While marijuana crime rates in Colorado have significantly dropped, Denver police claim that a change in police tactics made at the beginning of the year may be responsible for the improvement, not legal weed.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, Denver cops are not the only ones saying, “think twice.” The Florida Sheriff’s Association claims that marijuana is linked to violent crimes, even though the Sunshine State is currently working on legalizing medical marijuana.
The poor pot smoker may be a stereotype, but anyone interested in any of the marijuana business opportunities may be surprised that you have to be rich in the first place just to get off the ground. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is claiming marijuana legalization could be more dangerous than already legal tobacco and alcohol, but critics of the organization claim NIDA is in cahoots with the DEA and the FDA and has been suppressing marijuana research in order to profit the companies who benefit from the overwhelmed jail system in the U.S.
Even though Colorado has collected $11 million in taxes and Denver’s crime rates have dropped since the marijuana legalization bill went into effect, there is still said to be a downside. Neighboring states like Nebraska claim the number of pot seizures has shot up by 400 percent. There has even been deaths linked to the usage of cannabis:
“In May, controls on marijuana edibles were tightened after two people died. In one case, a college student jumped from a hotel balcony after eating six times the suggested maximum amount of pot-laced cookies. In the other, a Denver man was charged with shooting dead his wife after apparently getting high from eating marijuana-infused candy.”
Chris Wyckoff, director of the Data Analysis Unit at Denver Police, believes that Colorado’s marijuana legalization may have happened to coincide with a major change in police tactics:
“Starting at the beginning of this year we implemented a focus area policing tactic, and each week the lieutenants are looking at where they need officers to focus on, based on the crime patterns or crime issues emerging in their areas, and targeting those areas when they have time to patrol. So we’re finding some great effects from that.”
Wyckoff also believes it’s difficult to make a causal link between recreational marijuana and a decrease in crime:
“A lot of times, if marijuana’s involved, it’s a subsidiary type of crime or component of a crime, so it doesn’t come out as being causality, and we aren’t able to show that within the crime stats. Other than that, it’s been very challenging to see any kind of direct correlation.”
Supporters of marijuana legalization may groan at this claim, but even Mason Tvert, director of communications at the Marijuana Policy Project, says pretty much the same thing:
“I’m always very careful to not mistake correlation with causation, and I think it’s too early to necessarily draw a conclusion that there’s a causal relationship here. It certainly suggests that opponents’ fears of crime increasing are unfounded.”
Do you think the current marijuana crime rates in Colorado prove opponents of legal weed to be wrong? Or do you think it’s wiser to take a wait-and-see approach?