Watching the news and listening to the latest report on mass shootings, murder suicide crimes, violent gang wars, drug related killings, criminal child abuse and murder, we tend to wonder if this country is spiraling downward into an abyss of anarchy and chaos. We have criminals taking over communities and waging war against law enforcement. We have communities not wanting to assist the police in solving any crimes in their neighborhoods either out of fear of the gangs, or the police, or both. We have organizations taking advantage of the tension between the police and the communities in order to gain some sort of political advantage, gun control being one of them. In the final analysis, it is the communities that suffer the most in the long run.
In actuality, even with all the media coverage about crimes in the cities, statistics show that crimes, including burglaries, robberies, and murder are actually on the decline.
The 2015 Murder Rate in New York City
In 2015, the murder rate in New York City had risen 20% in the first two months of that year, leaving New York officials scratching their heads on what could be done to combat this trend going forward into 2016. The rise in murders had increased in many other urban cities across the nation that included cities such as Baltimore, Chicago and Ferguson, Missouri where tension between the communities was intensive as a result of high profile confrontations between some of the citizens of those communities and the police. The politicizing of those incidents did nothing to quall that tension. However, even with this increase, statistics show that crime, including murders, in New York City and other areas was down from what it was a decade ago.
National Decline of Urban Crime Rate Since 1990
Despite the spike in the national crime rate averages, overall crime is much less than it was in the 1990s. In the 1990s, there were 2,245 murders in New York City alone. Fast forward to 2014 and the murder rate was down 85%. Experts have not reached a consensus as to what has caused this sharp decline. This drop was also seen in all major cities. See the Washington Post.
What Effect Will the Legalization of Marijuana Have on Urban Crime?
In the wake of the push to legalize use of the drug marijuana, Congress is also pushing to pass legislation to reduce prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenders. Many are urging caution in this area because of the risks involved.
While possession and sale of marijuana is still a federal crime, some states have passed laws legalizing it. Some have legalized the medicinal use of marijuana, making it legal to grow, possess, use and sell this drug. Whether the legalization of marijuana has had any impact on crime remains to be seen.
Caution to those living in states where the possession and use of marijuana is legal; please note that not all states have legalized this drug. Keep this caution in mind when traveling with this drug in your possession,
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