According to new data from the journal Justice Quarterly, the legalization of adult-use marijuana possession and sales is not linked with any significant or long-term increase in criminal activity.
Researchers affiliated with Washington State University assessed monthly average crime rates in Colorado and Washington in the wake of cannabis legalization compared to other states, NORML noted.
In particular, they examined data for violent crimes, property crimes, auto thefts, and robberies.
“[M]arijuana legalization and sales have had minimal to no effect on major crimes in Colorado or Washington,” the study noted. “We observed no statistically significant long-term effects of recreational cannabis laws or the initiation of retail sales on violent or property crime rates in these states. … The results related to serious crime are quite clear: the legalization of marijuana has not resulted in a significant upward trend in crime rates.”