Crime in Denver Decreases After Pot Legalization

The following article fist appeared in The 420 Times

It’s been more than three solid months since the first legal recreational sales of marijuana began in Colorado.

The end of the world didn’t come. Anarchy did not ensue. And long-haired rapists have yet to roam the streets of the Denver, the state’s largest city.

Despite predictions of dire outcomes, usually from law enforcement types and folks on the right side of the political spectrum, some key crimes in the Mile High City actually declined compared to the same time last year.

The city of Denver released its latest crime stats this week.

Among them, a two-thirds reduction in homicides from January 1 through the end of February versus that same time frame in 2013.

There was a 12.5 percent reduction in sexual assaults, a 7.2 percent decline in robberies, and a whopping 43.5 percent decrease in car break-ins.

There were a few sore spots, including a huge increase in arsons (109.1 percent!) and a slight increase in burglaries (1.9 percent). But major crimes overall were down 12.9 percent, according to the city’s stats.

Legalization critic Henny Lasley said it’s too soon to judge: “We’ve had three complete months of retail marijuana. It’s a pretty short window.”

Strange. It wasn’t too soon for people like him to judge in the years leading up to legalization. And marijuana sales and taxes have been quite healthy for Colorado in 2014. It’s not as if people are staying away from collectives or cannabis. If crime is the natural result of medicating, why would it wait? What’s it doing — pushups?

To the contrary: After legalization, Denver appears to have mellowed out quite well.


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