Opponents of medical marijuana envision all kinds of insidious ways that legalizing the drug might lead to crime. Make marijuana more accessible, and more people will use it. If more people use it, more will tumble through the weed “gateway” to cocaine, or worse. Those people will then engage in crime to fund their hard-drug habits, or violence in the service of getting the stuff.
Furthermore: Once word gets out about medical dispensaries, those locations will become hotspots for criminals who now know exactly where to find prey carrying cash and drugs. Same goes for grow houses, which just invite property crime.
Pondering all of these dark possibilities, it’s no wonder anyone suspects mayhem in medical marijuana laws. Actual historic crime data, however, suggest there’s no evidence that legalizing the drug leads to an increase in crime. In fact, states that have legalized it appear to have seen some reductions in the rates of homicide and assault.