Drugs trade The Observer Murder and violent crime found to have decreased most in states bordering Mexico as drug cartels lose business to regulation Marijuana is sold legally at a dispensary in California. Photograph: Mathew Sumner/AP Drugs trade The Observer Legal marijuana cuts violence says US study, as medical-use laws see crime fall Murder and violent crime found to have decreased most in states bordering Mexico as drug cartels lose business to regulation
The introduction of medical marijuana laws has led to a sharp reduction in violent crime in US states that border Mexico, according to new research.
According to the study, Is Legal Pot Crippling Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations? The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on US Crime, when a state on the Mexican border legalised medical use of the drug, violent crime fell by 13% on average. Most of the marijuana consumed in the US originates in Mexico, where seven major cartels control the illicit drug trade.
“These laws allow local farmers to grow marijuana that can then be sold to dispensaries where it is sold legally,” said the economist Evelina Gavrilova, one of the study’s authors. “These growers are in direct competition with Mexican drug cartels that are smuggling the marijuana into the US. As a result, the cartels get much less business.”
The knock-on effect is a reduction in levels of drug-related violence.