Study: Legal Pot is Already Reducing Crime in Border States

Marijuana legalization advocates have long claimed that a safe, regulated pot market would reduce crime. Already, the figures may be proving them right.

A study published this month in The Economic Journal shows a sizeable decrease in criminal activity among pot legal states along the Mexican border. On average, the states saw a 13% drop in violent crime after legalizing marijuana, the researchers found.

“We show that the introduction of medical marijuana laws (MMLs) leads to a decrease in violent crime in states that border Mexico,” the researchers note in their abstract. “The reduction in crime is strongest for counties close to the border (less than 350 kilometres) and for crimes that relate to drug trafficking. In addition, we find that MMLs in inland states lead to a reduction in crime in the nearest border state. Our results are consistent with the theory that decriminalisation of the production and distribution of marijuana leads to a reduction in violent crime in markets that are traditionally controlled by Mexican drug trafficking organisations.”

The study can be accessed here.

A summary of its findings is also available at Forbes