Shootings in New York City have gone up nearly 20 percent in the past year, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton announced on March 3, saying that marijuana legalization and the loosening of restrictions across the United States are partly to blame. He called marijuana “the causal factor in so many shootings.”
Bratton referred to marijuana as “the seemingly innocent drug that’s been legalized around the country,” and says that yes, it’s connected to a rise in shootings.
In New York City, marijuana is not legalized, but it has been decriminalized to some degree and the NYPD has stopped arresting people with small amounts of marijuana on their person.
“It is ironic that in a city which is a transfer point for huge amounts of drugs . . . heroin, cocaine, hallucinogens, that one drug [that] is actually the causal factor in so much of our shootings and murder is marijuana,” Bratton said. “We just see marijuana everywhere when we make these arrests, and get the guns off the street.”
He’s not off the mark. In Colorado, Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk Taylor in Colorado noticed an uptick in crimes, and he’s now tracking the link between crimes and marijuana.