Denver DA Warns California Voters on Danger of Legalizing Marijuana

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There are many promises surrounding Prop 64 in California and the legalization of marijuana. Denver, Colorado District Attorney Mitchell R. Morrissey is here to tell you that those promises are lies. In a letter written to No on 64 Campaign and SAM action, DA Morrissey spells out the facts of marijuana legalization in Colorado. Below is a bulleted list and excerpt of those facts. You can find the full letter by going here. 

California voters are being told that they will see the crime rate go down if they vote to legalize marijuana commercially; this has not been the case in the state of Colorado or the city of Denver.

 Since the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado:

  • In 2013, traffic-related marijuana deaths have increased 48%.
  • Marijuana-related emergency room visits have increased 49%, and marijuana-related calls to the poison center have increased 100%.
  • According to the Colorado Bureau of Investigations, in 2015, statewide homicides in Colorado rose 14.7 % over the previous year. Pueblo, Colorado had the highest homicide rate in the state with 11.1 killings per 100,000 residents.
  • In Aurora, Colorado, the homicide rate more than doubled from 2014.
  • Additionally, more places in Colorado were robbed and more thefts occurred, especially cars, as 193,115 motor vehicles were reported stolen, up 27.7 % in 2015 from the previous year.
  • In 2015, sexual assaults rose 10% in Colorado with Denver, Aurora, Lakewood, Westminster and Pueblo, all reporting higher numbers as well.

In the city of Denver since the legalization of recreational marijuana:

  • The number of crimes in Denver has grown by about 44 %, according to annual figures the city reported to the National Incident Based Reporting System.
  • In 2015, in Denver alone, crime rose in every neighborhood in the city. The murder rate hit a decade high, 1,059 more cars were broken into, there were 903 more auto thefts, 321 more aggravated assaults and 231 more homes were broken into compared to 2014.

California voters are also being told that legalizing recreational marijuana will free up law enforcement to work on other criminal activities. Again, that has not been the case in Denver. Besides the overall increases in crime we have experienced,

  • The Denver police department is dealing with a 900% increase in the unlawful cultivation and manufacture of marijuana concentrate, and a 99% increase in the unlawful distribution of marijuana and marijuana concentrate.
  • The quantity of illegal marijuana seized by the Denver police has increased 3,424% on average per case.  The volume of marijuana seized per case has increased from an average of 162 pounds to 5724 pounds.
  • In Denver unlawful public consumption of marijuana citations has increased over 300% per year since the legalization of recreational marijuana. The Denver police department is busier enforcing marijuana laws and investigating crimes directly related to marijuana, including murderers, robberies, and home invasions, than any other time in the history of the city.