The recent legalization of medical marijuana in Washington State and Colorado has ignited a new national debate regarding the use of the substance. Numerous studies have been published in the short time since marijuana has been legal in both States, but some skeptics are saying the results of those studies might be rigged to favor marijuana prohibitionists and proponents alike.
Anti-legalization groups have published countless “studies” warning against the consumption of marijuana. One such document, published in a Colorado newspaper on Friday, claims that Colorado’s murder rate has increased by 396% since recreational marijuana use was legalized. They also claim that rape has increased by 200%, the rate of kidnappings in Colorado has tripled, and burglaries have quadrupled, claiming that fast food restaurants and convenient stores with large snack aisles have become “too dangerous for regular patrons to even visit.”
Another anti-legalization study makes some radical medical claims involving marijuana, reporting, without evidence, that suicide rates in both states have increased by 250% in the month of January alone, which we aren’t even two full weeks into yet. They also claim that as many as 2.4 million people have overdosed on marijuana and died since the new laws came into effect.
But the pro-pot studies don’t seem to be much better. One study claims that “all crimes in Washington and Colorado, violent and nonviolent alike, have completely ceased since marijuana’s legalization.” Another claims to have “scientifically proven” that marijuana completely cures cancer, AIDS, herpes, restless leg syndrome, and even blindness.
Some of the studies make even less sense. One claims that marijuana legalization led to George W. Bush being elected president in 2000, even though Al Gore won Washington, and Bush only barely won Colorado by approximately eight points. Another study, this one a pro-legalization study, claims that “since marijuana’s legalization, green and orange work way better together,” which doesn’t seem to have anything to do with anything.