States that allow recreational marijuana have found that legalization doesn’t end the black market in unregulated cannabis. But it does lower prices, increase availability and acceptability, and drive up use.
Worse — because marijuana can cause paranoia and psychosis, and those conditions are closely linked to violence — it appears to lead to an increase in violent crime. Before recreational legalization began in 2014, advocates promised that it would reduce violent crime. But the first four states to legalize — Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington — have seen sharp increases in murders and aggravated assaults since 2014, according to reports from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Police reports and news articles show a clear link to cannabis in many cases.
As Americans consider making marijuana a legal drug, it would be wise to remember the choices that fueled the