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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?

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @04:56AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @04:56AM (#474270)

    Both poor and rich went for Clinton. Trump grabbed the middle, and happened to end up with a slightly higher average because there are more poor people than rich people.

    Trump support is really high in the social range from "skilled trade" to "STEM BS degree". It's weak above that, and very weak with the poor. Trump voters tend to be people who are doing OK, but with reason to be nervous. The sort of people who may have seen friends and family lose jobs tend to vote for Trump.

    Clinton gets the people on government help and the minimum wage workers. She also gets what you might call the "guilty rich", people who might feel a sort of discomfort in the realization that others are much worse off. These people push up the average education level for Clinton voters, often with doctorates. Also pushing up the education level are people with generally impractical degrees.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @05:20AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @05:20AM (#474276)

    Nice theories. Do you have any evidence beyond wishful thinking?

    > Both poor and rich went for Clinton. Trump grabbed the middle,

    Trump got the rich and the white vote. []

    Far from being purely a revolt by poorer whites left behind by globalisation, who did indeed turn out in greater numbers for the Republican candidate than in 2012, Trump’s victory also relied on the support of the middle-class, the better-educated and the well-off.

    Of the one in three Americans who earn less than $50,000 a year, a majority voted for Clinton. A majority of those who earn more backed Trump.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @08:06PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03 2017, @08:06PM (#474540)

      $50,000 a year is nothing special. If you draw the line there, and call everybody above it rich, then yeah Trump voters are rich. I guess that fits your narrative.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 04 2017, @05:55AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 04 2017, @05:55AM (#474783)

        Trump also got the majority vote of people making over $100K, and the vote of people making over $250K and those making over $500K all the way up.
        $50K was just where the break started.