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.
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