Naysayers in the Mile-High City feared that doobies would lead to doomsday once Colorado’s recreational marijuana sales began in January. However, recent reports reveal the gates of Hell have still not opened.
Douglas County Sheriff David A. Weaver predicted moral Armageddon was inevitable if voters passed Amendment 64. “If voters pass this amendment, I believe there will be many harmful consequences,” said Weaver in 2012. “Expect more crime, more kids using marijuana and pot for sale everywhere. I think our entire state will pay the price.”
Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey warned that legal cannabis would lead to an increase in robberies, with criminals preying on the large amounts of cash and weed available through marijuana businesses.
Despite the fear-based prophecies of amateur Nostradamus’, recent statistics indicate that there has been no increase in crime since retail pot shops opened their doors in Denver. In fact, recent crime data suggests that violent crime actually diminished by about two-and-a-half percent in the months of January and February when compared to early 2013.
Interestingly, robberies experienced a six percent decrease, while stolen property dropped by an impressive 13 percent. And although burglaries and criminal mischief to property did see an increase, it was hardly noticeable at less than a percent.
Supporters of legal marijuana say it was humorous to listen to the opposition predict the end of days was coming simply because the state legalized a plant. "We had folks, kind of doomsayers, saying, 'Oh my gosh, we're going to have riots in the streets the day they open,’” said Denver City Council President Mary Beth Susman. "But it was so quiet."
Yet, pot pessimists argue that thee months is still too early to determine what type of impact recreational marijuana sales will have on the city. Most do not anticipate watching the bottom drop out until they are six months in. “This is a great opportunity for us to find out what happens when you legalize a substance like marijuana," said Tom Gormam, director of Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. "Just wait and watch what happens in these labs, and then you can make a decision based on data and facts and not rhetoric."
We predict life in Denver will be just fine.
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.