Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski says that decriminalization of marijuana has led to rising murder rates over the past three years, but marijuana has not even been decriminalized in Maryland.
Once again a prohibitionists is cannibalizing human tragedy and ignoring the facts to opportunistically push a profitable but inhumane agenda.
“There seems to be more demand for it right now. And it’s causing a struggling between people and we’re seeing that play out in violence in Prince Georges County.”
Three years ago Maryland reduced the penalties for minor marijuana possession. They did not decriminalize marijuana. Stawinski is likely correct that reduced penalties have led to more marijuana traffic, but the violence does not arise from the reduced penalties but from the continued legal restrictions on marijuana that push it into the black market.
If no legal restrictions against cannabis existed, and marijuana sales were conducted openly in a free market, then the violence incited by those who must trade in the cloak of deviancy would not exist.
All kinds of products experience an increase in demand which does not cause people to kill, because supply is not restricted by external forces. In this case laws against cannabis act as an external force cutting supply from demand and creating disorder in those markets.
So it stands to reason that those enforcing the prohibition laws that criminalize cannabis are the real cause of the problem. If they really wanted to see violent crimes decrease, then they would refuse to enforce laws that cause them to happen. The interest here is not so much in protecting the people, but from protecting the multi-billion dollar law enforcement racket of prohibition.