Don’t Buy the Reefer Madness Nonsense About Cannabis and Crime

Just when you think that you have extinguished Reefer Madness propaganda point by point, the nonsense rears its ugly head again. After crime rates in the United States dipped to historic lows the past few years, we have seen an uptick over the last two. While crime rates were dropping while state after state legalized medical and adult-use cannabis, prohibitionists certainly didn’t want to give credit to legalization for lessening crime, but now it seems apparent that they want to try and blame cannabis, but if there is any widespread crime associated with cannabis, it’s caused by prohibition, NOT legalization. Yahoo News covered the most recent Reefer Madness emitting from Washington D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee proclaiming that cannabis is ‘undoubtedly’ a factor in the city’s rise in violent crimes during a recent press briefing:

“Contee held the briefing after two individuals were shot near a restaurant in downtown D.C. A shooting also occurred outside of D.C.’s Nationals Park during a baseball game on Saturday, July 17 which left two people hospitalized with gunshot wounds and one injured. The shooters were never found.

“’We have taken on a mindset that marijuana is not really a big issue in our city,’ Contee said. ‘I can tell you that marijuana undoubtedly is connected to violent crimes that we are seeing in our communities.’

“’When you have something where people get high reward — they can make a lot of money by selling illegal marijuana — and the risk is low, the risk for accountability is very low, that creates a very, very, very bad situation, because those individuals get robbed,’ he added. ‘Those individuals get shot at. Those individuals get involved in disputes all across our city.’”

First of all, it is ridiculous that shootings where the perpetrators were never found are being tied to cannabis, with absolutely zero evidence that the substance had anything to do with the violence. Secondly, when Chief Contee brought up making a lot of money by selling illegal cannabis, that’s the result of prohibition, NOT the cannabis itself. Congress prohibits Washington, D.C., from establishing adult-use cannabis retailers, forcing people to turn to the illegal market. Congress needs to do its job by ending federal prohibition and allowing cannabis businesses access to normal banking services. That’s the real solution, but the prison-industrial complex and other special interest groups that have a financial incentive to maintain the federal war on the cannabis community will seek to exploit any news that they can to demonize cannabis. We must remain vigilant and keep speaking the truth about cannabis and the costs of prohibition.

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