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Study: No Link Between Marijuana Legalization And Rise In Crime

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File photo of a person smoking a cigarette filled with marijuana. (Photo credit: PABLO PORCIUNCULA/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of a person smoking a cigarette filled with marijuana. (Photo credit: PABLO PORCIUNCULA/AFP/Getty Images)

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HOUSTON, Texas (CBS Houston) – A new study has found that medical marijuana legalization is not associated with an uptick no link between marijuana legalization for medical use and an increase in crime.

Researchers at the University of Texas, Dallas, analyzed crime rates from all 50 states between 1990 and 2006 accounting for a range of socioeconomic factors, but were able to demonstrate that crime didn’t increase because of marijuana legalization.

“The main finding is that we found no increase in crime rates resulting from medical marijuana legalization,” Dr. Robert Morris, associate professor of criminology and lead author of the study, explained to UPI. “In fact, we found some evidence of decreasing rates of some types of violent crime, namely homicide and assault.”

During that period, eleven states legalized marijuana for medical use including: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

Morris shared that he plans to conduct more research since two states have legalized recreational marijuana use and several other states have legalized medical marijuana.

“This new information, along with continued education of the public on the realities of the negative aspects of smoking marijuana — which there are considerable negative attributes — will make the dialogue between those opposed and in favor of legalization on more of an even playing field,” Morris added.

The study was recently published in the journal PLOS ONE.

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