A study by researchers at John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York (CUNY) found that Denver neighborhoods in areas close to dispensaries selling recreational pot experienced higher levels of property crime, Elexonic reports.
According to the study, the costs of these crimes were largely offset by the sales revenue generated by recreational dispensaries. It found no corresponding increase in violent crimes.
Nevertheless “the increase in nonviolent crimes must be a consideration when assessing the legalization of recreational marijuana,” said Nathan J. Connealy, a doctoral student at John Jay, who led the study.
In 2014, Colorado began selling recreational cannabis to people older than 21, becoming the first state to legalize recreational marijuana.
The study measured changes in levels of violent, disorder, drug, and property crime from the three-year period before recreational marijuana was legalized (2011-2013) against the three-year period after it was legalized (2014-2016). Crime data came from the Denver Police Department.
The study was published in Justice Evaluation Journal, a publication of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.
Read the full study here.