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Colorado Crime Rates Down 14.6% Since Legalizing Marijuana

Christina Sarich
April 19th, 2014
Updated 04/19/2014 at 5:42 am
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marijuana weed1 263x164 Colorado Crime Rates Down 14.6% Since Legalizing MarijuanaGuess what happens when marijuana is legalized? Not only do you not have to steal it, but it also makes your state tons of cash while dropping crime rates in every conceivable fashion. At least that’s what some stats are showing. Even though many Denver city officials, including Mayor Michael Hancock, fought pot legalization tooth and nail saying it would cause increases in petty crimes and even sexual assault, just three months after Colorado voters helped pass the legalization of marijuana, Denver is enjoying a 14.6% decrease in crime from the same time last year.

It’s all kinds of crime that has decreased, and not even all dispensaries were able to be up and running in Denver since January 1st due to regulatory hurdles and licensing  issues still being sorted out. Property crime is down 14.6%. Violent crime is down 2.4%. It certainly doesn’t look like what opponents of Amendment 64 would have liked everyone to believe – that the streets would be full of violent hooligan, and legalizing weed would make the devil creep the streets of Denver.

Even Dr. Kevin A. Sabet, the former Obama drug policy advisor, warned that the feds would crack down on legal-weed states, and teenagers would drive around stoned out of their minds. Vote No On 64 issued fliers claiming it would damage children’s minds and kill people. It’s a moot point now, and the last laugh is on those who thought marijuana would make more criminals. It looks like medical marijuana users are feeling better, and recreational marijuana users are calm as clams. Though it hasn’t been too long since these changes occurred.

Read: Studies Reveal Marijuana Availability Decreases Crime

Guess what America – legalizing marijuana in your state won’t make more thugs, or gangs, and we likely won’t see grandma’s getting their hand bags stolen more often or six year olds smoking weed behind the high school bleachers. There is too much regulation, and as has been the case in other countries – legalizing drugs actually decreases violence. Don’t you want your police force focused on solving violent crimes, instead of wasting tax-payer money going after someone getting high in their living room, or minimizing seizures or treating cancer with the healing plant.

marijuana charts colorado Colorado Crime Rates Down 14.6% Since Legalizing Marijuana

The following charts sourced from the Denver police department show clearly what legalizing Cannabis has done to crime levels. And what’s better than low crime rates? How about a projected $1 billion in marijuana sales that will translate into $100 million in revenue for the state of Colorado, according to budget projections by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. The world stands in awe, and every other state should take notes. Reduce tax-payer money on crime and use tax-income from marijuana sales to build libraries and schools, heck even a new community park named ‘High Times’ would be apropos.

marijuana colorado chart2 Colorado Crime Rates Down 14.6% Since Legalizing Marijuana

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  • Bongstar420

    Drugs are bad kids….mmmkay!


    I don’t see any issue with that. You can’t control something that is outlawed. Alcohol is way more dangerous substance and kills by far more people (drunk drivers for example) and provokes violent crimes. Unlike the alcohol cannabis has proven medical benefits and people don’t become violent because they so relaxed and most of the time happy. it’s a fact that states that legalized it for medical / recreational use saw reduction in crime rates and no increase in users Yet it’s Illigal. Illegal = no control over it. legalize, control, decrease use, make profit.

  • goblinmobster

    Crime fluctuates year to year, so the data presented here is pretty meaningless and nothing out of the ordinary. Attributing it to legalization is outright ridiculous. We won’t truly know the effects recreational pot will have on crime for another 5 years minimum.

    • Anthony Johnson

      That is true, but look at what kind of money they are making! And they are putting it toward good things like schools. That’s a positive all in itself.

  • Luis Garcia

    marijuana displaces alcohol… alcohol is key ingredient in a third of punished crimes. there you got your drop in criminality. BTW history tells that during Euro2000 Dutch Law Enforcement successfully avoided hooligan violence by banning alcohol sales and allowing pot smoking in parks with soft music.

  • JimBobTheThird

    marijuana sure has a lot of benefits but what downsides are there?

    psychological effects, also the fact that its easier to access allows the younger generation to access the drug at a younger age. I think its too soon to be blowing our own trumpets showing the positives of legalization, I think we need to plan ahead.

    • Rocky balboa

      It’s harder to buy cigs and alcohol at 15 then it is to buy weed. We always had to find someone older to buy them for us. But weed at that age soo easy to come by no one cards you and dealers don’t care

  • signalfire1

    I’m not against the legalization of any natural substance, but my worry is that the roads will now be filled with another class of chronically stoned drivers, while they may not have smoked recently still have enough in their system to make them less than alert and completely conscious drivers; and that other pursuits such as learning, earning a living and being just a bit a member of society will decrease significantly. Does anyone really think that the chronically stoned will spend much time in that new paid-for library? It looks to me from that chart that ‘other’ is the only crime stat that went down and ‘other’ is code for ‘marijuana arrests’… get back to me on this when they actually solve more murders, rapes and assaults. One wonders where the buyers of this overpriced weed (that should be almost free, given how easy it is to grow) are doing for the money? Are they working as your doctor, or your kid’s teacher, or what? Would you want some professional you consult for big bucks for important reasons to be a frequent toker? I know both sides of this story, and no. Heck, I even worry about the effect too much caffeine has on some people’s mentation.

    • Arturo Olvera

      It seems this is not happening. Hopefully this is a trend and you’ll be able to ease your fears.

    • KJ

      Everyone makes a choice… to smoke…to drink or to smoke pot… be legalizing pot, is not going to change the accessibility of the drug to those who want it. Why not, regulate it, tax it and take destroy the criminal element of the trade which billions can go to education, treatment and state revenue, rather than incarceration that may affect a persons career and future. Not to mention the job creation and industry it will create, legally.

      I don’t smoke pot because I do not enjoy the effects, but I could today get it just as easily as if it were regulated. Even more so our children can get it from friends/dealers from school and to them the “illegal” aspect probably makes it more appealing. Do you see any teenagers bootlegging today?

      It should be treated no different than that of alcohol. If you agree there is no way society can criminalize alcohol, there should be no distinction. Science has actually proved this drug to be far less harmful than that of the two legal substances we widely accept today of alcohol and tobacco.

      There are already Breathalyzer tests available out there for THC and to be honest I much rather be driving next to a “THC high” driver than a drunk or person on their cell phone.

    • kay ledford

      I would rather beon the road with someone who got stoned a few hrs ago,than the garden variety distracted driver who is texting,talking on the phone, screaming at the kids or just daydreaming. The stoner KNOWS that e needs to pay attention, everyone else is busy living life surfing the net and eating a big mac in between texts while driving in rush hour traffic. But, hey that distracted person is much less dangerous than someone coming off a buzz. I know that if I get killed by one of these multitaskers, my family will accept it as part of the risk we take every day when we getout of bed.

      • HakunaMatataMan

        Stoned people don’t drive, they are too lazy to do that at that point. The biggest action they would do is reach for the munchies. Also, cannabis helps with focus, unlike alcohol. Even if you do get in the car, you will be far more alert and focused stoned than being drunk.

        • Erica Hawkins

          Stoned people drive daily. Their more likely to get stuck at a stop sign waiting for it to turn green. And drunks are more likely to have an accident killing some unsuspecting mother of 3 and her kids. Hey in some cases he walks with scratches and lifetime of classes and fines.

  • ColoradoMom

    The criminals are too stoned to commit crime.

  • RealityCheck

    Correlation does not imply causation.

    Hey everyone! Stay away from anything that affects your body! Oh wait, that bush over there with the carcinogenic and psychoactive compounds? Yeah, definitely burn that and inhale the charred particles and resin.


    • BottomfedBuddha

      Who says stay away from anything that affects your body?

      We are a society of drugs… but you know, sponsored drugs. 12 year olds on prozac. 5 year old on ritalin. EVERYONE on caffeine.

      We are physiologically designed to consume cannabinoids. There are receptors in our bodies specifically for the purpose… and evolution doesn’t happen on accident. If your bent is the other way…. God doesn’t make mistakes. I’ll say it again… receptors in our bodies are specific to being unlocked by cannibinoids.

      Cannibinoids are found in breast milk. They prompt amazing responses from our immunological and endocrine systems that help us be more resistant to disease. There’s also no real demonstration of carcinogincity… certainly far less than, say, car exhaust.

      And that, my friends, is today’s Reality Check.

      • Brian Cole

        I think you just smacked Reality Check upside the head with facts, and he may never recover…lol

      • habibilamour

        Ha, everything affects your body so I have no idea what UNrealitycheck is talking about and even when you smoke cannabis the anti cancer effects outweigh anything damaging that is produced by burning it. Good argument, I don’t know why he’s back for more.

    • Ed Haas

      Damn dude, you got SCHOOLED by BottomfedBuddha

    • Pierce

      While it’s true that correlation doesn’t imply causation, repeated correlation makes a strong case for causation.

    • Kristen

      Fine I won’t burn it, I’ll drink the oil.