Commentary: If marijuana legalization has been so bad for other states, why have so many of them done it?
When opponents of Measure 3, which would legalize recreational marijuana in North Dakota, make their case against the proposal they often cite statistics from other parts of the country where marijuana has been legalized. The intent is to provide for us a cautionary tale about how legalizing marijuana might go in our state.
A recent example is Dickinson Police Chief Dustin Dassinger. “Cities in other states that have legalized marijuana have seen increases in illegal grow operations, public intoxication, and drugged driving,” he told the Dickinson Press recently while arguing against Measure 3, pointing specifically to places like Colorado, Alaska, and Oregon. “The crime rate in Colorado has increased 11 times faster than the rest of the nation since legalization. The Colorado Bureau of Criminal Investigations reports an 8.3 percent increase in property crimes and an 18.6 percent increase in violent crimes.”
We’re going to be hearing a lot of this argument in the weeks ahead, but I’m not sure it rings true for a couple of reasons.