The increasing reform of cannabis policies is taking away power from Mexican cartels and reducing violent crime.

In a new research 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 legalized medical use of the drug, violent crime fell by 13% on average.

These laws allow local farmers to grow marijuana that can then be sold to dispensaries where it is sold legally.

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.

Whenever there is a medical marijuana law we observe that crime at the border decreases because suddenly there is a lot less smuggling and a lot less violence associated with that.

-Evelina Gavrilova, Author of the economic journal study

Taking Cannabis Away from Dirty Hands

While the Mexican cartels smuggle other drugs such as cocaine, heroine and meth across the border, the market for cannbis is the largest drug market in the US and the one from which the cartels can make the fattest profit. It costs around $75 to produce a pound of marijuana in Mexico, which can then be sold on for $6,000 depending on the quality.

Gavrilova, along with fellow researchers Takuma Kamada and Floris Zoutman, studied data from the FBI’s uniform crime reports and supplementary homicide records covering 1994 to 2012 to report these findings:

Among the border states the effect of the change in law was largest in California, where there was a reduction of 15% in violent crime, and weakest in Arizona, where there was a fall of 7%.

The crimes most strongly affected were robbery, which fell by 19%, and murder, which dropped by 10%. Homicides specifically related to the drug trade fell by an astonishing 41%.

Mislabeled Drug to Legal Medicine


The authors claim their study provides new insights into methods to reduce violent crime related to drug trafficking. But its publication comes as the US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, is rescinding the Obama-era policy that ushered in the medical marijuana laws.

When the effect on crime is so significant, it’s obviously better to regulate marijuana and allow people to pay taxes on it rather than make it illegal.

For me it’s a no brainer that it should be legal and should be regulated, and the proceeds go to the Treasury.

-Evelina Gavrilova, Author of the economic journal study

As of January 2018, more than 20 states have implemented medical marijuana laws. In those cannabis friendly states, there is now one marijuana dispensary for every six regular pharmacies. The increasing amount of positive medical marijuana stories have convinced many people to use it for their health. Compassionate dispensaries even offer discount programs for low income patients who qualify.

The study suggests that the full recreational legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington will have an even stronger impact on the drug trade as their large-scale cannabis production facilities will push cartels out of the industry.

DISCLAIMER: All Information Displayed In This Post Is For Educational Purposes Only, And Is Not To Be Construed As Medical Advice Or Treatment For Any Specific Person Or Condition. Cannabis Has Not Been Analyzed Or Approved By The FDA. Individual Results May Vary.

Legal marijuana cuts violence says US study, as medical-use laws see crime fall | The Guardian