In the months since recreational weed was legalized, Denver's crime rate has actually fallen significantly, probably because we're too goddamn high to move.
In the months since recreational weed was legalized, Denver's crime rate has actually fallen significantly … probably because we're too goddamn high to move.
Property crime is down 14.6% compared to the same period last year, and violent crimes are down 2.4%. Much less people have been murdered so far in 2014 than in previous years, and DUI rates have even decerased slightly. More and more, it's looking like Denver isn't going to be quite the criminal hellscape some predicted Denver would be when we legalized weed.
Curiously, arson is up 109% from 2013, but represents just 23 of 3,757 crimes committed so far in 2014 … but you know most of those fires are just small, contained burns started in bong bowls.
If you've ever smoked weed, this makes perfect sense. When you're high, you can hardly be bothered to burn your house down for insurance money, due to all the moving that would entail.
Even if you go to the 7-Eleven with the intention of stealing an Otterpop or something, there's probably a 95% chance you'll forget why you're there in the first place. Instead of shoplifting, you're more likely to be caught starting at the doughnut holes and wondering whether black holes are just doughnut detritus that no one ate. How are you going to to off a rival gang lord if your voracious craving from Taco Bell vastly overwhelms your bloodlust?
It's like weed was this giant crime deterrent all this time, but no one knew until now, and oh my god we're peaking so hard.
The crime decrease comes as a surprise for many government officials and law enforcement officers like Douglas County Sheriff David Weaver, who warned in 2012 that if weed were legalized, we should "Expect more crime, more kids using marijuana and pot for sale everywhere."
"I think our entire state will pay the price." Gov. John Hickenlooper said when asked about how weed would affect Coloradans. "Colorado is known for many great things — marijuana should not be one of them," he said, adding that "It sends the wrong message to kids that drugs are OK," giving his best "Oh, won't someone please think of the children?" performance.
But back in reality, the only thing that's changed since January 1st, other than the fact that criminals are too stoned to wreck havoc, is the fat $6 million dollar tax check the city of Denver just got … and that's from February alone. And while it may be too early to credit weed with Denver's falling crime rate, it's never too early to know, with reasonable certainty, that most people are too caught up trying to decide between Cooler Ranch and Nacho Cheese Doritos to remember they have a bank to rob.