Six months ago Colorado turned into the first state to legalize marijuana. On the last days of February the Colorado Department of Public Safety released statistics that showed that since January 1, crime rate in Colorado has decreased tremendously.
According to the study, property crime decreased by 14.7% in Denver, homicide rates decreased by 66.7 % and the total number of robbery cases went down by 7 % since January 1, 2014, if you compare to the parallel time frame in 2013. Other violent crime numbers have not changed or went up.
Colorado officials said that, of course, a 2-month time frame study is not enough to reach any conclusion, but the results of the study are still very promising and encouraging since it has been feared that Denver would turn into a land of marijuana if it became legal for adults over 18 years old.
Spokesperson for Smart Colorado Henry Lasley, whose goal is to make sure marijuana remains unavailable to children, told Vox that three months is the short window and at this point they do not know for sure about the future impact of marijuana legalization. According to director of Rocky Mountains High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Tom Gordman, they will not receive the complete picture of the changes until three of four years after the legalization and now they just need to wait and see what happens.
However, months before January 1, 2014 a few police officials and lawmakers stated that marijuana has to be illegal if Colorado wants to avoid turning into the state of chaos. The sheriff of Mendocino, CA warned about the consequences of marijuana legalization as well. He said that marijuana legalization would bring a lot of money, avarice and violence to marijuana dispensaries.
Some Colorado marijuana dispensaries filed burglary reports, but the recent report revealed that the number of burglaries is very small. In March the scientific journal PLOS One published the study carried out throughout the whole country that showed that medical marijuana had not increase crimes and in some cases had actually decreased the number of crimes, especially homicides. However, experts said that all findings are still provisory.