"The main finding is that we found no increase in crime rates resulting from medical marijuana legalization," said Robert Morris, one of the researchers, UPI reported. "In fact, we found some evidence of decreasing rates of some types of violent crime, namely homicide and assault."
Though past studies have suggested that legalization could potentially encourage crime, a look at the FBI's Uniform Crime Report, with an emphasis on the legalization of marijuana in certain states-including Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, showed that between 1990 and 2006, these eleven states that legalized medical marijuana use saw no increase in crime, according to UPI.com
"We believe that medical marijuana legalization poses no threat of increased violent crime," said Morris, UPI.com reported.
"We found no evidence of increases in any of these crimes for states after legalizing marijuana for medical use," Morris added. "In fact, for some forms of violence -- homicide and assault -- we found partial support for declines after the passing of this legislation."
Morris also notes that the study did not explore a relationship between marijuana use and violent crime and instead on the effect that legalization had on crime, according to UPI.com.
"The findings on the relationship between violence and marijuana use are mixed and much of the evidence points toward reductions in violent behavior for those who smoke marijuana," Morris said, UPI.com reported. "In fact, researchers have suggested that any increase in criminality resulting from marijuana use may be explained by its illegality, rather than from the substance itself."