Homicides Down Since Beginning of Legal Cannabis Sales in Denver

marijuana card

Homicides Down Since Beginning of Legal Cannabis Sales in Denver

In one of the most drastic examples of the potential benefits of legalized cannabisColorados-Recreational-Marijuana-Task-Force, Denver, Colorado has seen a sizable reduction in violent crimes – particularly homicides – since the beginning of legal recreational cannabis sales.

Compared to 2013, 2014 saw an overall reduction in both violent and property crimes since legal cannabis sales began January, 2014. The most notable reduction was a large reduction in homicides – a roughly 25% drop – and a reduction in automobile thefts. All other forms of violent crime saw a reduction in their incidences over the same period.

In addition to these reductions, Denver has seen a reduction in sexual assaults, a drop in burglaries and a reduction in aggravated assaults. Property crimes were also down.

Overall, crime was down 7.9%.

As many know, correlation doesn’t always imply causation, but these numbers are still a telling sign, and give clear evidence that, at the very least, legal cannabis sales are not causing an increase in crime, as many opponents argued it would.

Delta Extrax

[Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on May 2nd, 2014. It was updated on September 1st, 2015.]



  • Jim Geesman
    May 15, 2014

    What would Bill O’Reilly say? That’s because the criminals have lost all of their motivation and lay around all day potted up on weed. It doesn’t matter that society benefits. We can’t have other humans finding so much enjoyment and benefit from something that he’s called wrong.

  • Thor
    May 16, 2014

    I agree Jim. This and other scientific data about this in the last months show that Bill O’Reilly is a fool. His propaganda is filled with emotion and mis-information.

    Put a sock in it Bill.

  • Paul Pot
    May 16, 2014

    All these yrs the prohibition pushers told us that legal marijuana would cause crime.
    Well where is it. Instead the opposite happened.
    And you say it doesn’t prove Causation?
    We have the opposite effect of what we were told to fear.
    We went to the end of the earth and we did not fall off.
    The earth is round and prohibition forced crime and violence and mental illness on the community.
    I’m angry cause a lot of my friends are dead because of the drug war.
    And friends and family members died in agony without access to something that could have eased their suffering and maybe even saved them.
    Prohibition is the crime.

  • steffan
    May 16, 2014

    how is weed wrong??? it’s not a drug. it’s a plant, it has healing properties. i have friends that have ptsd from the war in iraq. and they use cannabis to help them sleep at night, and the reports of children having seizures every day of their lives, and cannabis drastically reduces the occurrences of the seizures that they have. What about the people suffering from cancer that have to spend thousands of dollars that they don’t have to get their chemo treatments from doctors and hospitals??? cannabis is much cheaper. I have ADHD and anxiety, i get extremely nervous and freeze up in big crowds of people, it even gets hard to talk, and my anxiety goes through the roof, but when i was using cannabis all of that wasn’t an issue anymore, it made my job easier, i could talk to my customers with confidence and i made a lot more money. I haven’t used it in years now, but i definitely see a difference in my personality. why deny people something that is proven to be healthier, and safer than some prescription or some treatment??? not to mention every man made drug that is supposed to help has some negative side effect. all cannabis does is make you “hungry” and “sleepy” and another thing i would like to ask is when was the last time a bar fight broke out between pot heads???

  • maxwood
    May 16, 2014

    I just wonder if legalization hasn’t caused a reduction in H-ot B-urning O-verdose M-onoxide “JOINT” smoking and an increase in vaporization— because fewer users are AFRAID to own and carry harm-reduction (dosage reduction) equipment. A measured, VAPED 25-mg toke may be replacing the 500-mg-per-lightup “giant” oops sorry “joint”. What this has to do with crime? Users’ thoughts and actions are less influenced by combustion toxins, more circumspect, less impulsive?

  • Michael Daniels
    May 16, 2014

    I told everyone crime would bo down and I was absolutely right, That is one of the major reason why Florida needs to follow Colorado lead want to bring Florida back to one of the most visited states on the eastern sea board. Then legalize in November talk is cheap. Everyone needs to take time to vote in this Florida’s greatest election in years send a message to Tallahassee we will not surrender our right to help our children with seizures also are adult and senior patients of life saving treat ment in turn crack down on DUI’s and there will be no other children harmed by so called synthetic pot.Or whzt I call parsely with chemical compounds closer to PCP.

    Michael a. Daniels

  • angela
    May 16, 2014

    Yeah, pot heads are all lazy. That’s why I work, home school my daughter and am a straight A student myself. Fuck Bill O’Reilly and Nancy Grace. Those ignorant fascists are so narrow minded, it’s sick.

    • moldy
      May 18, 2014

      Well said! Thanks for that.

    • Anonymous
      May 22, 2014

      I am a stoner and a recent graduate majored in Criminology, so I do not agree with the generalisation that we are all lazy, I tend to be very constructive, sometimes I’ll clean the house with more zest I find it therapeutic . HOWEVER I fully agree that bill is an ignorant puppet and needs to be assassinated.

  • Aussie Paul
    May 18, 2014

    Drrrrrr, everything is in slow motion.

    • moldy
      May 18, 2014

      Burn one down and lose that slow motion you got.

  • Janet Evans
    May 18, 2014

    21 states allow medical cannabis. Let’s make it the BIG 5/O

  • Janet Evans
    May 18, 2014

    Research. Research. Research. Let us use people’s actual experiences.

  • Chiller
    May 18, 2014

    Yea but arson is way up! 135 percent

  • Shannon Shea
    May 19, 2014

    Very interesting article. I am hoping to learn more and read the paper or look at the numbers this thread summarizes information from. Please show me how to find this information since I can’t find the “Sources Cited” section and the linked PDF doesn’t connect to the original data only another summary.


    • Shelley
      May 20, 2014

      It’s a trend. The numbers have nothing to do with legalized marijuana. Most crime statistics were down in 2013 from 2012, too.

      • Paul Pot
        September 2, 2015

        But legal cannabis was supposed to make things worse
        Trend or not the prohibs predictions have failed.
        They were wrong.

  • Jacob
    May 22, 2014

    140% increase in arson??

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