Crime and the legalization of recreational marijuana

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization

“First-pass evidence is provided that the legalization of the cannabis market across US states is inducing a crime drop. We exploit the staggered legalization of recreational marijuana enacted by the adjacent states of Washington (end of 2012) and Oregon (end of 2014). Combining county-level difference-in-differences and spatial regression discontinuity designs, we find that the policy caused a significant reduction in rapes and property crimes on the Washington side of the border in 2013–2014 relative to the Oregon side and relative to the pre-legalization years 2010–2012. The legalization also increased consumption of marijuana and reduced consumption of other drugs and both ordinary and binge alcohol. Four possible mechanisms are discussed: the direct psychotropic effects of cannabis; substitution away from violence-inducing substances; reallocation of police effort; reduced role of criminals in the marijuana business.”

“LEGAL POT IS LINKED TO LESS CRIME. A new study suggests it also decreases other types of drug use, including binge drinking.”

Adolescent cannabis use and brain systems supporting adult working memory encoding, maintenance, and retrieval


“Given prior reports of adverse effects of cannabis use on working memory, an executive function with a protracted developmental course during adolescence, we examined associations between developmental patterns of cannabis use and adult working memory (WM) processes.

Within repeated cannabis users, greater levels of total cannabis use were associated with performance-related increases in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) activation during maintenance.

Surprisingly, however, at the group level, cannabis users generally performed better than participants who reported never using cannabis (faster RT, higher accuracy).”

“Why Pot Smokers Scored Higher Than Nonsmokers on This Memory Test. Among a sample of 28-year-olds who took a working-memory test while undergoing an MRI brain scan, individuals who started smoking marijuana in adolescence performed just as well or even better than individuals who never smoked cannabis, the study found.”

Is Legal Pot Crippling Mexican Drug Trafficking Organisations?

The Economic Journal

“We show that the introduction of medical marijuana laws (MMLs) leads to a decrease in violent crime in states that border Mexico. The reduction in crime is strongest for counties close to the border (less than 350 kilometres) and for crimes that relate to drug trafficking. In addition, we find that MMLs in inland states lead to a reduction in crime in the nearest border state. Our results are consistent with the theory that decriminalisation of the production and distribution of marijuana leads to a reduction in violent crime in markets that are traditionally controlled by Mexican drug trafficking organisations.”

“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.”

“Marijuana legalisation causing violent crime to fall in US states, study finds”

Going to pot? The impact of dispensary closures on crime☆

Journal of Urban Economics

“Jurisdictions that sanction medical or, more recently, recreational marijuana use often allow retail sales at dispensaries. Dispensaries are controversial as many believe they contribute to local crime. To assess this claim, we analyze the short-term mass closing of hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles.

Contrary to popular wisdom, we find an immediate increase in crime around dispensaries ordered to close relative to those allowed to remain open.

The increase is specific to the type of crime most plausibly deterred by bystanders, and is correlated with neighborhood walkability. We find a similar pattern of results for temporary restaurant closures due to health code violations. A likely common mechanism is that “eyes upon the street” deter some types of crime.”

“Closing medical marijuana dispensaries increases crime, according to new study.  Contrary to popular belief, medical marijuana dispensaries (MMDs) reduce crime in their immediate areas, suggests a new report.”

Pot a Common Remedy to Ease Back Pain

“Use of marijuana to ease back pain was common among patients at a university spine clinic in Colorado where pot has been legal for medical purposes since 2000, but most of the users did not have a prescription, according to research presented here.

Among 184 patients at a Colorado spine center, 19% said they used marijuana for pain relief, but less than half, 46%, actually had a prescription for the drug, according to study co-author Michael Finn, MD, an assistant professor of neurosurgery at the University of Colorado in Denver.

The most common way to use the drug was smoking it, 90%, followed by oral ingestion, 45%, and vaporization, 29%.

According to the users, marijuana worked. A total of 89% said it greatly or moderately relived their pain, and 81% said it worked as well as or better than narcotic painkillers.”

Survey: medical pot treats migraines

“One hundred percent of migraine sufferers in a self-report survey said cannabis reduced migraine pain and discomfort.”

One hundred percent of migraine sufferers in a self-report survey said cannabis reduced migraine pain and discomfort. (Photo via Flickr TipsTimesAdmin with CC license)

“Cannabis treats a wide variety of conditions, but specific formulations are better for some symptoms than others, patients report in a new landmark survey by a medical cannabis industry company Care By Design.

A full 100 percent of respondents with headaches, migraines, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and spinal cord injury reported a decrease in pain or discomfort on medical marijuana rich in the molecule cannabidiol (CBD).”

A novel hemp seed meal protein hydrolysate reduces oxidative stress factors in spontaneously hypertensive rats.

Logo of nutrients

“This report shows the antioxidant effects of a hemp seed meal protein hydrolysate (HMH) in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR)…

The results suggest that HMH contained antioxidant peptides that reduced the rate of lipid peroxidation in SHRs with enhanced antioxidant enzyme levels and total antioxidant capacity.”

“Cannabis sativa L., also commonly called industrial hemp seed, is historically an important source of food, fibre, dietary oil and medicine; the seed contains about 30% oil and 25% protein…

Proteins from both plant and animal sources, including those of hemp seed, have been isolated and recognized as essential sources of bioactive peptides capable of exerting various in vitro and in vivo activities, such as antioxidant, antihypertensive, antimicrobial, opioid, antithrombotic, hypocholesterolemic, appetite-reducing, mineral-binding, immunomodulatory and cytomodulatory…

HMH may serve as an important ingredient to formulate antioxidant diets with potential therapeutic effects.”

Study: Pot May Improve Cognitive Functioning in Bipolar Disorder


“Patients with severe psychiatric disorders actually function better in neurocognitive assessments when they have a history of marijuana use.

Patients with bipolar I disorder performed better in neurocognitive assessments when they had a history of marijuana use.”

“Cognitive and clinical outcomes associated with cannabis use in patients with bipolar I disorder”

Smoking Marijuana Regularly May Reduce Risk of Some Neck, Head Cancers – Fox News

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“You’ve heard about using marijuana and drugs derived from it to keep some of the side effects of toxic cancer chemotherapy in check. But what if smoking marijuana for 10 to 20 years could actually protect against certain tumors?

In a study, researchers have found that long-term pot smokers were roughly 62 percent less likely to develop head and neck cancers than people who did not smoke pot.”

“A Population-based Case-Control Study of Marijuana Use and Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma”

Marijuana Compound CBD Can Effectively Treat Schizophrenia

Marijuana Plant

“Cannabidiol (CBD) is a known marijuana compound, and might just be better than antipsychotics at treating schizophrenia.

A preliminary trial has shown this form of treatment to have fewer side effects than traditional methods of treatment…

Since CBD comes from the marijuana plant, political issues are likely to compromise its availability. Extracting the compound from the plant is also expensive.

But the biggest issue scientists face is that CBD is a natural compound, and can’t be patented the way new drugs are. Pharmaceutical companies are therefore not likely to develop it.”