Does legalization increase or reduce crime rate? The evidence is clear. In fact, in all jurisdictions where medical marijuana was at least legalized, there was a significant decline in all types of crime. So why does Trump’s Justice Department argue otherwise?
It’s impossible not to have heard one of the biggest fake news behind the war on drugs. Legalization causes all kinds of social problems. That includes the stereotype that drugs promote crime. In fact, this idea was the basis of the original crusade to pass the “Controlled Substances Act” of 1970.
This “law and order” approach became the mantra of the moment and the indiscriminate anti-drug policy of all subsequent US administrations. It also spread to other countries. The “war on drugs” was unleashed globally.
In the late 1990s, it became clear that this approach had left several victims. There was even a strong connection between being a non-white person and being prosecuted under aggressive drug laws. In particular, in the United States.
At the beginning of the new century, the debate began to change. Why? In a major battle against a heroin epidemic, Portugal decided to try something different. In 2001, the country completely decriminalized all drugs. In doing so, the problem of drug use was removed from the judicial agenda. Instead, it was redefined as a public health problem. The addiction began to wane. This trend continued to the present day.
As if that were not enough, the crime rate also decreased. The same trend can be seen in “legalized” states in the United States, such as Colorado , where the approval of recreational marijuana use has been successful.
THE LEGALIZATION OF MEDICINAL CANNABIS DECREASES THE CRIMINALITY INDEX
As of 2014, this problem began to generate more expectations with the debate on legalization. The statistics exposed conventional information. In fact, not only did Colorado’s violent crime rates decline after legalization, but that trend was also seen with legalization in the other states. It was also seen in Canada. This is one of the reasons why the country decided to also move forward with the recreational consumption reform.
Since 2014, researchers at the University of Texas have also published even more interesting discoveries. Specifically, the legalization of medical marijuana had a drastic impact on reducing crime rates.
Currently, in the US and Europe, this hypothesis has been confirmed several times. Despite being “exclusively” medicinal, legalization is a tactic to reduce the power and value of the black market. From Spain to the Netherlands, from Germany to Switzerland. Even Turkey recently legalized medical marijuana growing operations in a political effort to limit the black market.
In Central and South America, it is an issue that continues to gain prominence. More and more countries are considering legalization. The main reason for this is very clear: it takes power away from posters.
Therefore, it is perfectly normal that, if things are going in the right direction, an obstacle appears in the way. In other words, there will always be a backlash.
THE ANTIANNABIAN EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
Despite the incredible advances of the last decade, the battle for legalization is not over. That includes the debate over the connection between marijuana and the crime rate.
In Europe, this depends on three different debates. There are some “regional” experiments and some at the national level. One example is Spain. Another example is the Netherlands. Both are known as markets that weaken the black market. Greece, no matter what goal it pursues, is likely to end up taking similar steps. The country gets tacit international support in its decision to legalize marijuana. The reason is very simple: economics.
On the other hand, there is a more subtle discussion on the subject. Especially in countries where only medical marijuana was legalized. Currently, they include Germany, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Croatia, and Poland. They all regard the situation as a matter of “public health” rather than a crime. The first focus, beyond medicinal efficacy, is the crime rate. The efficacy of the “purely medicinal” approach is subject to debate. As well as the case of countries like Israel. There, they have not decriminalized marijuana, but they plan to export it.
The third debate is taking place in Switzerland. This model is also designed to end the black market. As a result, the legal market is born, trading low-THC cannabis. All those legal sales are taxed that benefit the Swiss treasury rather than benefit the black market, terrorism and crime.
The speed at which legalization is progressing is a pending issue for legislators on the European continent.
WHY IS THE UNITED STATES SLOWING BACK?
At present, some fundamental questions seem to remain without substantiated answers. At least, that’s the opinion of the Trump administration or the Justice Department now headed by William Barr.
Rumors have been heard of a confrontation between the Justice Department and the herb industry. At least since November. In February then head of DOJ Jeff Sessions specifically said that legalizing marijuana causes violent crime without having data to substantiate it. This is just another disturbing concept for an already stigmatized industry.
However, this time, it is different from previous generations and campaigns. There was a big change. Right now, several countries are moving towards legalization.
Even in the United States, there is clear evidence that legalization has a direct impact on the crime rate. This includes general crime and other statistics. In their report entitled ” Are You Going to Ruin It? The Impact of Dispensary delivery closure on Crime Rates,” researchers from the USC Marshall School of Business and UC Irvine uncovered important evidence showing that when governments close Marijuana Dispensaries, rates crime rates skyrocket.
Despite the evidence that the United States is heading in the right direction, the Justice Department wants to back down. What is the problem?
IT IS A MANEUVER OF POLITICAL DISTRACTION
What lesson did we learn from this? Legalizing marijuana actually reduces the rate of violent crime. That includes crimes not related to drug use. For example, homicide. It also serves other functions that remove crime from the equation. This can start by creating a regulated market that pays taxes rather than appropriating profits for malicious purposes.
However, there are many who have different political agendas. In the current Trump administration, it is a problem that is linked to blatant racism.
For these reasons, small business owners in the cannabis industry are beginning to voice their opposition. In fact, the situation has already begun to stir in California. Minority marijuana businessmen have begun boycotting a business expo to be held in Los Angeles. Why? Because Roger Stone, a leading Republican politician, has been invited to give the keynote address.
Despite his pro-weed stance, his other political leanings aroused the ire of many. Among others, his participation in the election of Donald Trump as President. Not to mention Jeff Sessions and William Barr for their anti-cannabis stance at the Justice Department.
While Trump’s Justice Department is unlikely to become more tolerant, one thing is unquestionable. Within the cannabis market, there is data to support the claim. Not to mention the broad support from consumers and even many legislators. The market itself is the best antidote to cartels and other drug-related crimes.