Legalization of marijuana has always be a controversial issue, plagued with negative outcomes. People were claiming marijuana is a gateway drug and it cannot possibly benefit society as a whole. Sure, people could get a couple of laughs out of it but in the long run, it was as devastating as any other drug. As the green wave of marijuana support started sweeping across the U.S., research studies soon started debunking the claim that marijuana is a gateway drug. A similar thing happened in Colorado. You see, everyone predicted that marijuana legalization would bring a new crime wave to Colorado. People started spreading stories, which seemed more like scare tactics at first. Stories like: „they’ll come armed and ready, with masks on their faces and demand to give them all of your marijuana.” As ridiculous as that may sound, those kinds of stories usually have an effect on people.
The Numbers Don’t Lie
After carefully studying data from the Denver Police Department, it seems that the reality is quite the opposite. After recreational marijuana was legalized in Colorado, crime rates actually started falling, and that includes sexual assault, aggravated assault, robbery and homicide). Those violent crimes marked a 6.9% drop during the first four months of 2014. Burglary, auto theft, larceny and motor theft marked a drop of 11%. Even from a more objective perspective, it seems that crime has dropped in every state that has legalized marijuana. Even researchers from the University of Texas in Dallas are arguing that marijuana has a beneficial effect on crime. Those researchers dug through data concerning all U.S. states in a time period between 1990 and 2006. The findings were spectacular.
Decline in Crime
According to those findings, it seems that medical marijuana legalization does not contribute to higher crime rates and in fact may affect the drop of crime rates related to assault and homicide. We presume that most people who felt like assaulting or killing someone, pretty much decided the opposite after lighting a joint. However, burglary and robbery seemed not to be affected by medical marijuana legalization. When compared to alcohol that is responsible for an increase in crime rates, it seems like a great idea to substitute it with marijuana, doesn’t it? Even the guys from NORML agree that regulating marijuana in the same manner as alcohol would definitely reduce crime rates.
The marijuana legalization movement is definitely evolving in the U.S. Ever since a recent poll by Gallup showed that the majority of Americans now support marijuana and have a positive attitude towards its usage, it seems that marijuana just might be the thing that will reunite a seriously divided country. In the meantime, don’t go overboard and start toking on a daily basis, thinking marijuana will do you no harm. Anything consumed in excessive quantities is harmful so it’s key to practice moderation and educate yourself on future marijuana research.