Colorado cops leery of legalization

Posted on November 17th, 2012 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

ColoradoThe Fiscal Times is enthused by the emergence of "Pot-economics" and the "The Birth of the Legal Weed Industry" in Colorado after Amendment 64. But PBS News Hour emphasizes that "State Is Anxious Over US Government's Reaction" after the Colorado vote. Note the quote from Jerry Peters of Denver's North Metro Drug Task Force:

We have seen a tremendous increase in crime. We have seen more home invasion robberies. We have seen more dispensary robberies. We see marijuana being trafficked through vehicles, through the U.S. mail, through Federal Express.

Interviewer Megan Verlee does not quesiton this assertion. However, in a study last year the RAND Corporation dispelled a link between cannabis dispensaries and crime. Peters goes on to assert:

You're going to see youth use rise dramatically. You're going to see people driving under the influence of marijuana dramatically increase.

Instead of pointing out the baseless nature of these idle speculations, Verlee adds:

Colorado officials are developing what Governor Hickenlooper calls a sharp-edged public information campaign to warn about the dangers of marijuana.  

Yet John Hickenlooper actually sounds half-hearted in his reefer madness campaign. "But, in the end," Verlee concedes, "the governor sees legalization as a result of Colorado's success in recent years at attracting an influx of younger, more liberal residents." Hickenlooper is quoted:

This is part of what you get from that youth component that maybe isn't—wouldn't be your first choice to have happen in your state. But I don't think it's going to do long-term damage.

Thank goodness Hickenlooper outranks Peters.

Image from the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection



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