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Would marijuana legalization increase crime?

There are many people throughout the United States who believe marijuana use should be legalized. While some states have taken a step in this direction, such as Colorado, most are lagging behind for one reason or another.

It goes without saying that there are concerns regarding the impact on crime if marijuana use is legalized throughout the country. According to a 2014 news report, backed up by a data driven study, this may not be that big of a concern.

Believe it or not, Colorado is actually seeing a decrease in property and violent crime. Here is an excerpt from an MSNBC story: "According to data from the Denver Police Department, violent crime (including homicide, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault) fell by 6.9% in the first quarter of 2014, compared with the same period in 2013. Property crime (including burglary, larceny, auto theft, theft from motor vehicle and arson) dropped by 11.1%."

This is the exact opposite of what some people thought would happen in Colorado. Instead of crime rising, due to the legalization of marijuana, it has actually fallen off.

There is no way of saying for sure if other cities and states would experience the same, but this data goes a long way in proving that marijuana legalization is no guarantee of an increase in crime.

Every year, thousands of people are arrested in the United States for marijuana related crimes. There are times when police have the right to do so, but also situations in which a mistake is made or a person is treated in an inappropriate manner, based on local and state laws.

Source: MSNBC, "Study: Marijuana legalization doesn’t increase crime" accessed Feb. 24, 2015

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Robert D. DiDio
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