July 13, 2022


CPEAR Sponsored Research: Cannabis Legalization has Potential Benefits for Law Enforcement

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Shanita Penny, Director of the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation’s (CPEAR) Center of Excellence issued a statement following the release of R Street Institute’s paper, “How Federal Cannabis Legalization Can Restore Police Legitimacy and Enhance Public Safety,” which was sponsored by CPEAR.

“As we’ve said many times, a federal prohibition on cannabis along with poorly constructed legalization strategies often lead to acts of violence. Failure to recognize the harms of cannabis prohibition will not only result in larger mass incarcerations, but will also perpetuate the war on drugs and negatively impact vulnerable communities across the country. CPEAR is grateful for R Street Institute’s thorough research and looks forward to sharing these insights with stakeholders and lawmakers alike.”

As the nation faces a substantial rise in violent crime and homicide, law enforcement should not be distracted with low-level, nonviolent cannabis offenses or stuck in a gray zone of compliance confusion due to a lack of federal action.

  1. The legalization of cannabis has the potential to reduce negative police interactions, improve police-community relations and make the jobs of law enforcement officers less dangerous, which enhances public safety.
  2. The legalization and appropriate regulation of cannabis can disrupt and dissolve illegal-market access to cannabis. Well-regulated cannabis industries reduce reliance on illegal markets that are inherently associated with violence and homicide.
  3. The legalization of cannabis has the potential to allow substantial police resources, formerly dedicated to prohibition enforcement, to be allocated to the nationwide increases in violent crimes and homicide.

Download a one-page summary of the report here.


About the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation 

A 501(c)(4) non-profit organization, the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation (CPEAR) works to advance comprehensive policy solutions for cannabis legalization and regulation. The Coalition strives to be a trusted, science-driven resource for lawmakers and the larger stakeholder community, developing responsible policies that provide access to cannabis while protecting consumers and patients, barring underage use, upholding public health and safety, and promoting social equity. Comprised of a diverse group of stakeholders, the Coalition brings unique perspectives to the table to thoughtfully address what a national, legal cannabis industry should look like. To learn more, visit www.CPEAR.org and follow us on Twitter.