Archive for the ‘district attorney’ category

Denver DA Makes Ludicrous Claims; Links Medical Marijuana to Murder

August 2nd, 2013

District Attorney Mitch Morrissey confused by science

At a Denver City Council hearing held on Monday to discuss implementing a 5% marijuana sales tax, Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey held the floor to claim that medical marijuana dispensaries are a haven for assaults, robberies, and murder.

“We have had 12 homicides related directly to medical marijuana,” Morrissey told the council. “We have had over 100 aggravated robberies and home invasions. Many of you probably didn’t read about the double-execution-style homicide that we had here in Denver… This is an ugly secret.”

Several council members expressed their shock and concern over the DA’s previously unheard-of claims. When questioned about the validity of his statistics on Tuesday, though, Morrissey clarified that he’d cited “loose figures” and that none of the homicides actually occurred at a medical marijuana facility. In reality, most of the homicides happened during home invasions, and in some cases, it is uncertain whether marijuana played a role.

Mason Tvert, communications director at MPP, spoke to The Huffington Post to help set the record straight:

 “Morrissey’s suggestion that the state- and locally-regulated medical marijuana industry is somehow at fault for crimes that occurred entirely outside of its scope is ludicrous and irresponsible. I cannot imagine any other instance in which he would place blame for violent crimes on law-abiding businesses and citizens who have fallen victim to them.”

Tvert’s claim that dispensaries are not causing violent crime is backed by police statistics. In 2009, the Denver Police Department found that robbery and burglary rates at dispensaries were lower than area banks and liquor stores and on par with those of pharmacies. In 2010, police in Colorado Springs found that robbery and burglary rates at area dispensaries were no higher than at non-marijuana-related businesses. Discussing the findings, Sgt. Darrin Abbink said, “I don’t think the data really supports [dispensaries] are more likely to be targeted at this point.”

Of the robberies and assaults that have occurred, industry representatives say that medical marijuana dispensaries may only be targeted because current banking laws force them to deal in cash rather than credit.

Tvert continued, “If Morrissey is truly concerned about enhancing public safety, he should be testifying in support of policies that will eliminate the underground marijuana market and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated like alcohol. He should not be resorting to scare tactics and reefer madness.”

SF District Attorney Claims All Sales Of Marijuana Are Illegal

March 28th, 2012
​San Francisco's 21 licensed medical marijuana dispensaries are all illegal, according to a new court filing by District Attorney George Gascón. Observers of the scene speculate that the filing could signify a huge change in the city's cannabis policies.City law allows medical marijuana to be bought in dispensaries and delivered to patients who have a doctor's recommendation. The businesses must acquire licenses and seller's permits from the California Board of Equalization before receiving city Department of Public Health permits to sell cannabis, reports Chris Roberts at the SF Examiner. Continue reading "SF District Attorney Claims All Sales Of Marijuana Are Illegal" >

US Drug Czar & Manhattan DA Try To Spin Drug War As Success

September 21st, 2011
​Message from NYers: No More Drug WarDrug War = Mass Incarceration, Racial Disparities and Overdose EpidemicWhite House Drug Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske and New York County DA Cyrus R. Vance Jr. will visit Washington Heights in New York City on Thursday, September 22, to discuss their supposed "progress" in fighting the War On Drugs. A group of New Yorkers will be greeting the Drug Czar and DA with the message: No More Drug War. When Kerlikowske came into office, he announced that he was ending the War On Drugs. This turned out to be little more than a rhetorical sleight-of-hand, however - astronomical rates of drug arrests and incarceration have not changed. Continue reading "US Drug Czar & Manhattan DA Try To Spin Drug War As Success" >