Home / Be The Change / New Study / Imagine That! Police Solve Far More Murders After they Stop Arresting Cannabis Users

Imagine That! Police Solve Far More Murders After they Stop Arresting Cannabis Users

A new study has indicated that the Boston Police Department has drastically increased the number of homicides they solved since they stopped making arrests for marijuana. The homicide clearance rate increase by 10% following the decriminalization of marijuana in the area.

“The BPD homicide unit increased the yearly Boston homicide clearance rate by nearly 10 percent […] and by more than 18 percent when the clearance rate definition was extended to include those cases awaiting grand jury decisions,” the study said.

The findings were released in a new study published by Northeastern School of Criminology and Criminal Justice director Anthony Braga and  Boston Police Department Deputy Chief of Staff Desiree Dusseault.

The study was called “Can Homicide Detectives Improve Homicide Clearance Rates?,” and was published in November in the Crime & Delinquency journal.

The study reviewed every homicide in Boston between 2007 and 2011 and found that the department was hardly spending any time or resources to hunt down murderers. This is not a simple oversight, and is obviously due to the fact that police departments don’t have much of a financial incentive to solve murders.

Although the study does not mention the factors leading to the increase in solved murders, the clearance rate coincides with the decriminalization of marijuana.

Civil asset forfeiture pays. Busting low-level drug dealers by the dozen and confiscating their drugs, guns, cars, houses, and money pays. Writing tickets for victimless crime pays. Pulling you over for window tint, seat belts, arbitrary traveling speeds, and expired license plates; these are the things that pay — solving murders does not pay.

READ MORE:  These Power Hungry Cops Were on a Mission to Arrest Anyone that They Could

However, as the drug war toned down slightly with the decriminalization of marijuana, the department was miraculously able to funnel more resources and dedicate more officers towards solving murders.

“I was surprised that they took such a serious and hard look at existing policy and practices. And that they were willing to engage with an outside researcher to help them with that process,” Braga said.

“It’s an area where very few police departments are willing to take a real, in-depth look at how their investigators are handling cases, The Boston police has a history of collaborating with researchers and are generally very open,” he added.

In a recent statement, the Boston Police  said that,

“The [homicide] unit received additional resources, training and personnel in attempts to provide the detectives with the tools they needed to clear more cases. The new, bolstered Homicide Unit has responded with positive results.”

In criminal justice, clearance rates are used as a measure of crimes solved by the police. The clearance rate is calculated by dividing the number of crimes that are “cleared” (a charge being laid) by the total number of crimes recorded.

In the United States, the murder clearance rate in 1965 was more than 90 percent. Since the inception of the war on drugs, the murder clearance rate has plummetted to an average of less than 65 percent per year.

This decline is in spite of there being far fewer murders. It is also in spite of new technological developments to help police solve crimes, like DNA testing, advanced forensic labs, and unethical spying devices like the stingray.

READ MORE:  Minnesota legalizes medical marijuana, but no smoking allowed

Despite the near complete erosion of the constitutional protections against unlawful search and seizure, the clearance rate for murder continued its free fall. This highlights the fact that no matter how many rights are given up or freedoms diminished, police cannot guarantee your safety.

According to the Department of Justice, there are currently over 400,000 untested rape kits collecting dust in police evidence rooms nationwide, and many other estimates suggest that this number could be as high as one million.

As a result of this horrific negligence, roughly 3% of rape cases in America are actually solved. This is in spite of the fact that many rape kits have a high chance of leading to an arrest since most rapists are career criminals who have their DNA on file.

John Vibes is an author and researcher who organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference. He also has a publishing company where he offers a censorship free platform for both fiction and non-fiction writers. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. John is currently battling cancer naturally, without any chemo or radiation, and will be working to help others through his experience, if you wish to contribute to his treatments please donate here.
  • The Cat’s Vagina

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        • Guy

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          • The Cat’s Vagina

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          • Guy

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          • The Cat’s Vagina

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          • The Cat’s Vagina

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  • doucyet

    I just read this piece on another site and it’s good news for those that partake in the plant. It won’t long now and perhaps they’ll stop demonizing weed.

    In part it reads:

    A Pew Research survey released on Tuesday combined the results of two surveys that questioned
    nearly 8,000 police officers across 54 police departments and over 4,500 private citizens. According to Pew’s findings, “about two-thirds of police (68%) and a larger share of the public (84%) believe the country’s marijuana laws should be relaxed, and a larger share of the public than the police support legalizing marijuana for both private and medical use.

    • skyp0ckets

      Hey, we’re on a roll! Agreed again!

    • Louis Nevitt

      The only time Pew is mentioned here is by you. The article clearly states the data is from Boston, which legalized AFTER data for this study was collected. Increase in homicide cases being closed had virtually nothing to do with legalization.

      • doucyet


  • IceTrey

    Imagine if all drugs were legalized.

    • billdeserthills

      Then I could visit the opium den and get that hooker of my opium-fueled dreams

  • Bwin51

    For the sake of drug prosecutions, i.e., money, they sacrificed our safety. More unsolved murders means more murderers running around loose, and if they don’t murder again, more than likely will commit other violent crimes. Nice going, guys. The elites in charge preferred to wage a race war rather than keep its citizenry safe.

  • Reduced public fear of police would also contribute to an increase in people coming forward with information.

  • Louis Nevitt

    Now imagine the headline is complete and utter garbage. I have labeled this organization “Free Fact Project” and here is a perfect example why. Anyone who believed this rat trap then shared it is shamefully incapable of simple analytics and reason. Massachusetts voted to legalize this last November 8, 2016. The study is based on data collected and compiled before the election. So increase in solving homicides is being credited with a legalization that happened AFTER data was collected. So whatever the reason there was an increase in solving homicides, it had virtually NOTHING to do with legalization. Maybe it was just better police work in homicide units in Boston that have nothing to do with drug enforcement units. OMG. Where is data from CA, CO and WA? Complete and utter garbage based on imagination, not fact. Please think before sharing.

    • Lorne Allen

      After a 2 second Google search i found this on wikipedia:

      In 2008 Massachusetts voters decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Massachusetts became the eighteenth state to legalize medical marijuana when voters passed a ballot in 2012.