Legalizing MMJ May Actually Reduce Crime

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  Legalizing MMJ May Actually Reduce Crime

Posted by CN Staff on March 28, 2014 at 06:43:11 PT
By Matt Ferner, The Huffington Post 
Source: Huffington Post 

USA -- Legalizing medical marijuana causes no increase in crime, according to a new study. In fact, legalized medical pot may reduce some violent crime, including homicide, University of Texas at Dallas researchers wrote in a journal article published this week.The study, published in PLOS ONE on Wednesday, appears to settle concerns, simmering since the first states approved medical marijuana nearly two decades ago, that legalization would lead to more crime.
"We believe that medical marijuana legalization poses no threat of increased violent crime," Robert Morris, the study's lead author, told The Huffington Post.Morris, associate professor of criminology at UT Dallas, and his colleagues looked at crime rates for all 50 U.S. states from 1990 to 2006. During this period, 11 states legalized medical marijuana. The researchers examined legalization's effect on what the FBI calls Part I crimes, which include homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and auto theft. "After controlling for a host of known factors related to changes in crime rates -- we accounted for factors such as poverty, employment, education, even per capita beer sales, among other things -- we found no evidence of increases in any of these crimes for states after legalizing marijuana for medical use," Morris said. "In fact, for some forms of violence -- homicide and assault -- we found partial support for declines after the passing of this legislation."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.The study did not explore a relationship between marijuana use and violent crime, Morris said. Rather, the research team looked at legalization's effect on crime. Other studies have failed to establish a link between marijuana use and crime."The findings on the relationship between violence and marijuana use are mixed and much of the evidence points toward reductions in violent behavior for those who smoke marijuana," Morris said. "In fact, researchers have suggested that any increase in criminality resulting from marijuana use may be explained by its illegality, rather than from the substance itself."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." 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."Laws in 20 states and the District of Columbia allow marijuana for medical use. Colorado and Washington state have legalized marijuana for recreational use. About a dozen other states are likely to legalize marijuana in some form in the coming years.Michael Elliott, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group, said he was pleased, but not surprised, by the new research. "As a trade association, we have supported the development of this comprehensive regulatory framework, including transparency, accountability, licensing, background checks, financial disclosures, seed to sale tracking, and consumer safety protections like packaging, labeling, and testing," Elliott said. "While this program is cumbersome for the small business owners in this industry, it is far better than choosing black market operators who use violence to dominate the sale of marijuana and prey on our children.” Source: Huffington Post (NY)	Author: Matt Ferner, The Huffington Post  Published: March 27, 2014Copyright: 2014, LLC Contact: scoop huffingtonpost.comWebsite:  Medical Marijuana Archives 

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Comment #7 posted by afterburner on April 03, 2014 at 22:56:51 PT
Anti-Legalization, Debunked
AlterNet / By Owen Poindexter. 
5 Arguments Against Pot Legalization, Debunked.
The more research is released, the more legalization makes sense.
April 2, 2014¤t_page=1
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Comment #6 posted by jetblackchemist on March 31, 2014 at 08:04:56 PT
Of course legalization reduces crime. Any commodity in demand shoved into the shadows creates a black market for said commodity, the funds raised from selling the commodity on the black market goes to funding more black market activities, everything from human trafficking to gun running.One would have thought the government would have taken alcohol prohibition lessons to heart in policy and legislation that came afterwards. Instead they were insistent on prohibitions creating a strong criminal underworld funded by the black market creating most all of societies ills.Shoving anything into a dark corner or closet out of some idealistic social moral agenda, will not make anything go away. It turns neighborhood streets into gang territory and inner cities into war zones, and funds a robust prison complex simply from the natural propensity of homosapien curiosity and personal choice what to put into one's own body as an adult.Everyone knows experience is the best teacher, that's why not taking the lessons learned from alcohol prohibition is so confounding... fire is hot so hey lemme just keep sticking my hand in it and cause uncounted damage to others in the process. If the government is so concerned about public safety then prohibition of any commodity that fuels a black market would be public enemy number one. Interestingly enough public health will naturally follow and improve as well. 
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on March 31, 2014 at 05:55:27 PT

Welcome to CNews. I needed to tell you that we aren't allowed any advertising on CNews. I will try to remove the link but it is hard for me to do. 
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Comment #4 posted by SweetD on March 30, 2014 at 20:13:41 PT

the only violent crimes herb smokers are involved in are from the couch whilst playing GTA 5! but seriously, especially when it comes to those who are using cannabis as medicine to begin that particular demographic is at any way going to become more apt to violent crime if they have safe legal access to their medicine of choice. It is just silly. Legalization removes black markets, and black markets cause crime, NOT drugs. Remove the market, reduce the crime. the war on drugs is the exact antithesis of that concept. Reduce the crime to remove the market does not work as long as the market is lucrative enough.
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Comment #3 posted by The GCW on March 29, 2014 at 04:47:56 PT

Cannabis prohibition is the crime.
One crime reduced by RE-legalizing cannabis is the crime of caging responsible adults who choose to use cannabis.-0-"... And make no mistake: Caging humans for using what God says is good on the first page of the Bible is also a crime. "US MD: PUB LTE: Want to Be Tough on Crime? Legalize Marijuana, coming to MAPUS OH: PUB LTE: Source In Pot Panel Story Wrong About Marijuana & Crime In ColoradoWebpage:"... And make no mistake, caging humans for using what God says He created and is good on literally the very first page of the Bible, is a crime."
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Comment #2 posted by observer on March 28, 2014 at 18:41:09 PT

Drug War Gravy Train - Yummy Sop to Police Staters
re: "Legalizing medical marijuana causes no increase in crime, according to a new study. In fact, legalized medical pot may reduce some violent crime, including homicide, University of Texas at Dallas researchers wrote in a journal article published this week."True: there may be facts and statistics that back up that idea (legalize pot and crime and car accidents drop), but millions of Americans leaned this "fact" in their youth, instead:
 Many internalized this preconceived idea, and made it their very own received wisdom from whence sprang a century of laws and prisons and police. Bad news for those who needed cannabis as medicine and wanted traditional freedoms over their own body. On the other hand, prohibition is fantastic wonderful news for prosecutors, police, and drug war camp followers of every sorry stripe. To them the drug war is a marvelous gravy train and puts food on their tables. And saved the kids. (What decent person could object?)Drug war been berry berry good to police state. No want gravy train to stop!
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on March 28, 2014 at 16:24:20 PT

Study prohibition and you KNOW it leads to a huge increase in crime!
Go Cannabis! Let it grow!
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