In certain parts of the U.S., purchasing an automatic weapon is easier than buying marijuana, despite the deadly potential of the former. In 2021, the CDC reported that 48,830 individuals died from gun-related injuries and mass shootings.
Some 72,000 gun sellers across the U.S. have federal licenses as of 2023. That’s more than the number of McDonald’s and Starbucks combined.
The number of children and teens who died by gunfire increased by 50% between 2019 and 2021. In 2022 alone, there were 648 recorded mass shootings, and 332 individuals were shot on K-12 school property.
In contrast, the Centers for Disease Control has not found a good- or fair-quality systematic review that establishes a link between cannabis use and overdose injuries or death.
Marijuana and Firearm RegulationsAs of now, 23 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational cannabis while 38 states have legal medical marijuana programs.
Yet, a Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder can legally purchase and possess a deadly weapon in all 50 states, provided they comply with a simple background check and tax stamps required by the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Gun Control Act of 1968.
Gun Ownership and Homicide RatesStatistics often debunk the notion that more guns lead to more safety. According to a study conducted by the American Journal of Public Health, for every 1% increase in gun ownership, the firearm homicide rate increases by 0.9%.
This means that higher levels of gun ownership are associated with higher levels of firearm homicide – a lethal counterpoint to the popular belief that an armed society is safer. Americans face a 25 times higher likelihood of being killed in a gun compared to people in other high-income countries, reported the Giffords Law Center.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that states with the lowest rates of overall gun deaths in the nation are those with strong gun violence prevention laws and low rates of gun ownership according to a new Violence Policy Center (VPC) analysis.
In contrast, the five states with the highest overall gun death rates have weaker gun violence prevention laws and higher rates of gun ownership. Massachusetts, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island have the lowest gun death rates in the nation. Mississippi, Louisiana, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Alabama have the highest.
Marijuana Laws And Violent Crime RatesA study in The Economic Journal states that implemented medical marijuana laws witnessed a substantial decrease in violent crime as there is little evidence indicating that legal marijuana encourages violent criminal activity.
With more states embracing legal marijuana, concerns about rising crime rates should take a backseat as studies indicate positive outcomes such as reduced violent and property crimes, fewer drug-related arrests and improved crime clearance rates.
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