Pubdate: Wed, 22 Oct 2014
Source: Star-Banner, The (Ocala, FL)
Copyright: 2014 The Star-Banner
Author: Frances Clark


As Mark Twain said, there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies,
and statistics. State Attorney Brad King's essay ("The 'Colorado
Calamity' and Amendment 2," Oct. 19) is a textbook example of all three.

I did some fact-checking on Mr. King's allegations. Here's what I

There is absolutely no link between the legalization of marijuana and
the rate of violent crime.

Medical-use marijuana is legal in almost a dozen countries, including
Austria, Canada, Finland, Germany, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands,
Portugal and Spain, yet the crime rate in all of those countries is
lower than that in the U.S.

The rate of violent crime has actually declined in Denver, Colorado,
since marijuana was legalized. Homicides are down by 53 percent,
sexual assaults 13.6 percent, and robberies and assaults 4 percent,
according to the website The Free Thought Project.

Even Mr. King acknowledges that car crash fatalities dropped by 14
percent in Colorado between 2007-2012, but he neglects to mention that
in the years since recreational marijuana has been legal there, the
composite auto fatality rate is lower than at any time since 2002.

Since marijuana was legalized in Colorado, its use among high
schoolers has actually decreased. The CDC has found no link between
the legalization of marijuana and its use by teenagers.

It's unfortunate that the Star-Banner lends credence to King's
falsehoods by printing them on the front page of the Opinion section.
Meanwhile, thousands of Floridians who could benefit from medical
marijuana will suffer needlessly if Amendment 2 fails due to the kind
of "reefer madness" hysteria promulgated by opponents such as Mr. King.

Frances Clark

- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard