There have been many officials in Colorado finally admitting that legalizing cannabis went much smoother than they had expected, there is still a fair share of prosecutors throughout Colorado that think the legal marijuana industry is the reason why most of the homicides in Colorado happen.
In a meeting with Fox 31 Denver, Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler stated that almost sixty-seven percent of the murders that he has had to work on in the last few years had some type of relation to cannabis. This increase in homicides, he adds, could be led back to enthusiastic drug dealers since legalization has made it much easier for dealers to get their hands on the drug.
“There is increased crime, sometimes violent crime, associated with legalization of marijuana,” said Brauchler. “It is easier for there to be black market in a legalized system than there was before.”
However, Brauchler’s comment on cannabis and homicides goes against what most people are saying, even Governor Hickenlooper’s administration. The administration has outright stated that legalizing has helped the state. Hickenlooper did not always approve of legalization. For instance, when it was first legalized in 2012, he said that it was reckless. However, last week, Hickenlooper admitted that he would not change the decision made in 2012 since “legalization [is] beginning to look like it might work.”
“There have been a lot fewer public safety and health issues than the governor feared in the beginning,” Andrew Freeman, the Director of Marijuana Coordination for the State of Colorado, added. “For the most part, Colorado looks like it did before legalization.”
“Blaming Colorado’s regulated marijuana system for violence stemming from illegal sales is like blaming Colorado’s traffic laws for accidents caused by drivers who run red lights,” Mason Tvert, Director of Communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, concluded. “If Mr. Brauchler is truly concerned about the violence associated with illegal marijuana sales, he should be urging local governments to lift their bans on regulated marijuana businesses.”
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