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How Has Colorado’s Cannabis Legalization Impacted Border States?

When the push for recreational marijuana legalization in Colorado was gaining momentum, opponents revved up their rhetoric to put a stop to the historic effort. They warned of increases in criminal activity.

They predicted neighborhoods, where cannabis stores set up shop, would be havens for all types of crime. Even states that neighbored them would also feel the pain.

Those doom and gloom predictions never came to pass since Colorado legalized cannabis eight years ago. A recent study conducted by two colleges – the University of Utah and the University of Mississippi – and renowned economic and statistical consultant Thomas Roney revealed the opposite. Bordering jurisdictions saw a post-legalization decline in property crimes, larceny and simple assault.

The Positive Effects of Legalized Marijuana

The act of decriminalizing a once illegal substance alone will naturally have positive effects. Legalization sliced a substantial “market share” from criminal narcotic enterprises known for acts of violent criminal offenses.

Perhaps the most significant study comes from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program. Their research revealed substantial drops in property crimes and theft in not only counties bordering Colorado, but also entire states that include Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming.

While dire predictions still have not come to pass, legalized cannabis remains a hot-button issue in Colorado, if not the entire nation. While not a crime, it still remains stigmatized with continued resistance from the mainstream. That creates not only countless misconceptions but also unintended legal problems for business owners and users.

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