Study: Adult Use Marijuana Laws Associated With Reduced Criminal Activity

ITALY: The enactment of adult use marijuana regulatory laws is associated with reduced levels of property crimes and violent criminal activity, according to data published in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Investigators from Italy’s University of Bologna evaluated the association between the enactment of adult use regulations and county level crime rates in jurisdictions in close proximity to the Washington/Oregon border during the years 2010 to 2014. Researchers reported that crime rates fell significantly in counties in Washington, where voters enacted legalization in 2012, compared to proximate counties in Oregon – where voters rejected a similar initiative proposal that same year.

Specifically, legalization was associated with a decline in thefts, property crimes, and rapes. Authors attributed the crime reduction to several potential factors, including less alcohol consumption and the reallocation of police resources.

They concluded: “The concern that legalizing cannabis for recreational purposes may increase crime occupies a prominent position in the public debate about drugs. Our analysis suggests that such a concern is not justified.”

Their conclusions are consistent with those of prior studies finding that marijuana regulatory schemes are associated with reduced criminality and a decrease in alcohol consumption.


For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, “Crime and the legalization of recreational marijuana,” appears in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

A Year After Marijuana Legalization In Colorado, ‘Everything’s Fine’ Confirm Police

COLORADO:  It’s been a year since Colorado became the first state in the US to legalize marijuana, and its impact on health, crime, employment and other factors can now be more empirically measured.

So, did it bring about an apocalypse leaving the streets strewn with out-of-work addicts as some Republicans feared?

“We found there hasn’t been much of a change of anything,” a Denver police officer told CBC this week.

“Basically, officers aren’t seeing much of a change in how they do police work.”

Study: Marijuana Legalization Doesn’t Increase Crime

COLORADO:  Three months after Colorado residents legalized recreational marijuana with the passage of Amendment 64 in Nov. 2012, Sheriff Tom Allman of Mendocio County, Calif. – a haven for marijuana growers – warned that an onslaught of crime was headed toward Colorado.

“Thugs put on masks, they come to your house, they kick in your door. They point guns at you and say, ‘Give me your marijuana, give me your money,’” Allman told a Denver TV station in February. His state became the first to legalize marijuana for medical use in 1996; Colorado followed suit in 2000.

But a new report contends that fourteen years later, even after Colorado legalized the sale of small amounts of marijuana for recreational use on Jan. 1 of this year, violent and property crime rates in the city are actually falling. [Read more…]

Legalizing Medical Marijuana May Actually Reduce Crime, Study Says

Legalizing medical marijuana causes no increase in crime, according to a new study. In fact, legalized medical pot may reduce some violent crime, including homicide, University of Texas at Dallas researchers wrote in a journal article published this week.

The study, published in PLOS ONE on Wednesday, appears to settle concerns, simmering since the first states approved medical marijuana nearly two decades ago,that legalization would lead to more crime.

“We believe that medical marijuana legalization poses no threat of increased violent crime,” Robert Morris, the study’s lead author, told The Huffington Post.

Legalizing Medical Marijuana May Actually Reduce Crime, Study Says

Legalizing medical marijuana causes no increase in crime, according to a new study. In fact, legalized medical pot may reduce some violent crime, including homicide, University of Texas at Dallas researchers wrote in a journal article published this week.

The study, published in PLOS ONE on Wednesday, appears to settle concerns, simmering since the first states approved medical marijuana nearly two decades ago,that legalization would lead to more crime.

“We believe that medical marijuana legalization poses no threat of increased violent crime,” Robert Morris, the study’s lead author, told The Huffington Post.

No, Legalizing Medical Marijuana Doesn’t Lead To Crime, According To Actual Crime Stats

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.