If you want to get rid of drug cartel violence, murders and smuggling, legalize marijuana. That has been the logical argument of marijuana legalization advocates for a long time at least. It seems to be working along the Mexican border so far too.
A recent study shows that violent crime and murder in states bordering Mexico has dropped off over the last few years. As more states legalize marijuana, perhaps violent crime will drop off further and lend even more to the idea that national legalization is in the best interest of the United States.
Gavrilova, along with fellow researchers Takuma Kamada and Floris Zoutman, studied data from the FBI’s uniform crime reports and supplementary homicide records covering 1994 to 2012. They found that among the border states the effect of the change in law was largest in California, where there was a reduction of 15% in violent crime, and weakest in Arizona, where there was a fall of 7%. The crimes most strongly affected were robbery, which fell by 19%, and murder, which dropped by 10%. Homicides specifically related to the drug trade fell by an astonishing 41%.
The authors claim their study provides new insights into methods to reduce violent crime related to drug trafficking. But its publication comes as the US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, is rescinding the Obama-era policy that ushered in the medical marijuana laws.
“When the effect on crime is so significant, it’s obviously better to regulate marijuana and allow people to pay taxes on it rather than make it illegal,” Gavrilova said. “For me it’s a no brainer that it should be legal and should be regulated, and the proceeds go to the Treasury.”
Imagine if someday Texas offered legal recreational marijuana and what that may do to slow drug cartels. Do you think there is any real possibility that Texas would legalize marijuana anytime soon?
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