NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton announced on a radio show over the last weekend that cannabis is responsible for most of the violence in New York. He added that it baffles him that states want to legalize marijuana.
“Interestingly enough here in New York City, most of the violence we see — violence around drug trafficking — is involving marijuana,” Bratton added. “Here in New York the violence we see associated with drugs, the vast majority of it, is around marijuana, which is ironic considering the explosion in the use of heroin now in the city. I have to scratch my head as we are seeing many states wanting to legalize marijuana or more liberalization of policies.”
Morgan Fox, from the Marijuana Policy Project said to ThinkProgress that his claims are “extremely dubious,” and would be very based on exactly what “involving marijuana” means.
“It seems to me that that statement could only be true if you just count the mere presence of marijuana,” Fox added. “The mere presence of a small amount of marijuana at a crime scene or on the person of someone involved in a violent crime does not mean that marijuana was involved in or the motivation for that crime.”
Because of how crime typically plays out in New York, saying that most of it is because of marijuana would be a bit of a stretch. Crime data, thanks to the multiple pieces involved, such as levels of income to just coincidence, are very difficult to analyze. However, one thing that can be sure is that the cause of crimes cannot just be attributed to one reason, especially not marijuana.
In fact, studies have indicated multiple times that cannabis does not result in violence. Alcohol, which is legal, is very much more likely to result in violence and aggression. Various studies have also indicated that cannabis is less addictive than alcohol and that alcohol is actually worse for you than marijuana. Furthermore, a study from the University of Texas states that legalization might even decrease violent crime rates.

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