Not going to try to nail down a percentage, but it's less than 100% (alcohol is implicated in quite a few crimes after all) and more than 0%. You'd need a strong study on what percentage of drug related crimes are due to behavioral alteration and then it would be just a bit more than that because they are still addictive and no matter how cheap they get, somebody will be poor enough to steal to support their habit (we see this with alcohol and tobacco after all). Now that 46.7% figure is a bit misleading, because it only tells us what percentage of violent criminals use drugs and very little about the specific circumstances (in fact, I'm actually having trouble extracting that number from the document provided). For example, only 28% of violent crimes were actually committed while the perpetrator was directly under the influence. Now under the influence does not automatically mean because of the influence, some impossible to determine percentage of those crimes would have happened with no drug involvement at all. So the effect of legalization on violent crime is hard to determine (the real number I want to see here is the percentage of addicts who commit violent crimes, not the percentage of violent criminals that are addicts) but is not likely to be positive, assuming legalization leads to increased use the violent crime rate might actually increase slightly. Now one third of property crimes were to get drug money, so legalization and the subsequent cheapening of drugs would probably reduce that (but not to zero) so we might see a significant decrease in property crime (say 15-20% maybe?) The real money savings would come from not having to jail people for drug crimes (dealing, possession, etc), according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, that's almost half of all inmates. (I'm assuming that's at the Federal level) In 2007 31% of all arrests were for drug offenses. Now that wouldn't go to nothing because it includes DUI and public intoxication arrests, but it would be a significant reduction.
Originally Posted by leons1701
Interestingly enough, the Federal Bureau of prisoners only accounts for about 200,000 prisoners, out of the much larger 2 million or so total prisoners. Federal prisoners are disproportionately those about to be returned to their home countries, or illegal immigrants, and illegal immigrants in federal prisoners are disproportionately drug traffickers as a result. Which is why so many are in prison for drug crimes. Prisoners are largely transferred to federal prisoners pending deportation or if they've committed extremely severe crimes, or are considered dangerous in prison and in concert with other fellow prisoners.
These are the figures for 2013
for state and federal prisons, and page 15 shows the offender by types in their break down, which 53.8% are for violent crimes, 18.8% are for property crimes, while 16% are in jail for drug offenses, with only 3.7% of that 16% being in prison or jail for possession alone. Now I'm actually for mandatory rehabilitation over incarceration given that rehabilitation is often more humane, cheaper and is more likely to prevent someone from using drugs again, but it's damage to society is fairly obvious even if the exact percentages would be harder to define.
Alcohol for for instance is involved in some 37
% of all violent crimes (with cross over with illegal drugs), and it's legal, so it's very likely that the drugs themselves, you know meth, cocaine etc. make people irrational and agitated and far more likely to commit crimes. Only about 9.4
% of the population do illegal drugs regularly, and nearly 5 times that are violent criminals. Statistically cocaine is one of the drugs most likely to make you turn to violence, but other drugs do as well.
For the exact percentage derived due to the fact that the drugs are illegal, violent crimes don't seem like they would increase just because drugs were illegal, given that violence is a particular choice to make and drugs do effect the brain in a negative way. An empathetic, compassionate normal person might jaywalk, speed or trespass property, that is violate laws, but to assault
someone takes a special frame of mind, which drugs very commonly induce in otherwise normal people, even supposedly harmless drugs. The main reason why caffeine is better than cocaine is because of the stimulation to the brain being different, as in it doesn't make you temporarily insane.
Anyways, what percentage of violent crimes are a result of the drugs being illegal themselves I don't know, but I imagine it's only a relatively small portion given that most of them are chronic users and given the prevalence of crime associated with other similar legal drugs, that don't have as severe side effects. There's also long term brain damage and residual effects of drugs that can build up over time, that also can influence violence. It could also be that risk-takers with a poorer understanding of the cause-and-effect nature of consequences might be more likely to take drugs, I.E. violent people take drugs more often, but it would still likely exacerbate the crime.
Organized crime in general only makes about a third or it's money or, 320 billion
out of 870 billion dollars from drugs, so most of the violent offenders would still be out there trying to make money from other means. As children and young adults are likely the biggest consumers of drugs and it would be illegal for them, as well as the taxes really high, there would still be a large black market for it that could inevitably still drive up drug-related crimes, even in regards to selling it. One such comparison would be that after alcohol prohibition, violent crimes and murders remained relatively unchanged and began dropping before prohibition was even over [1
], and that crime is actually increasing in Mexico
. So after legalization criminals turned to violence more often to make up for the lost revenue that came from otherwise "peacefully" selling drugs, so it may actually increase violent crime by organized crime.