bordering Mexico.

With marijuana reform happening in more states violent drug trafficking crimes are decreasing, according to IVN.  Researchers compiled data from the Uniform Crime Reporting Program, which is maintained by the FBI. A 12.5-percent decrease in violent crimes – homicides, robberies and aggravated assaults — were recorded in U.S./Mexico border states.

Part of the report reads: “We show that the introduction of medical marijuana laws (MMLs) leads to a decrease in violent crime in states that border Mexico. The reduction of crime is strongest for counties close to the border (less than 350km), and for crimes that relate to drug trafficking. In addition, we find that MMLs in inland states led to a reduction in crime in the nearest border state.”

The report also stated: “Our results are consistent with the theory that decriminalization of the production and distribution of marijuana leads to a reduction in violent crime in markets that are traditionally controlled by Mexican drug trafficking organizations.”

The drop in crime is also evident in non-U.S./Mexico border states, such as Colorado and Washington. In Denver, one year after legalization took place, a 2.2-percent decrease in violent crime was reported, and property crime reduced by 8.9-percent.

In Washington, violent crime decreased 10-percent between 2011 and 2014, following marijuana legalization which took place in 2012.

Reductions in violent crime are also reported in medical marijuana states.

Such statistics contradict U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ anti-marijuana comments regarding increased violent crime.

Photo: plejmo