Colorado Springs Police: 18 percent of homicides since 2015 have 'marijuana nexus'; no state data

DENVER – A news release from the Colorado Springs Police Department that ties marijuana to homicides over the past several years is among the first reports that have directly linked the two.

The police department says that it has reviewed murder cases from 2015 through 2017 so far and established a “marijuana nexus” that determines how many homicide cases involved marijuana transactions.

It says that since the beginning of 2017, 11 of the 59 (18.6 percent) homicides in Colorado Springs have a “marijuana nexus.” 

  • 2015: 2 of 29 homicides have marijuana nexus
  • 2016: 8 of 22 homicides have marijuana nexus
  • 2017: 1 of 8 homicides have marijuana nexus

“In most cases, robbery of marijuana was a motive or the victim was killed during a marijuana narcotics transaction,” the news release from the police department said.

Colorado Springs and El Paso County do not allow the sale of recreational marijuana.

The Colorado Department of Public safety told Denver7 Wednesday that it does not have statewide data on marijuana-related homicides and that there is not a clear, statewide definition of what a “marijuana nexus” is.

The most recent statewide data on crime involving marijuana was released last March in a report called “Marijuana Legalization in Colorado: Early Findings.”

The report says that crimes involving marijuana – but not related to possession or distribution – is “difficult to measure” because Colorado doesn’t have a statewide database for pinpointing a crime’s location.

But it said the Denver Police Department had at the time begun reviewing crimes to determine if there was a “clear connection or relationship” to marijuana.

The report says the “total number of industry-related crimes has remained stable and makes up a very small portion of overall crime in Denver.” It was that burglary is the most common crime in Denver related to the marijuana industry and at the time accounted for 62 percent of industry-related crime.

When it came to non-industry crime, the report says that the number reported was “small and has remained stable.” 

Robbery accounted for 33 percent of non-industry crime; burglary accounted for 30 percent and larceny and theft accounted for 20 percent.

Homicide was not factored into the report.

DPD said Wednesday it was looking to see if it had updated numbers on marijuana-related crimes, but said at the end of the day that it would not have numbers ready on Wednesday.

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