As part of his campaign on the road to the White House, President Donald Trump proposed that marijuana should be 100% legal in this country to ensure state governments held more control. Since the time he made this proposition, 31 states have legalized marijuana (with an additional 8 states allow recreational and medical use). At this time, officials are planning to develop commercial artisan weed in Humboldt and Mendocino counties in Northern California. Meanwhile, the first medical weed kitchen has been opened in Arizona. However, one question remains: since the drug is mostly legal, does that mean there will be less criminal activity associated with it? The short answer is “possibly.” Recent reports have shown that marijuana-related crimes have dropped significantly in the past decade. Let’s take a look and see why this is happening.
Americans vs. Foreigners
At this time, a critical part of U.S. political activity is securing control at our borders with neighboring countries (as well as international barriers), and drug trafficking has a been a major underlying issue with this incident. However, a recent report has shown the cannabis smuggling has reached its lowest point in over a decade.
According to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Program (part of the Department of Homeland Security), as states continue to legalize pot in some way, officers have directed their attention away from drug trafficking (large-scale operations) to amateur criminals (smuggling). Even more interesting, agents have been seizing more marijuana from American citizens than illegal foreigners. Based on Border Patrol data (2013-2017), 70% of people detained at the Mexican border were U.S. citizens, while roughly 10-20% of cases involved refugees.
A Stark Decline
As agents continue to arrest Americans, the CBP has been observing a decline in drug confiscation since California and Washington first legalized recreational pot in 2012. Likewise, the amount of drugs that have been seized at key entry points in our country (e.g. airports, border crossings) has also declined. At random points across the U.S., the number of drugs confiscated by agents descended from 2.5 million pounds to 850,000 pounds between 2011 and 2017.
Consider this fact, as well. Once states legalized recreational weed, violent crime has also declined by 12.5%, which officials believe could be connected to a decrease in drug-related crimes. Could the legalization of weed be beneficial in this way?
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