In addition to the reduction of diseases, pain and the opioid addiction-death epidemic, (1) legalized cannabis has improved just about all relevant public sectors, from increased resources to a decrease of societal violence, property crimes and deadly car accidents.
“Results did not indicate a crime exacerbating effect of MML on any of the Part I offenses. Alternatively, state MML may be correlated with a reduction in homicide and assault rates, net of other covariates. (…) These findings (2) run counter to arguments suggesting the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes poses a danger to public health in terms of exposure to violent crime and property crimes.” (Source).
Furthermore, when a correlation between crime and marijuana is noted, ” researchers have found that any increase in criminality resulting from marijuana use can be explained by its illegality, rather than from the substance itself.” (3) (Source)
The data regarding Colorado for example shows that in just one year, both violence and property crime went down significantly.
“Property crime is down 14.6%. Violent crime is down 2.4%. It certainly doesn’t look like what opponents of Amendment 64 would have liked everyone to believe – that the streets would be full of violent hooligan, and legalizing weed would make the devil creep the streets of Denver.” (Source)
An exhaustive study on this issue, published in 2017, corroborates these findings.
“Both the regression analysis and the synthetic control method suggest no causal effects of medical marijuana laws on violent or property crime at the national level. We also find no strong effects within individual states, except for in California where the medical marijuana law reduced both violent and property crime by 20%”. (Source)
The National Academy of Sciences found that in chronic marijuana users, THC — the active ingredient in pot — actually causes a decrease in “aggressive and violent behavior.” (2) (Source)
On the other hand, research has shown that it is law-makers favorite drug, hard and unmoderated use of alcohol, that is at issue Source, while additional advanced cannabis research proved that cannabis actually tends to decrease violence during intoxication. (4)
“Alcohol is clearly the drug with the most evidence to support a direct intoxication–violence relationship. The literatures concerning benzodiazepines, opiates, psychostimulants, and phencyclidine (PCP) are idiosyncratic but suggest that personality factors may be as (or more) important than pharmacological ones. Cannabis reduces likelihood of violence during intoxication, but mounting evidence associates withdrawal with aggressivity. (Source)
Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports no traffic fatality rate increase in Colorado and Washington, following ganja legalization.
“In Colorado and Washington the post-legalization traffic fatality rate has remained statistically consistent with pre-legalization levels, is lower in each state than it was a decade prior, and is lower than the national rate,” the DPA writes, citing federal traffic statistics through 2014. (Source)
More recent data through 2015 and 2016 analyzed by the Cato Institute yields similar conclusion. (Source)
On study from the USC Marshall Business School published in 2017 showed that closing dispensaries increased crime (Source)
On the other hand, there appears to be more national criminal activity with regard to cannabis inter-state commerce. In this realm, both non cannabis state patients get caught smuggling medical marijuana to their home states and the black-market banditos are using “pot” states to grow lots of weed and then export them to non pot states for an increase of cash flow. (Source)
But this twin “crime” increase question would easily be resolve if the entire country via a Federal statute would legalize cannabis for all American residents.
A contrario, the present American Justice Department is talking about enforcing the federal law, including filing lawsuits against the 27 States that have legalized medical marijuana (5) on the grounds that state laws regulating cannabis are unconstitutional because they are pre-empted by federal law, (i.e., the “supremacy principle).
The problem with this public policy is that this federal “law” that characterizes cannabis as a Schedule 1 substance with no known medical benefits constitutes a violation of international law and science, it is a law based on a reactionary ideology, rampant with misrepresentations, blatant lies and corruption, the thrust of which has incarcerated over one million innocent Americans, destroyed millions of lives and trillions of wasted dollars. Ch. J.
Top: poppy seeds from which toxic opium can be extract. Yet, these are legal to plant for ornamental reasons.
PRECISION AND REFERENCE NOTES
(1). This allegation will be proven later on, meanwhile, consider this study on how marijuana has substantially reduced to opioid epidemic crisis.
(2). Data for the study came from state websites, FBI Uniform Crime Reports, the census, The Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Beer Institute. See link above.
(3). Addiction. 2010 Jan;105(1):109-18.
(4). Other research suggests alcohol is a much more significant factor than marijuana when it comes to violent crime. A report from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found that 25 percent to 30 percent of violent crimes are linked to alcohol use. A separate study in the journal of Addictive Behaviors noted that “alcohol is clearly the drug with the most evidence to support a direct intoxication-violence relationship,” and that “cannabis reduces likelihood of violence during intoxication.”
(5). 8 of these 27 states have oped for the legalization of recreational marijuana, including Washington D.C.
Disclaimer: Nothing in this blog should be construed as legal advise.
2017 (c). Ganja Gardens, Advanced Cannabis Research institute, Advanced Cannabis Law Academy and agents.