Marijuana is one of the main reasons why California saw an astonishing 20% drop in youth crimes rates from 2010 to 2011.
The main reason for the good news is that the state decriminalized possession of less than an ounce of pot in January 2011.
After decriminalization, marijuana possession arrests among the under-18s dropped from 14,991 in 2010 to 5,831 in 2011. In other words, pot possession arrests dropped 64% in a single year, according to a new report from the Center on Juvenile & Criminal Justice (CJCJ).
California's pot law decriminalized possession for minors as well as adults - unlike the recent legalizations in Washington and Colorado, which only apply to the over 21s. The California law has won praise from juvenile crime experts, who say that arresting teenagers for marijuana possession often makes them more likely to get in deeper trouble.