Crime stats show homicide and assault rates actually tend to decrease near dispensaries.
By April M. Short / AlterNet
The facts are in: legalizing medical marijuana does not increase crime rates, according to historical crime statistics. The results of a study conducted by researchers at the University of Texas, Dallas, show that not only do crime rates not increase in states that legalize pot, the rates of certain crimes tend to drop. As the researchers concluded in the study, legalization “may be correlated with a reduction in homicide and assault rates” in some areas.
The study results are published in a March 26 article in the journal PLOS One. They analyze the association between medical marijuana legalization and state crime rates for all Part I offenses in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR) for the 11 states that legalized medical marijuana between 1990 and 2006. As the Washington Post notes in a March 26 article, crime across the US was already “ broadly falling” during this time period, but the study took a closer look and was able to conclude that there was no recognizable increase in crime in any of those states following legalization. The study looked specifically at the differences between the 11 states, as well as the differences within each of those states before and after legalization. It controlled for outside influences on crime rates, including income and education levels, employment and poverty rates, urban demographics, age, the number of police officers on duty and per capita prison inmate population. It also factored in beer consumption per-capita using data from the Beer Institute. [Read more…]