Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek today said that he could never support marijuana legalization because marijuana causes violent behavior. And no, we wasn't joking.
Sheriff Rich Stanek is clueless about cannabis.
Now we'll give you time to catch your breath from laughing so hard.
"When I look at my jail and I see 40,000 people a year booked into the front doors, 54 percent of the ones booked for violent offenses are under the influence of marijuana when they commit those violent offenses -- you know, I've got to take a step back and say, wait a minute," Stanek told Minnesota Public Radio. "There is a direct correlation."
Except that there isn't. Marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug in the United States (because most people believe it shouldn't be illegal).
Not only that, buthis stats are based on a 2011 federal study conducted in part in his prison. Basically a sample of inmates is given a pee test within 48 hours of being arrested and they recorded whether it came up positive or negative. They didn't take down levels of active THC and there is absolutely no proof whatsoever that the person was even using marijuana at the time of their alleged crime.
"When you show me that in a jail that books 40,000 people a year for a variety of offenses, whether drunk driving, domestic assault, rape, robbery, murder, and I don't have 54 percent of them under the influence of marijuana, maybe I'll say something different," he said, failing to note that the study he quotes DIDN'T TEST THE INMATES FOR ALCOHOL.
We have little doubt that booze was the major contributing factor to a significant number of violent crimes. It doesn't take much common sense to know that alcohol and violence go hand-in-hand.
But, apparently, Stanek doesn't have any common sense.
Stanek's idiotic comments come on the heels of an op-ed column he wrote for the Star Tribune that criticized the justice department's recent public decision to allow states that have legalized cannabis to move forward with implementation of legal sales.
"Marijuana is illegal under federal law and should remain that way," he wrote. "We have seen decades of declining crime rates in Hennepin County and across the country. Law enforcement agencies and our community partners have worked hard to achieve these gains."
What gains? People sill (and will continue) to use cannabis in Minnesota.
The only reason cannabis users are criminals is because people like Stanek insist on it, and their reasons are based on lies and twisted research.