Many people argue that legalizing marijuana would lead to an increase in crime and violence as dangerous stoners patrol the night desperately looking for a fix. However, a new study shows that not only does marijuana not cause more crime, it actually reduces it.

A recent study examined the impact of marijuana legalization on crime in states bordering Mexico. And the news is good. According to the study, states bordering the Mexican border that legalized marijuana saw on average a 13 percent drop in violent crime. Most of the illegal cannabis consumed in the United States is grown by Mexican drug cartels, and those cartels get less business in state's with legalized marijuana. As a result, they operate in those states less and therefore commit less crimes.

“Whenever there is a medical marijuana law we observe that crime at the border decreases because suddenly there is a lot less smuggling and a lot less violence associated with that,"said economist Evelina Gavrilova, one of the study’s authors

According to the study, California saw the largest reduction of crime with a 15 percent drop, while Arizona was the least at 7 percent. In terms of specific crimes, robberies dropped by an average 19 percent in these states while homicides fell 10 percent. Homicides directly tied to drug crimes, however, fell an incredible 41 percent in those states.

“When the effect on crime is so significant, it’s obviously better to regulate marijuana and allow people to pay taxes on it rather than make it illegal,” said Gavrilova. “For me it’s a no brainer that it should be legal and should be regulated, and the proceeds go to the Treasury.”

Of course, Attorney General Jeff Sessions will continue to ignore studies and statistics like this while pretending that marijuana is as dangerous as heroin. 

(h/t The Guardian)