While Trump wants to build a wall at the Mexican border that, according to our nation’s President, will have a “huge impact on the inflow of drugs coming across” the border, a new study finds that crime in states that border Mexico and have legal cannabis laws has dropped significantly.
Medical Marijuana Laws Lead to Less Violence and Help Decrease Crime at the Border
Economic Journal published a study in November that found states on the US/Mexico border that have legalized medical cannabis saw violent crime rates fall by 13 percent.
Evelina Gavrilova is an economist and lead author of the study. Her and other researchers studied crime data from 1994-2012 to determine if crimes rates fell after states authorized medical cannabis laws.
According to Gavrilova, “Whenever there is a medical marijuana law we observe that crime at the border decreases because suddenly there is a lot less smuggling and a lot less violence associated with that.”
Marijuana happens to be one of the Mexican cartel’s most valuable products. Yes, they deal with other harder drugs like heroin, meth, and cocaine, but weed is still a valuable cash crop to the cartel. Legal cannabis in the US however, might be responsible for helping crime rates fall in border states the Mexican cartel has a hold on.
The report highlights that California saw the most significant decrease in violent crimes (around 15 percent during the time of the study). Researchers conducting the study also looked at how individual crime rates were affected in cannabis-legal border states.
It showed that murders directly connected to drug trade fell a whopping 41 percent. Researchers say that this supports the “theory that decriminalization of the production and distribution of marijuana leads to a reduction in violent crime in markets that are traditionally controlled by Mexican drug trafficking organizations.”
The study also found that robberies decreased an average of 19 percent, and murders (not connected to the drug trade) fell an average of 10 percent.
Legal Pot Has a Significant Impact on Violent Crime…Researchers say “Regulate It”
In regard to these figures, Gavrilova commented, “When the effect on crime is so significant, it’s obviously better to regulate marijuana and allow people to pay taxes on it rather than make it illegal. For me it’s a no brainer that it should be legal and should be regulated, and the proceeds go to the [U.S.] Treasury.”
The US federal government unfortunately feels otherwise. With Jeff Sessions rescinding the Cole Memo, and Trump keeping his word about his wall, the powers-that-be continue to turn a blind eye toward the benefits of cannabis legalization.
What they seem to fail to realize is that by keeping cannabis illegal and enforcing these federal crackdowns, they’re essentially giving back power to the cartel and keeping violent crime in border states alive and well.