Police in legal marijuana states are better at solving crimes, study finds

New research suggests that police are more effective at their jobs in states that have adopted legal cannabis laws.

In a study published this month in the journal Police Quarterly, the legal marijuana programs in Colorado and Washington have “produced some demonstrable and persistent benefit” for police departments to solve crimes.

“This set of findings suggests that right around the time of legalization, clearance [rate] trends seemed to increase for violent crime in general for both Colorado and Washington, though no similar shifts are noted for the country as a whole,” the study’s authors wrote.

Using monthly FBI data, the Washington State study examined clearance rates for crimes in Colorado and Washington from 2010 through 2015. Researchers found a rise in clearance rate for violent crimes after marijuana was legalized, whereas clearance rates were actually falling before legalization.

The study also found an increase in clearance rates for other crimes such as burglary and car theft. Authors also note that “there were no crime types in either state for which legalization appeared to have a negative impact on…

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