The study, published in The Economic Journal, found that the rate of violent crime – including robberies, murders and aggravated assaults – fell by 12.5 per cent in counties close to the border after the introduction of medical marijuana laws (MMLs).
“MMLs allow people to grow and cultivate marijuana plants legally within the US,” Professor Evelina Gavrilova, one of the study’s authors, told The Independent.
“This means that people don’t need to buy illegal marijuana anymore so drug trafficking organisations (DTOs) have far fewer customers.”
DTOs have long been a major contributor to violent crime in US border states.
“Their namesake activity – the smuggling of illicit drugs – is known to be paired with extreme levels of violence, which DTOs use to contest the revenues in the drug market,” according to the study.
With these organisations now less active in the border regions due to falling demand, instances of violence have also fallen. “As revenues decrease, so does the incentive to invest in violent activity,” the paper says. . .