In one of the most drastic examples of the potential benefits of legalized cannabis, Denver, Colorado has seen a sizable reduction in violent crimes – particularly homicides – since the beginning of legal recreational cannabis sales.
Compared to the January to April period from 2013, 2014 has seen an overall reduction in both violent and property crimes since legal cannabis sales began this January. The most notable reduction was a 52.9% reduction in homicides, and a 36.3% reduction in automobile thefts. All other forms of violent crime saw a reduction in their incidences over the same period.
In addition to these reductions, Denver has seen a 13.6% reduction in sexual assaults, a 4.6% drop in burglaries and a 3.1% reduction in aggravated assaults. Property crimes were down 11.4%.
As many know, correlation doesn’t always imply causation, but these numbers are still a telling sign, and give clear evidence that, at the very least, legal cannabis sales are not causing an increase in crime, as many opponents argued it would.