Colorado DA: Marijuana is "gateway drug to homicide"
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (WKRC) - Colorado District Attorney Dan May created a controversy Tuesday while announcing indictments for a marijuana head shop in Colorado Springs that was allegedly running a criminal enterprise that illegally distributed about 200 pounds of marijuana.
The controversy wasn't over the indictments themselves, but rather what May said when he announced them, calling marijuana the gateway drug to homicide, according to KKTV.
"Colorado Springs Police Department put out this year we had 22 homicides in Colorado Springs last year, 2016. Eight of those were directly marijuana. That isn't somebody just using marijuana, that is somebody being murdered over legal marijuana grow in their house. Murdered over an illegal marijuana grow."
May added that the crime involved with marijuana is overwhelming local authorities as the drug "is pouring out of Colorado."
"It's much more valuable in the streets of New York City than it is in the streets of Denver," he said. "Colorado's system is terrible."
The Southern Colorado Cannabis Council has asked May to retract his statements or prove the connection between marijuana and homicides.
"Today, District Attorney Dan May made some very concerning comments linking cannabis use to murder. He stated that, 'Marijuana is the gateway drug to homicide, in our community and across the state and people need to start recognizing that.' This statement is utterly false," a statement from the council read. "Study after study has shown that there is no correlation between cannabis use and violent crime. We would ask the District Attorney to retract his statement or provide proof of correlation between the two. This is an extremely dangerous statement. It is dangerous to Colorado’s fastest growing industry and it is dangerous to anyone associated with cannabis Colorado."