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posted by on Thursday March 02 2017, @05:44PM   Printer-friendly
from the ideology-vs-scientific-analysis dept.

The Center for American Progress reports

On [February 27], days after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters to expect stricter enforcement of federal pot law, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recycled discredited drug war talking points in remarks of his own.

"I believe it's an unhealthy practice, and current levels of THC in marijuana are very high compared to what they were a few years ago, and we're seeing real violence around that", Sessions said. "Experts are telling me there's more violence around marijuana than one would think and there's big money involved."

In reality, violent crime rates tend to decrease where marijuana is legalized.

Denver saw a 2.2 percent drop in violent crime rates in the year after the first legal recreational cannabis sales in Colorado. Overall property crime dropped by 8.9 percent [PDF] in the same period there, according to figures from the Drug Policy Alliance. In Washington, violent crime rates dropped by 10 percent [PDF] from 2011 to 2014. Voters legalized recreational marijuana there in 2012.

Medical marijuana laws, which have a longer track record for academics than recreational pot legalization, are also associated with stable or falling violent crime rates. In one 2014 study of the 11 states that legalized medical pot from 1990 to 2006, there was no increase in the seven major categories of violent crime and "some evidence of decreasing rates of some types of violent crime, namely homicide and assault."

[...] Elsewhere in his remarks, Sessions unwittingly made the case against treating pot activity like serious crime. "You can't sue somebody for drug debt". he said. "The only way to get your money is through strong-arm tactics, and violence tends to follow that."

Legalizing, regulating, and taxing the sale of marijuana is the surest way to remedying that exact tendency for pot commerce to trigger violent score-settling. Legalization invites pot business into the light, granting cannabusinesses at least partial access to official modes of recourse when they are defrauded.

8 states and the District of Columbia have legalised marijuana for recreational use.
Ever see anyone use cannabis and become more aggressive rather than more mellow?

Note: ThinkProgress redirects all accesses of their pages and will attach tracking numbers. I have made sure that those are not in the URLs.


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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:53PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:53PM (#474141)

    In fact, the people most likely to support Clinton were those most affected by trade policies.

    The Missing Link: http://www.vox.com/2016/8/12/12454250/donald-trump-gallup-trade-immigration-study [vox.com]

    And an excerpt:

    Trump's base is not poor whites — it's way more complicated than that

    What Rothwell found was revelatory, to say the least. He finds that individuals who are struggling economically are not more likely to support Trump, nor are people living in areas that have suffered a loss of manufacturing jobs, an influx of immigration, or competition from China. By contrast, people in areas where whites are struggling health-wise, and in terms of intergenerational mobility (and in areas that are very racially segregated), do seem more likely to back Trump.

    Trump supporters are richer, not poorer, than average: For one thing, Rothwell found that both across the overall population and among whites, support for Trump is correlated with higher income, not lower. That’s not surprising; low-income people have always preferred Democrats. But it definitely contradicts the image of Trump as spokesman for the economically struggling.

    Rothwell also found that Trump supporters are no likelier to be unemployed or to have left the workforce. The problem of men dropping out of the labor force doesn’t seem to be a factor behind Trump’s rise.

    "The individual data do not suggest that those who view Trump favorably are confronting abnormally high economic distress, by conventional measures of employment and income," he concludes.

    Nonetheless, Trump supporters tend to be blue-collar and less educated: On the other hand, Rothwell also finds that Trump supporters are more likely to work in blue-collar fields and to have less education. This fact, however, sits uneasily with Trump’s greater support among the wealthy and lower support among the poor, and suggests that his sweet spot is less-educated people in blue-collar fields who are nonetheless doing pretty well economically.

    Trump does well in racially segregated areas: Turning to the geographic data, Rothwell finds that segregated, homogenous white areas are Trump's base of support. "People living in zip codes with disproportionately high shares of white residents are significantly and robustly more likely to view Trump favorably," he writes. "Those living in zip codes with overall diversity that is low relative to their commuting zone are also far more likely to view Trump favorably." Put another way: If you're in the whitest suburb in your area, you're likelier to back Trump.

    Trump doesn’t do well in areas affected by trade or immigration: This is perhaps the most surprising finding. Contact with immigrants seems to reduce one's likelihood of supporting Trump, as areas that are farther from Mexico and with smaller Hispanic populations saw more Trump support.

    Areas with more manufacturing are significantly less likely to support Trump. An increase in the level of manufacturing employment from 2000 to 2007 predicted higher Trump support — which is the opposite of what you'd expect, given the narrative around this campaign. While the finding isn't statistically significant, greater exposure to Chinese imports predicts lower support for Trump, despite his agitation for higher tariffs on the country.

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