(NaturalNews) If you've ever seen any unintentionally comedic clips from the old propaganda movie Reefer Madness, you'll witness a mindset that persists today. This mindset is most prevalent among those with vested interests: the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) -- which includes the DEA -- most police unions and the private prison system.
Those groups depend largely on busting and imprisoning non-violent pot smokers that comprise at least half of all drug possession cases nationally. They rely on the Reefer Madness madness and the "gateway drug" principle, which is the con by which most Americans are sold the marijuana threat lies.
It has been the rediscovery and further discovery of marijuana or cannabis's medical applications that have contributed the most toward the movement for decriminalizing marijuana possession. Even Washington, D.C., has readjusted it's marijuana possession law, which prior to this had the highest conviction rate for non-violent users than any other city in the nation.
Starting this summer in D.C., 18 and older users with up to 1 ounce of pot, a substantial amount for recreational users, will be subjected to no more than a $25.00 civil fine. More like a parking ticket than a crime. D.C. is home to most federal governing institutions, including the DEA and the DOJ.
Yet, the DEA so far stubbornly refuses to remove marijuana from its Schedule I status of being dangerous, addictive and without medical merit even as hundreds of scientific studies and countless anecdotal testimonies have proven safe, efficacious medical merits way beyond anything Big Pharma can produce.
It seems like the law and order that people want in order to have easy prey to pad their stats and puff up reasons for higher budget allotments and more prisoners. In other words, keep their jobs or industries. Well, they're not going to be happy with this study.
Study: Marijuana legalization does not increase crime rates but may reduce them
The study, "The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on Crime: Evidence from State Panel Data, 1990-2006," was published March 29, 2014, in the journal PLOS ONE by criminologists at the University of Texas in Dallas.
They graphed rates of crime from 1990 through 2006, a period when 11 states legalized marijuana for medical use: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.
The graphs were created from the FBI Uniform Crime Report for violent crime reports against time and population lines. They also considered all the variables that could be posited with exhaustive sociodemographic and econometric lists of variables linked to changes in crime rates. That data came from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The study found: "Results did not indicate a crime exacerbating effect of [medical marijuana legalization] on any of the Part I offenses. Alternatively, state [medical marijuana legalization] may be correlated with a reduction in homicide and assault rates, net of other covariates [statistical variations]."
And they concluded: "These findings run counter to arguments suggesting the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes poses a danger to public health in terms of exposure to violent crime and property crimes."
Since the end of the study's meta-analysis time period, 20 more states and Washington, D.C., have followed the original 11. Colorado, Washington (state) and now Washington, D.C., are the most liberal so far.
Perhaps this increasing number may be too much for the feds to supersede state laws and shut down medical marijuana dispensaries. Increasing state departures from federal marijuana law should be more than Big Brother can handle.