Crime continues to rise in the pot megalopolis of Denver
With yet another month's worth of crime data coming in from Denver, crime is continuing to skyrocket in the post-marijuana legalization period.
For the month of March, total UCR crime was up 3.7% compared to March 2015. Much of this increase was driven by violent crime, which increased 4.5%, while property crimes were up 3.6%.
During the first three months of 2016, UCR crimes have increased 9.6%, of which property crimes are up 9.9% and violent crimes up 7.6%.
Under the NIBRS definitions, total crimes increased 6.1% for the January to March period of 2016 compared to a year earlier. The large increase in property crime (11.3%) was behind much of this rise, although a substantial increase (3.0%) in violent crime was also observed.
The annual rate of population growth for the region is about 2%, meaning that the number of crimes so far in 2016 are rising upwards of five-fold faster than population growth.
Despite this degradation of civil society, the state is apparently still not considering repealing the marijuana legalization framework, undoubtedly because the region is now addicted to the modest government revenues coming in from sales of legal pot.
Of course, a comprehensive full-cost accounting analysis of pot legalization in the state would likely show that tax revenues are being more than offset by the costs of increased crime and lower productivity growth. Reports from other jurisdictions that are considering legalization efforts are also showing that legal pot will not achieve the goals of eliminating organized crime around the product, either.