The states that have allowed for the recreational use of marijuana are already raking in the benefits. Most notably, they are getting a large amount of kickback tax money that is put back into the community. But, one thing that is surprising even the experts is the sudden decrease in US crime. However, many people wonder if this is directly related to the decriminalization of marijuana. Here is everything you need to know.
The states that are seeing the biggest decrease in crime are those that are close to the Mexico border. According to The Economic Journal, crime fell by over 12%. This includes violent crimes like assaults, murders and robberies. This decrease was almost immediately evident after the reform to marijuana laws in those counties.
The one law that is most specifically tied to this new trend is the marijuana growing laws. This allows growers to cultivate their own plants legally. This means that people are now able to grow their own product so that they don’t have to illegally purchase it from Mexico. This has taken a huge bite out of the illegal marijuana trafficking business.
Illegal drug trafficking has been one of the main culprits for the steady rise in crime over the past decade or so. Drug smuggling has always been synonymous with violent crime. As the market for illegal drugs started to rise, so did the crime. Now that online marijuana is becoming readily available, there is less of this specific type of crime.
Violent crimes are not the only ones on a decrease either. Drug related robberies are also seemingly slowing down as well. In fact, counties that are close to the Mexico border are seeing as much as a 19% decrease in robberies. However, that isn’t the most surprising statistic. Drug related murders have dropped down by over 40%. This is by far the biggest selling point for a nationwide legalization of marijuana.
It isn’t just the southern states that are seeing big changes either. Other states that have decriminalized marijuana have seen a decrease in crime as well. Colorado, for instance, has reported record low crime rates since legalizing recreational use of the drug last year. This is the same for other states like California, Washington and Oregon.
However, this hasn’t been the end all to drug crime that some people were hoping for. While the decrease in marijuana related drugs is evident, there is a rise among drug cartels when it comes to drugs like heroin and opioids. The opioid crisis is something that most Americans are well aware of. But, the fact that there has been a ramp up in smuggling of the drug might not be something everyone knows. But, are the two related?
Has the decrease in the need for marijuana smuggling led to an increase in other drug sales? People speculate that since illegal marijuana sales are down, drug cartels are pushing the harder stuff to make a profit. However, this is not a popular opinion among the cannabis community.
As far as cannabis supporters go, progress is still progress. Having such a drastic change in crime rates is something that just might give legislators a push for complete decriminalization. Having fewer drug related violent crimes should be taken into consideration when talking about making the recreational use of marijuana legal. However, we still are far away from this.
This comes on the heels of Attorney General Sessions declaring a roll back on Obama era marijuana protections. This has left many people to demand that marijuana laws be left up to each state. Shouldn’t each state be able to decide what is right for their citizens? When it comes to the southern states located near the border, the evidence is clear and overwhelming.