For years, drug-reform activists in America argued that the country’s prohibitionist policies were counterproductive; instead of curbing drug abuse and crippling the criminal enterprises behind the drug trade, prohibition has imprisoned countless people of color for minor drug charges, shackling them with criminal records for the rest of their lives, and enriched the drug cartels that supply the black market with drugs.
Decades after former President Richard Nixon declared the war on drugs, the movement has been declared a failure by most pundits. Drug-reform advocates argued that rather than prohibit the sale of cannabis, launching a legal, regulated market would do what the war on drugs sought to do much more effectively.
Now a new study has found that not only does cannabis have a positive effect on crime reduction but that the effect of legalizing the controversial plant on crime numbers has actually been underestimated. Ever since American states began legalizing cannabis for medical and recreational use, several studies have attempted to look at the relationship between crime numbers and cannabis laws.
However, researchers have been severely limited in their research methodology, the study found, as they rely on FBI data collected from local police departments across the country. Since reporting this data to the FBI is entirely voluntary, the result is that the data on crime and cannabis underplays the extent to which medical cannabis laws have affected violent and property crime.
The study involved researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (“USDA”) Economic Research Service and Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. The researchers say that the country’s drug policy presumes that prohibition has a negative effect on crime rates, but unfortunately, insufficient data has made it impossible to test this assumption in medical marijuana states.
To get around the knowledge gap, the researchers developed a novel imputation procedure that allowed them to reduce the measurement error bias and estimate the true extent of medical marijuana laws on violent and property crimes, they write in the final paper titled “Smoke and Fear: The Effects of Marijuana Prohibition on Crime.”
The group’s final estimations revealed that medical marijuana laws would be followed by significant reductions in violent and property crime rates, especially in Mexican border states. This is likey because people are more likely to buy cannabis from legal vendors who have to ensure their products are safe, tested and meet certain standards, especially if they are using it medicinally.
Aside from reducing crime, medical marijuana is having an even bigger impact on the health and well-being of its users, and these positive effects could grow as more people adopt tools such as the RYAH Smart Inhaler manufactured by RYAH Group Inc. (CSE: RYAH) for the purpose of precisely measuring the dose of marijuana flower that medical marijuana users smoke.
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CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
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