Does legalizing pot increase crime rates? It hasn't in Colorado and Washington, a study has found

A study analyzing crime rates in Colorado and Washington suggests legalizing recreational marijuana has a minimal effect on crime rates, if any.

One argument for legalizing marijuana is the assumption that it would lead to lower crime rates—decriminalizing the drug, so the theory goes, removes illegal trade and the criminal activities that go along with it. Indeed, a study published in The Economic Journal in 2017 found that states on the US-Mexico border that legalized medical marijuana saw a decrease in violent crimes of 5.6 to 12.5 percent.


A year into a resurrected hemp market, how are States handling it?

Since federal passage of the 2018 Farm Bill last December, interest in hemp farming has catalyzed a national industry reborn after decades of prohibition. Reports from state agriculture officials indicate that licensed hemp acreage for 2019 has more than tripled, with the number of hemp licenses issued having quadrupled since 2018. It is increasingly likely that the U.S. hemp industry will see more acreage planted this year than in 1943, the peak of cultivation during World War II.


Hemp licenses issued by State 2019

  • The 29 U.S. states having reporting licensed hemp cultivation acreage total nearly half a million acres in combined cultivation land area, a massive increase over 2018's combined U.S. total of just over 100,000 acres.
  • Colorado leads the nation in hemp cultivation and processing land area with over 80,000 acres reported.
  • Oregon, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Montana lead in hemp program expansion efforts.
  • Tennessee leads in total hemp licenses issued in 2019.
  • At least 70% of the 2019 U.S. hemp harvest is intended for extract production.
  • California is poised to be the top-producing hemp state for both conventional and organic production as thousands of acres have already been planted in 2019.

New study finds crime rates fall in vicinity of marijuana dispensaries

In one of the first looks at how legalizing marijuana affects neighborhood crime rates, a new study revealed a drop in crime in areas that have a dispensary, according to Marijuana Moment. 

The results of the study published in the journal Regional Science and Urban Economics last week indicated that the opening of a dispensary in a Denver neighborhood resulted in a 19% decline in crime.


Bob Marley's son to open a medical cannabis dispensary

Rohan Marley, son of late legendary reggae singer and cannabis enthusiast Bob Marley, has announced his intention to open a medical cannabis dispensary in Montclair, New Jersey.

In partnership with Colorado-based dispensary chain Lightshade, Rohan Marley has completed an application for one of the state’s 15 retail licences.

If the application gets state’s approval, Marley will aid marketing and publicity efforts and contribute to the hiring process.


Wholesale cannabis prices rise in legalized States

The wholesale market for legal cannabis is marked by great regional variation, but the oversupply that has sent prices plummeting in Oregon and other Western states has not been able to dampen the general upswing on the national level. 


Alcohol vs cannabis, which taxes help society more?

The potential tax revenue from the legalization of cannabis has been at the center of the argument between republicans and democrats. Proponents of legalization say states who haven’t legalized cannabis should look at the revenue generated from alcohol and other sin taxes as a window into what could be. 


What have we learned after four years of legal cannabis sales in Colorado

  • Since 2014, when Colorado became the nation’s first fully legal cannabis market, it has generated over $6 billion in legal cannabis sales.
  • Adult-use sales grew 300% between 2014-2018, accounting for 2/3 of all cannabis purchased, and reflecting strong, sustained demand from adult consumers.
  • Meantime, medical sales through 2014-2018 gradually declined, while bolstered by a strong medical framework (i.e., tax exemptions, higher quantity allowances for registered patients).
  • Colorado’s results demonstrate the significant industry to be created through legalized cannabis, with economic benefits derived through effective regulations.

Colorado joins New York and Illinois in allowing doctors to prescribe weed for pain

Marijuana advocates have long supported the use of cannabis for the treatment of pain. State lawmakers, at least in Colorado, New York and Illinois, have finally decided to give the people what they want giving the green light to doctors to prescribe marijuana for the management of pain. Doctors can do the same in Illinois through a state pilot program that focuses on using cannabis to lower opioid use.

It’s a substantial change from the laws in most states, which allow medical marijuana use for a narrow list of conditions. Typically, they include epileptic seizures and the discomfort and pain associated with treatment for cancer or AIDS. 

One of the main drivers behind the change is the opioid epidemic.


New Law in Colorado allows doctors to recommend cannabis over opioids

Starting on Friday, doctors in Colorado will be able to legally recommend medical cannabis for patients who might otherwise get prescribed opioids. 

That’s thanks to a new law signed in May by Democratic Gov. Jared Polis that makes Colorado the third state in the country (New York and Illinois are the other two) to permit doctors to do that. 


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