As Massachusetts edges closer to becoming one of the next states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, law enforcement officials are predictably resorting to reefer madness as they fight to stop the inevitable. Speaking to Boston Herald Radio on Wednesday, Boston Police Commissioner William Evans absurdly claimed that legalizing marijuana would lead to more home invasions.
According to Evans, “A lot of home invasions always seem to revolve around someone selling marijuana. Young college kids tying to supplement their income. We get a half-dozen every year where they invite regular city kids over and next thing you know, their door is getting broken down and they are getting robbed.”
But Evans has things backward: If marijuana is legalized, we should expect to see a decrease in marijuana-related home invasions.
The reason marijuana is sometimes linked to home invasions isn't that there's something inherently dangerous about it; it's the very fact that it's illegal.
People who sell marijuana and other illegal drugs can't accept credit cards, so they have to deal in cash, which puts them at risk of being robbed. Additionally, since what they're doing is illegal, drug dealers who are robbed aren't likely to call the police since they risk going to jail as well.
In fact, last year, a home invasion victim in Worcester was arrested after calling the police when they showed up at his home and found he had been selling marijuana. In that home invasion, police found pounds of marijuana, suggesting the robbers were more interested in the cash than the drugs.
"We have found that the majority of home invasions involve the sale and distribution of marijuana," Worcester police chief Gary Gemme said after that incident. "The public should be aware that most of these incidents are not random acts but are targeted by those in the drug trade."
But instead of drawing the logical conclusion from his own remarks, Gemme decided to blame the victim: "There is always a heighten [sic] level of aggression and violence when these types of incidents occur and those who participate in these illegal activities put themselves and the public in danger."
It's not marijuana dealers who put the public at risk, it's drug warriors like Evans and Gemme who insist on keeping a perfectly safe drug in the black market.