Has crime increased due to legal marijuana business? - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Has crime increased due to legal marijuana business?

Posted: Updated:
SPOKANE, Wash. - Has crime increased due to the legal marijuana business?

Before recreational marijuana sales went legal in Washington there were concerns about crime potentially increasing. "Because of the connection between cartels and violent crime, some assumed that would bleed over." Jeremy Wissing says. 

Wissing is an officer lieutenant with the Washington State Liquor Control Board. Wissing handles enforcement at 140 marijuana producer and processing business in Eastern Washington. 

"There was a concern violent crime would cross over but I think we have done a pretty good job setting up a safe system and I have just not seen that happen." Wissing says. 

Washington's marijuana sales went legal in early July of 2014. Since then the state has sold nearly 90 million dollars in legal marijuana."There was uncertainty, but fortunately none of those worse case scenarios have panned out." Wissing says. 

He did not have hard numbers available, but pointed out one major break in where thieves stole 50,000 dollars worth of marijuana from a Seattle shop in August of last year. "We have had some administrative penalties which is kind of the nature of it. All in all it has been a successful roll out."

But beyond the businesses there are hard numbers that Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich says are telling a story. 

Since 2012 (The year I-502 became law) marijuana DUI numbers have increased every year in Spokane Valley. In 2012, 17 marijuana DUI arrests were made. That number more than doubled to 43 in 2013. Then in 2014, 48 arrests were made between January 1st and November 7th. 

"It tells me that we have a lot of stoned drivers out there," Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich says. The Spokane Valley Police Department is run by the sheriff's office. Sheriff Knezovich says it keeps DUI numbers because it still has a traffic unit. Unincorporated parts of the county does not. "That is one area I would like to see us re-focus on, the unincorporated areas and be able to re build our traffic unit."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Police: Washington State University QB Tyler Hilinski dead from apparent suicide

    Police: Washington State University QB Tyler Hilinski dead from apparent suicide

    Wednesday, January 17 2018 2:05 AM EST2018-01-17 07:05:06 GMT

    PULLMAN, Wash. - Pullman Police say at around 4:30 pm, officers responded to the Aspen Village Apartments to check on the welfare of Washington State University football player Tyler Hilinski after he did not show up for practice earlier in the day. Officers arrived and found 21-year-old Hilinski deceased in the apartment with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

    >>

    PULLMAN, Wash. - Pullman Police say at around 4:30 pm, officers responded to the Aspen Village Apartments to check on the welfare of Washington State University football player Tyler Hilinski after he did not show up for practice earlier in the day. Officers arrived and found 21-year-old Hilinski deceased in the apartment with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

    >>
  • Brother of Spokane Valley man who drove into Hayden Lake speaks

    Brother of Spokane Valley man who drove into Hayden Lake speaks

    Tuesday, January 16 2018 9:59 PM EST2018-01-17 02:59:29 GMT

    HAYDEN, Idaho - He was a brother, son, father and loved by many. 34-year-old Christopher Lancaster lost his life tragically after crashing his car into Hayden Lake over the weekend. Now his family wants his memory to live on. Chris' brother, Dustin, say Chris had just gotten a new IT job on Friday. Now he leaves behind two sons.

    >>

    HAYDEN, Idaho - He was a brother, son, father and loved by many. 34-year-old Christopher Lancaster lost his life tragically after crashing his car into Hayden Lake over the weekend. Now his family wants his memory to live on. Chris' brother, Dustin, say Chris had just gotten a new IT job on Friday. Now he leaves behind two sons.

    >>
  • Coug nation reacts to death of WSU QB Tyler Hilinski

    Coug nation reacts to death of WSU QB Tyler Hilinski

    Wednesday, January 17 2018 1:09 AM EST2018-01-17 06:09:22 GMT

    PULLMAN, Wash. - The Washington State University community and Coug fans everywhere continue to mourn after news broke that 21-year-old quarterback Tyler Hilinski took his own life Tuesday afternoon. Friends, fans and family took to social media with the hashtag #RIP3 to discuss the loss of a special young man and a talented athlete.

    >>

    PULLMAN, Wash. - The Washington State University community and Coug fans everywhere continue to mourn after news broke that 21-year-old quarterback Tyler Hilinski took his own life Tuesday afternoon. Friends, fans and family took to social media with the hashtag #RIP3 to discuss the loss of a special young man and a talented athlete.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • No luck in search for escaped Yellowstone bison

    No luck in search for escaped Yellowstone bison

    Wednesday, January 17 2018 10:31 PM EST2018-01-18 03:31:31 GMT

    YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo (AP) - Yellowstone National Park hasn't found any of the more than 50 bison that escaped through a cut fence at a containment area where they were being prepared for transfer to the Fort Peck Tribes. Park staff discovered Tuesday that 52 of the animals had escaped the Stephens Creek facility near Gardiner, and the National Park Service has begun a criminal investigation.

    >>

    YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo (AP) - Yellowstone National Park hasn't found any of the more than 50 bison that escaped through a cut fence at a containment area where they were being prepared for transfer to the Fort Peck Tribes. Park staff discovered Tuesday that 52 of the animals had escaped the Stephens Creek facility near Gardiner, and the National Park Service has begun a criminal investigation.

    >>
  • Court documents: Lewiston man arrested for rape, posting videos online

    Court documents: Lewiston man arrested for rape, posting videos online

    Wednesday, January 17 2018 10:14 PM EST2018-01-18 03:14:21 GMT

    LEWISTON, Idaho - A Lewiston man is facing multiple charges after investigators say he raped an unconscious woman and posted videos online. According to court documents, the victim contacted Nez Perce County deputies on January 12, and said a video of her having sex without her consent was posted online.

    >>

    LEWISTON, Idaho - A Lewiston man is facing multiple charges after investigators say he raped an unconscious woman and posted videos online. According to court documents, the victim contacted Nez Perce County deputies on January 12, and said a video of her having sex without her consent was posted online.

    >>
  • VA Medical Center in Spokane plans to return to 24-hour emergency care

    VA Medical Center in Spokane plans to return to 24-hour emergency care

    Wednesday, January 17 2018 9:54 PM EST2018-01-18 02:54:51 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Nearly 30 years after serving in the Gulf War, 61-year-old Lee LeTeff is fighting a different battle: She wants better access to health care. “My back, my neck, my hips, my knees, my ankles, my elbows, and my wrist,” said LeTeff. “Every joint hurt if I move it past a certain point.” LeTeff is one of the countless veterans whose health needs require care from a Veterans Affairs Medical Center. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Nearly 30 years after serving in the Gulf War, 61-year-old Lee LeTeff is fighting a different battle: She wants better access to health care. “My back, my neck, my hips, my knees, my ankles, my elbows, and my wrist,” said LeTeff. “Every joint hurt if I move it past a certain point.” LeTeff is one of the countless veterans whose health needs require care from a Veterans Affairs Medical Center. 

    >>