States along the Southern border that have legalized marijuana are expected to experience a precipitous drop in violent crime – especially relative to their neighboring states which haven’t legalized marijuana in one form or another.
The study backing up this assertion was published in the Journal of the Royal Economic Society, with the aim of laying out an empirical and scientific case for the legalization of medical marijuana. The study claims that legalization will cause a reduction in violent criminal activities where Mexican drug trafficking cartels are active.
The predicted drop in the violence is because of the legal marijuana systems would allow marijuana growers to enter the market while cutting the profits of the Mexican drug cartels, said the authors of the study. They further added that Violence is always expensive, and a cut in the profits would eventually drive down the violence rates as the drug traffickers would have lesser incentives to be violent and to keep the customers and territories under their control.
In order to actually determine the effects of Medical Marijuana on the crime rates that are violent, the authors went on to compare three situations, they studied the crime rates before and after the legalization of marijuana, then they studied the crime rates in counties with and without marijuana, and finally compared counties situated near the southern border and which are more inland.
When the conclusions were analyzed and combined, it resulted in a 12.5 percent reduction in the crime rates regarding the violent crimes in bordering counties. The authors used alternate dataset analysis and witnessed even greater declines in the violent crimes. The result; medical marijuana “leads to a 40.6 percent decrease in drug-law related homicides in Mexican border states,” the study says.
“We find that when a neighbour to a Mexican border state passes a MML [medical marijuana law], this results in a significant reduction in violent crime rates in the border state. More generally, we find that when a state passes a MML this reduces crime rates in the state in which the nearest Mexican border crossing is located. This evidence is consistent with our hypothesis that MMLs lead to a reduction in demand for illegal marijuana, followed by a reduction in revenue for Mexican DTOs, and, hence, a reduction in violence in the Mexican-border area,” the study concludes.