What is the effect on crime if Marijuana is legalized?
Legalization is expected to reduce the number of people involved in illegal activities related to marijuana production, distribution, and use
In Washington State, which legalized marijuana for recreational use in 2013, the number of low-level court filings for marijuana fell by 98% between 2012 and 2013. The number of adults (over 21) convicted for misdemeanor possession fell from 297 in January to 0 in January 2013—and has remained there since.
But not just in Washington did it show results...
In Colorado, the number of cases brought against people for cultivation, distribution and possession of marijuana fell by 85% in the first full year of legal sales
As a result, it relieves the burden placed on courts, law enforcement and prisons, allowing for greater focus on violent crime. It also appears to have reduced use of marijuana by minors.
From this evidence, it is clear that, while legalization does not necessarily eliminate illegal production, distribution and sale of marijuana, it tends to diminish it dramatically.