A group of researchers from the University of Bologna in Italy recently conducted a study that dismisses the association between legal weed and increased violence. After comparing the rates of violent crimes in Washington and Oregon between 2012 and 2014, the results show a decrease post-cannabis legalization.

The legalization of marijuana in these states was linked to a 15 to 30% decrease in reported rapes and a 10 to 20% percent decrease in reported thefts, says Herb. Their findings line up with an ever-growing body of research supporting the same claim.

The researchers say there are four main reasons why they believe cannabis legalization is linked to a decrease in violent crimes:

  1. Just being legal 'reduces the likelihood of [cannabis users and growers] engaging in violent activities.'
  2. Legalization means that the marijuana trade isn't a gang-run industry.
  3. Police are freed up to deal with other crimes.
  4. In many cases easy access to marijuana leads to people to using 'violence-inducing substances,' like alcohol for instance.

Looks like Jeff Sessions' claim that marijuana leads to violent actions was wrong after all. Who'd have guessed it?