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New Study: Violent Crime Lower in Legal Cannabis States

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A brand new study published in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, has found that violent crime is lower in states where cannabis is legal. That’s interesting. This is the exact opposite of what we’d been hearing from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who claimed last year that cannabis causes violence. Let’s take a look at some of the actual science, shall we?

The study was conducted by the University of Bologna in Italy, and it analyzes the effects that cannabis legalization has had on Washington state since the state legalized cannabis back in 2012. Researchers looked at violent crime and substance abuse data from 11 counties in Washington State and 10 counties in Oregon. The findings were, shall we say, pretty illuminating.

The results showed a significant decrease in violent crime. Reported incidents of rape decreased by 15-30 percent. Thefts decreased by a margin of 10-20 percent. The research team gave several possible reasons for these results. The first is that legalization “reduces the likelihood of [cannabis users and growers] engaging in violent activities.”

The second reason is that police resources are freed up to go after serious crimes, rather than wasting time going after sellers and growers. Another reason the team cited was that there was a notable decrease in alcohol consumption, which we all know often leads to violence.

Again, this is in direct opposition to what Jeff Sessions claims about cannabis legalization. We’ll add that to the growing pile of evidence that shows he is dead wrong about cannabis.


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How many times can the naysayers be proven wrong until people stop listening to them? Tell us your thoughts below in the comments!