People need a boogeyman and for the “War on Drugs” folks, after marijuana was legalized in Denver, anything that could be blamed on marijuana was blamed on the drug. So, in Denver we have had news reports around Halloween that Denver Police were concerned that children were going to get candy infused with marijuana and THC. Talk about a needless scare. It turned out that the total number of cases where some kid got marijuana for Halloween was a whopping zero.
Perhaps more disgusting is that Colorado police and government officials knew that there were no cases of kids getting marijuana/marihuana candy for Halloween. And they still told the lie and the news folks ate it up.
Marijuana Not to Blame for Crime Increase in Denver
As Denver’s population grows, it is naturally expected that there might be an increase in crime and sure enough, the beginning of 2016 shows a slight increase in crime along the Front Range. As if on cue, the haters have come out of their caves to try to blame the boogeyman (marijuana) for this increase.
Recently, our neighbor to the South, New Mexico, considered a measure to legalize marijuana. Of all of the states bordering us, New Mexico is by far the most likely to legalize. Its a “blue” Democratic state (despite its current governor) and surely they must have seen that marijuana legalization in the Mile High City hasn’t led to some zombie apocalypse breaking out. Plus, wouldn’t you as a state want some of these tax dollars? (hint to neighboring Kansas, whose budget is swimming in red)
Sadly, legalization failed and one of the reasons cited was a comment by New Mexico Republican William Sharer who pointed his crooked finger at Denver and proclaimed that since pot was legalized in 2014, Denver crime has increased.
Poor Mr. Sharer must have failed basic statistics and history in college, and may have missed out on the class where the professor warned not to confused “correlation” with “causation.” I mean, under this analysis I could blame an increase in crime on Peyton Manning or the Broncos winning the Super Bowl. Hasn’t crime increased since that great game? I guess the Broncos winning led to an increase in crime! Um, no.
Thankfully, people who actually care about evidence looked at the crime numbers and determined that this is just more fear mongering.
First, any increase in crime is minimized when you consider an increase in population. Denver is a growing city and an increase in people correlates to a comparable increase in crime.
Second, and more importantly, people in Colorado have been keep tracking of the actual crimes being committed (perhaps in part to smack down the haters who continue to spread nonsense about marijuana). Since 2012, officials have crunched the numbers and have determined the following:
In any given year, marijuana-related crimes account for less than one percent of all crimes.
That is less than one percent. Not zero, but pretty dammed close.
And that ratio hasn’t changed. Even with the increase in population, marijuana is accounting for less that one percent of all crimes. The fear that marijuana legalization is causing crime is sheer nonsense, but the lies will continue unless we stand up to the lies and misinformation. We won’t convince those who peddle in fear or individuals/companies that financially benefit from the so-called War on Drugs. However, maybe we can start educating everyone else.