Decriminalizing Weed Might Actually Reduce Violent Crime, UT Dallas Researchers Find

Categories: Weed

MedicalMarijuanasign.jpg
Chuck Coker
No one seriously believes anymore in the Reefer Madness depiction of marijuana use, in which this new-fangled devil weed transforms otherwise upstanding teenagers into murderous sociopaths. Even some otherwise staunch social conservatives (e.g. Rick Perry) are beginning to embrace some degree of decriminalization as a fair and necessary step toward a fair and rational criminal justice system.

Yet there is a lingering strain of thought that full or partial legalization will inevitably bring a corresponding increase in crime.

Not so, says UT Dallas criminology professor Robert Morris, the lead author of a just-published study of crime rates in states that have legalized medical marijuana.

"We're cautious about saying, 'Medical marijuana laws definitely reduce homicide.' That's not what we're saying," Morris told UTD's news service. "The main finding is that we found no increase in crime rates resulting from medical marijuana legalization. In fact, we found some evidence of decreasing rates of some types of violent crime, namely homicide and assault."

The study looked at 17 years of FBI crime data covering homicide, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny, and auto theft. Controlling for everything from unemployment and average income to per-capita beer consumption, Morris and fellow researchers then examined crime trends pre- and post-legalization and compared them with data from the rest of the states, which continued to bar medical marijuana.

"With one exception -- forcible rape -- states passing MML laws experienced reductions in crime and the rate of reduction appears to be steeper for states passing MML laws as compared to others for several crimes such as homicide, robbery, and aggravated assault," the study sayd. "The raw number of homicides, robberies, and aggravated assaults also appear to be lower for states passing MML as compared to other states, especially from 1998-2006. These preliminary results suggest MML may have a crime-reducing effect."

Even if legalizing medical marijuana doesn't in fact reduce crime, the study concludes that it does not cause it to increase. This, Morris notes, runs counter to arguments commonly trotted out by opponents of marijuana decriminalization and legalization, like the claim that weed is a gateway to harder drugs, and that dispensaries and growing operations make prime targets for armed robbers.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.


Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
27 comments
everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

Here's something fun to do when you find yourself forced to have a conversation with a cop.  Ask them when the last time was that they had to fight with someone who was really stoned on weed.  Most of them can't come up with one time.


Then ask them how long it's been since they had to fight with a drunk.  They'll check their watch.

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum

Thank Jah Rastafari for UTD researchers like this, who work tirelessly to tell the world what it already intuitively knows.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

If not for the mighty bud, y'all would never have been able to enjoy my witty ripostes over the years.

And I probably would have been driven to commit some heinous crime against some deserving idiot douchefuck Dallasite.. The opposite effect.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

Imagine that, something that libertarians, many conservatives, and Rick Perry support has actual scientific basis.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@everlastingphelps

There are exceptions to the rule. OWS comes to mind.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@JohnSmallBerries  

What are you trying to say?

Blow says that we need to try to make sure teens are not using MJ because studies say that the adolescent brain is more susceptible to addiction.

This study says that there is no appreciable rise in crime due to the legalization of MMJ and in fact there may be a small decrease in violent crimes.

I don't see a connection unless you saying that by addicting teens to MJ that maybe we can reduce violent crime?

dingo
dingo

@Montemalone  

Is rumination on sedating to avoid violent acts another one of your witty ripostes?

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Montemalone

While I support legalization, and do agree that weed in itself leads to a more peaceful, introspective society, I must also speak for the value of alcohol - without which we may not enjoy the societal advancements or even the founding of our nation, which was accomplished by a bunch of sots. Also, beer traveled better than water, which enabled the spread of European sots around the globe.

And of course, we can't discount alcohol's contribution to procreation.

Of course, it's not an either/or issue, as the consumption of weed tends to magnify the effects of alcohol, much to the relief of the National Liver, but to the chagrin of Big Booze.

Incidentally, as far back as the seventies, marijuana cultivation began to replace moonshining in the Appalachia in a big way. The county prosecutor in the town my family lived in even grew it interspersed with his corn, to foil the prevalent aerial surveillance. As usual, rednecks lead the way!

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@TheRuddSki  

Don't confuse Perry's endorsement with any sort of common sense change of mind - it's all political.

You know that in his heart of hearts that he believes marijuana emboldens the darkies and the messicans and makes them want to rape white women. 

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

@TheRuddSki I'm a big cider fan, have been for years. Cider is what the colonials drank instead of water. Beer came later. Wine was imported. Now I get to enjoy all 3. Yay militiamen.

Yeah, I enjoy a little bud and Bud together. The carbonation in the beer soothes the throat.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@TheCredibleHulk

I assume most political positions assumed by politicians have at least some politically-expedient aspect.

But, apropos if nothing, I can think of a few white wimmin not even the finest cannibas indica would cause to be raped by anyone of any color. They're the ones with the X tattooed on their ample butts.

manpanties
manpanties

@TheRuddSki  removing the cops changes the scenario.  then its just stoners fighting over dumb stuff they won't remember in a minute.  

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@manpanties

Even the ones that occurred when there were no cops in the vicinity?

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@JohnSmallBerries @TheCredibleHulk  

Congratulations. You were successful both times.

What is your point?

ColonelAngus
ColonelAngus

@TheCredibleHulk Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine, a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.


Also BF

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@TheRuddSki  

The ancient Mayans enjoyed getting sloshed via alcohol enemas.

Talk about shit-faced.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Montemalone

Mike Rowe had a series on the value and history of alcohol in western culture, specifically America. Beer, or Grog, was present on The Mayflower, and the other ships.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@Montemalone @TheRuddSki  


“In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is Freedom, in water there is bacteria.”


~Benjamin 'C-Note' Franklin~

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@TheRuddSki  

Not antithetical to conservatism - only to Perry.

I don't have an issue with conservatism, per se. In my opinion, the conservative position on cannabis ought to be strictly "hands-off" of peoples rights to grow and use or grow and sell what is essentially produce.

It is the folks like Perry that have attached their (Calvanistic) ideology to issues like this that drove me away from conservatives and conservatism in general. When I lived in the upper mid-west, I considered myself conservative - It's only after I got to Texas that I found out I was a godless lib.


TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@TheCredibleHulk

I'm not so sure it's antithetical to conservatism as people might assume.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@TheRuddSki  

To your first point - I hope it causes Perry much mental anguish and distress to have to assume a position so antithetical to his ideology.

To your second point - I'm sure I have no idea to whom you might be referring. 

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...