Detroit police chief says new initiative aims to stop violence ‘associated with black market sales of marijuana’

DETROIT – Michigan’s legalization of recreational marijuana has not taken pot off police radar, at least not yet.

In fact, marijuana is a major part of a new initiative by Detroit police aimed at reducing violent crime.

MORE: Detroit police arrest 66 during week of drug sales crackdown aimed at reducing violent crime

The end of December 2019 and early January 2020, is a period of time that really caught Detroit Police Chief James Craig’s attention.

“We were seeing an uptick in violence, shootings, both fatal and non-fatal,” Craig said.

Craig said that started the new Violent Crimes Prevention Enforcement Strategy. He explained what he feels is causing the violent crimes.

“As we begin to take a deeper look at what was driving the violence, it was associated with black market sales of marijuana. We figured out that it wasn’t so much that we were focusing on marijuana but that there were individuals who were purchasers and sellers in the black market armed with weapons,” Craig said.

Craig said it’s less about marijuana and more about the drugs that can be involved with the sales.

“Again, as I said in the past, we’re not as concerned about the marijuana. We recognize small quantities are legal, but we are concerned about the associated violence. That’s our focus,” he said.

Craig feels that new focus on Black Market Marijuana and illegal guns are working. In just two weeks, his officers made 73 felony arrests for possession of illegals guns and 16 misdemeanor arrests, which were all Marijuana related. They also recovered 36 illegally possessed guns and almost 750 grams of marijuana.

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