FBI data show Washington Colorado closing more cases since legalization of marijuana

first_imgPolice in Washington and Colorado appear to be closing more cases since the legalization of marijuana in both states, according to an analysis of FBI crime clearance data by researchers at Washington State University.To do the study, the researchers examined monthly FBI crime data from 2010 to 2015. They performed a statistical analysis looking at the trends in clearances for different crimes before and after marijuana was legalized. Similar data isn’t available at the local level.A clearance rate is the ratio of crimes ending with an arrest, or cases “closed,” with the total number of reported crimes recorded by police. The higher the rate, the more cases are cleared, and researchers and police agencies use the rate as a measure of performance.There were no immediate changes in clearance rates after the laws passed, but Washington’s clearance rate for motor vehicle thefts jumped 5 percent.Longer term, the trend in property crime clearance rates jumped in Colorado, then continued to climb, where Washington’s trend largely levels out to the prior trend over time.Violent crime clearance rates were declining in both states before legalization. Post-legalization, that decline stabilized in Colorado and started to reverse itself in Washington. There’s no similar shift in the country as a whole.last_img