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Is Legal Weed Causing Increasing Crime Rates in Colorado?

Marijuana Plants
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Joint Opinions

Is Legal Weed Causing Increasing Crime Rates in Colorado?

In the foul grips of the prohibitionary mindset there is a legion of imaginary demons fiendishly ripping at the core of common intelligence that will inevitably ensure the wound inflicted by decades of Reefer Madness continues to bleed for many years to come. It is for that reason it has become necessary to aggressively combat this scourge of hemophilia by applying a journalistic chokehold fierce enough to put these snarling beasts in a state of eternal sleep.

One of the latest monstrosities to emerge with remedial anti-pot swill dripping in excess from its chin is the ultra-conservative magazine American Thinker. Earlier this month, one of the publication’s veteran writers, Sierra Rayne, published a ridiculous piece that suggested Colorado’s decision to legalize weed has contributed to an increase in crime. Using a shoddy analysis of the latest data provided by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Rayne suggests, “the evidence is starting to mount that Colorado’s experiment with legalized marijuana has led to increased crime in the state.”

While the writer is quick to point out the slight increase in violent crime for 2014, she failed to reveal the brass tacks of the situation in the Centennial State: there was actually an overall decrease in criminal activity last year. And while the article is an admirable attempt at painting a skewed portrait of a state on the verge of a vile Thunderdome courtesy of marijuana legalization, the truth is no one has been able to come up with any hardcore facts to explain the nature of Colorado’s decade long roller coaster ride of transgression.

Denver Marijuana Management Analyst Netia Ingram said earlier this year that the numbers are not an accurate representation of how marijuana legalization has impacted crime rates in Colorado.

“She says the apparent increase in crime is related to the Denver Police Department changing the way it reported stats in 2013, as well as changing policies that increased the number of petty citations but decreased violent and property crimes,” according to the Denver Westword.

Even Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, who once called marijuana legalization “reckless,” told reporters last week that the state has not experienced the outlaw horror show that many predicted was on the horizon after Colorado voters approved Amendment 64.

“After the election, if I could’ve had a magic wand, and I could’ve waved it and reversed the outcome of the election, I would’ve done it,” Hickenlooper said. “Now if I had that same magic wand, I’m not sure I’d wave it.”

The feared social issues that some would like to believe comes with legalization, which has yet to be revealed an actual detriment to populations that have embraced this reform, are no match for the economic benefit that has been proven in Colorado throughout the course of the past two years. Some of the latest reports indicate the state has surpassed $100 million in tax revenue during the current fiscal year.

What’s more is the latest Crime in Colorado report has not incited alarm with leading state officials. Andrew Freedman, the governor’s “Marijuana Czar,” told Mic there were concerns that legalization would lead to “crime-ridden streets and everything would be incredibly dangerous,” but “we’re not seeing any of that.”

What do you think? Does cannabis legalization lead to an increase in crime?



  1. Allen

    December 10, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    To all the people who don’t understand Marijuana,but yet feel they half to pipe in. “pun intended” It’s the person who tries to tell someone how to do something that has never done it before.
    Let me lead you by example, I started smoking Marijuana when I was 12 years old. Now with that said I would not recommend smoking before you are of legal age. It was a different time then. Parents use to give us kids a note and some money to go get cigarettes for them. I finished High School, went to and finished trade school, got a job worked at that job for 25 years. in that time I was married, had a couple of kids, wife who also smokes Marijuana, finished college with her Masters deg. We live in a nice home, don’t cause any harm to any body. I have lots of friends, very social. I am now 51 years old and only half to work a part time job. I have a 6 figure account that I trade equities with, I walk 3 to 5 miles, 3 days a week. My job is walking through the woods clearing trails. very nice job. My wife and I are very happy nothing wrong with the kids. one wants to be a rock star, and the other will graduate college with his deg. in biochemistry. I guess my point is there is hundreds of thousands of people just like me out there who smoke marijuana. I believe pot is amoral, like money, It’s not good or bad, but when you put it into the hands of a person, it takes on the characteristics of the person. There will always be good and bad in this world with out any additives. I thank God every day for Marijuana.It really helps when someone does something stupid. It calms me down. Some people like to come home after work and drink a beer, I like to take a puff of Marijuana.
    So to the people that don’t smoke Marijuana,or understand it, This is my life on pot, any questions?

  2. Allen

    December 10, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    There are probably a few more people trying pot because of the legalization of marijuana, but for the most part, people that have always smoked pot can now buy it legally. “reducing crime” I don’t understand how the crime rate would go up because of that. common sense don’t you think. It also amazes me that the only people that don’t smoke it, are the people that have believed the governments lies for all those years.


  3. Andy

    December 10, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    One thing that obviously stands out to me, the article from AmericanThinker points to an increase in number of crimes not crime rate per capita. With that, they also leave out the fact that colorado’s population has exploded, I believe Denver alone increased by 100,000. While the number of crimes increased slightly, the crime rate decreased, this is easily explained by the increase in population. Everywhere else in the country where population increased like this, they saw both increases in crime numbers and crime rate. Worse, many communities in the south had a decrease in population and an increase in crime numbers and rate, those areas still practice complete prohibition. This alone proves that marijuana has little to no negative effect on crime.

  4. Your Best Bud

    December 10, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    I read that article you speak of. I also corrected the misinformation stated by the author. There were only 2 spots with increased crime and they were in gang areas. EVERYWHERE else, rate stayed normal or lower than normal.

  5. Mike

    December 10, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    I loved in Arizona for 40 years and moved to Colorado. I lived there for three years and never was once scared or worried about crime happening to me or my family. I would go out and even leave my for to my house unlocked and my cars as well. I recently moved back to Arizona and I keep everything locked up and watch my back at all times. So what does that tell you about Colorado crime.

  6. Duncan20903

    December 10, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Never let the facts stand in the way of disseminating an effective piece of hysterical rhetoric”
    ~~ The Prohibitionist’s Motto

  7. Brian Kelly

    December 10, 2015 at 12:44 am

    Politicians who continue to demonize Marijuana, Corrupt Law Enforcement Officials who prefer to ruin peoples lives over Marijuana possession rather than solve real crimes who fund their departments toys and salaries with monies acquired through Marijuana home raids, seizures and forfeitures, and so-called “Addiction Specialists” who make their income off of the judicial misfortunes of our citizens who choose marijuana, – Your actions go against The Will of The People and Your Days In Office Are Numbered! Find new careers before you don’t have one.

    The People have spoken! Get on-board with Marijuana Legalization Nationwide, or be left behind and find new careers. Your choice.

    Legalize Nationwide!

    • Brian Kelly

      December 10, 2015 at 12:45 am

      The “War on Marijuana” has been a complete and utter failure. It is the largest component of the broader yet equally unsuccessful “War on Drugs” that has cost our country over a trillion dollars.

      Instead of The United States wasting Billions upon Billions more of our tax dollars fighting a never ending “War on Marijuana”, lets generate Billions of dollars, and improve the deficit instead. It’s a no brainer.

      The Prohibition of Marijuana has also ruined the lives of many of our loved ones. In numbers greater than any other nation, our loved ones are being sent to jail and are being given permanent criminal records which ruin their chances of employment for the rest of their lives, and for what reason?

      Marijuana is much safer to consume than alcohol. Yet do we lock people up for choosing to drink?

      Even The President of the United States has used marijuana. Has it hurt his chances at succeeding in life? If he had gotten caught by the police during his college years, he may have very well still been in prison today! Beyond that, he would then be fortunate to even be able to find a minimum wage job that would consider hiring him with a permanent criminal record. Let’s end this hypocrisy now!

      The government should never attempt to legislate morality by creating victim-less marijuana “crimes” because it simply does not work and costs the taxpayers a fortune.

      Marijuana Legalization Nationwide is an inevitable reality that’s approaching much sooner than prohibitionists think and there is nothing they can do to stop it!

      Legalize Nationwide! Support Each and Every Marijuana Legalization Initiative!

      • Brian Kelly

        December 10, 2015 at 12:45 am

        There is absolutely no doubt now that the majority of Americans want to completely legalize marijuana nationwide. Our numbers grow on a daily basis.

        The prohibitionist view on marijuana is the viewpoint of a minority and rapidly shrinking percentage of Americans. It is based upon decades of lies and propaganda.

        Each and every tired old lie they have propagated has been thoroughly proven false by both science and society.

        Their tired old rhetoric no longer holds any validity. The vast majority of Americans have seen through the sham of marijuana prohibition in this day and age. The number of prohibitionists left shrinks on a daily basis.

        With their credibility shattered, and their not so hidden agendas visible to a much wiser public, what’s left for a marijuana prohibitionist to do?

        Maybe, just come to terms with the fact that Marijuana Legalization Nationwide is an inevitable reality that’s approaching much sooner than prohibitionists think, and there is nothing they can do to stop it!

        Legalize Nationwide!…and Support All Marijuana Legalization Efforts!

  8. Mo

    December 9, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    Looking at more historical data/evidence would help. Sometimes people who otherwise wouldn’t have gotten into something learn about it and then see an opportunity – or start making connections with people connected to crime.

    Visible crime rates would probably go down overall. Not as many people’s backs up against the wall. But the ‘invisible’ crime rate could be going up. Harder to deal with.

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