Marijuana Reforms Reduce Racial Injustice, American Medical Association Study Finds

Can Legalizing Marijuana Help Reduce Crime?

Presumably. A new study published by the American Medical Association

revealed that states where cannabis is legalized or decriminalized have seen “sharp reductions in race-based arrests among adults,” reported Marijuana Moment.

And let’s face it, every race-based arrest is a crime.

Researchers from Eastern Virginia Medical School and the University of Saint Louis analyzed data from 43 states and recognized a specific pattern that the removal or relaxation of marijuana laws is linked to notable drops in arrest rates compared to states that have maintained illegal cannabis.

The study, which primarily focused on race-related patterns, looked at data collected from 2008 to 2019. The results revealed that states that have legally adopted marijuana recorded 561 fewer arrests per 100,000 blacks and 195 fewer arrests for whites on average.

Decriminalization, while yielding slightly “inferior” results, also resulted in 449 fewer arrests per 100,000 blacks and 117 fewer arrests per 100,000 whites.

Racial disparities increase in states with cannabis ban

The study, published last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s (JAMA) Health Forum, also found that “cannabis-related arrests among adults and youth have increased over time in the states. who have not implemented a cannabis policy change “.

Additionally, racial disparities in arrest rates also increased in states that maintained the ban and declined in states that adopted reform policies.

States that did not implement any policy changes showed no significant change in arrests for white individuals and an increase for black individuals, thus increasing the disparity in arrest rates over time.»Concludes the study.

Interestingly, however, the research also noted that adolescents had a lower risk of being arrested in states that adopted decriminalization compared to legalization.

Ultimately, the research pointed out that while the results “do not unambiguously promote decriminalization or legalization, increasing disparities in arrest rates in states without any policies underscores the need for targeted interventions to address racial injustice. “

The American Medical Association, a professional association and lobby group of physicians and medical students, was founded in 1847.

Photo: Courtesy Mattia Faloretti on Unsplash

About Natalee Broderick

Natalee Broderick

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