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posted by on Thursday March 02 2017, @05:44PM   Printer-friendly
from the ideology-vs-scientific-analysis dept.

The Center for American Progress reports

On [February 27], days after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters to expect stricter enforcement of federal pot law, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recycled discredited drug war talking points in remarks of his own.

"I believe it's an unhealthy practice, and current levels of THC in marijuana are very high compared to what they were a few years ago, and we're seeing real violence around that", Sessions said. "Experts are telling me there's more violence around marijuana than one would think and there's big money involved."

In reality, violent crime rates tend to decrease where marijuana is legalized.

Denver saw a 2.2 percent drop in violent crime rates in the year after the first legal recreational cannabis sales in Colorado. Overall property crime dropped by 8.9 percent [PDF] in the same period there, according to figures from the Drug Policy Alliance. In Washington, violent crime rates dropped by 10 percent [PDF] from 2011 to 2014. Voters legalized recreational marijuana there in 2012.

Medical marijuana laws, which have a longer track record for academics than recreational pot legalization, are also associated with stable or falling violent crime rates. In one 2014 study of the 11 states that legalized medical pot from 1990 to 2006, there was no increase in the seven major categories of violent crime and "some evidence of decreasing rates of some types of violent crime, namely homicide and assault."

[...] Elsewhere in his remarks, Sessions unwittingly made the case against treating pot activity like serious crime. "You can't sue somebody for drug debt". he said. "The only way to get your money is through strong-arm tactics, and violence tends to follow that."

Legalizing, regulating, and taxing the sale of marijuana is the surest way to remedying that exact tendency for pot commerce to trigger violent score-settling. Legalization invites pot business into the light, granting cannabusinesses at least partial access to official modes of recourse when they are defrauded.

8 states and the District of Columbia have legalised marijuana for recreational use.
Ever see anyone use cannabis and become more aggressive rather than more mellow?

Note: ThinkProgress redirects all accesses of their pages and will attach tracking numbers. I have made sure that those are not in the URLs.


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by meustrus on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:35PM (1 child)

    by meustrus (4961) on Thursday March 02 2017, @09:35PM (#474121)

    All election shenanigans and the candidates themselves aside, this election year was a pretty good shot for a Republican president no matter what. For the last 25 years the presidency has flip-flopped between parties after every 8 years, following a very similar pattern with congressional midterms as well. Democrats needed to field a vastly superior candidate to win. They believed they did, polling be damned.

    I prefer to think of the elections not in terms of how the ideologues talk past each other, but in terms of the undecided and unmotivated voters. There will always be voting Democrats and Republicans, and those groups are relatively balanced against each other. But the people who really swing elections are those two groups of people in the middle: the moderates who plan to vote but could actually be swayed either way on whom; and the voters who just won't show up unless a candidate really speaks to them.

    When you look at this group of people and try to explain the flip-flopping trend, there's one obvious answer: our government sucks. Think about it. The unmotivated voters would tend to vote for change, because if they didn't want change they would stay home. The undecided voters might swing either way without an incumbent, but with an incumbent they are more likely to vote for the devil they know, even if that choice doesn't excite them.

    So basically, the pattern of American democracy is that every eight years, we decide that the last guy didn't make anything any better, and elect somebody else who promises to dismantle everything that just happened. It's no wonder that things never get better.

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  • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Friday March 03 2017, @12:59PM

    by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 03 2017, @12:59PM (#474337)

    I agree that right now our government truly sucks. At the moment, according to Gallup polling, 47% of Americans approve of the Supreme Court, 45% of Americans approve of Donald Trump, and about 28% of Americans approve of Congress. That's abysmal leadership, and more importantly means that not a single branch of the federal government is operating with majority support. Congress in particular has had sub-50% approval ratings for most of the last 40 years, with only a brief respite between 1998 (probably due to the impeachment of Bill Clinton) and 2002 (after the spike of support of government post-9/11 wore off).

    That said, the reason Trump won this last election had very little to do with attracting moderate voters, and a lot to do with a huge number of normally Democratic voters not voting for president. For example, in my home swing state of Ohio, Clinton got about 20% fewer votes than other Democrats have (including Obama, Kerry, Gore, governor candidates, senate races, etc). Which isn't all that surprising, when you realize that Clinton's entire campaign pitch in the general election amounted to "I'm not Donald Trump".

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