Marijuana Legalization Reduces Arrests Even In States That Already Decriminalized, American Medical Association Study Finds

Marijuana Legalization Reduces Arrests Even In States That Already Decriminalized, American Medical Association Study Finds
MJ moment

A new study published by the American Medical Association is challenging a key argument from legalization opponents who say that marijuana reform should be limited to simple decriminalization because it would similarly end cannabis arrests. It’s certainly true that decriminalization is associated with significant decreases in arrests, the research, published last week in the Journal of the American Association (JAMA) Substance Use and Addiction found. But legalization pushes that trend even further, indicating that comprehensive reform produces maximal results if the goal is to stop arresting people over marijuana. The way the researchers at the University of California, San Diego arrived at that conclusion is by looking at the impact of legalization on arrest rates in states that previously had more modest decriminalization laws in place as compared to those that move directly from full criminalization to outright legalization. The analysis examined arrest data from 2010-2019 in 31 states, including nine where cannabis was legal for adult use. Of those nine legal states, five made the transition from decriminalization to legalization and four moved straight from prohibition to legalization. Legalization “was associated with decreased cannabis possession arrest rates among adults during the study period, even in US states that had already decriminalized cannabis.” The researchers found that, in the states that hadn’t previously decriminalized marijuana, legalization was associated with a precipitous 76 percent drop in cannabis arrests. But states that had already decriminalized marijuana still saw a “substantial” 40 percent decrease in arrests after legalizing cannabis, indicating that simple decriminalization alone does not maximize results if the goal is ending the policy of arresting people over the plant. The study authors summarize the argument that prohibitionist groups have made as a sort of compromise—encouraging lawmakers to go no further than decriminalizing possession, without including a legal sales component, because that…

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Source : Marijuana Legalization Reduces Arrests Even In States That Already Decriminalized, American Medical Association Study Finds

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