Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek thinks pot makes you violent

Categories: Drugs
RichStanek.jpg
Have you ever heard of anyone being a violent stoner, Sheriff Stanek? We think not.
No doubt, smoking ganja makes folks aggressive -- toward snack foods. But toward humans?

SEE ALSO: The new Green Giant looks like he just took a bong rip [PHOTO]

As counterintuitive as that may seem, it's the sincere belief of Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek, who argued in a Sunday Star Tribune op-ed that "there is a direct connection between marijuana and violent crime."

The point of Stanek's piece was to express "extreme disappointment" in the U.S. Department of Justice's recent decision not to challenge the legalization of pot in Colorado and Washington.

"Marijuana is illegal under federal law and should remain that way," Stanek continued, asserting that it's "an addictive gateway drug that harms Minnesota's children and public safety in every community in our state."

Stanek doubled down on his position during an interview with MPR earlier today, saying, "When I look at my jail and I see 40,000 people a year booked into the front doors, 54 percent of the ones booked for violent offenses are under the influence of marijuana when they commit those violent offenses -- you know, I've got to take a step back and say, wait a minute. There is a direct correlation."

"When you show me that in a jail that books 40,000 people a year for a variety of offenses, whether drunk driving, domestic assault, rape, robbery, murder, and I don't have 54 percent of them under the influence of marijuana, maybe I'll say something different," Stanek continued. "But at this point the facts speak for themselves."

But while it may be the case that 54 percent of those booked into Hennepin County Jail have THC in their system, that doesn't necessarily mean smoking pot had anything to do with their criminal behavior -- after all, THC can stay in a person's system for weeks, and nobody would believe that a joint smoked two weeks ago played a role in an assault that happened yesterday.

Furthermore, contra Stanek, an explainer on the connection (or lack thereof) between marijuana use and violence put together by the University of Washington notes that "no definitive correlation between marijuana use and violence in adults has been establish[ed]."

"Violence in anyone, including marijuana users, often has a multicausal explanation, with numerous factors impacting behavior, such as increased life stress, aggressive personality traits, multidrug use, or a history of violent behavior," the explainer continues, citing academic studies.

Lastly, two wrongs don't make a right, but let's be real -- drunkenness more often plays a role in causing violent behavior than being stoned, yet nobody is talking about bringing back prohibition.

And one further point -- how much easier would it be to pay for projects like the Vikings stadium if marijuana were legalized and taxed?

But ultimately, the proof will be in the pudding, so to speak, and the pudding is almost ready to be eaten (or smoked) -- the first recreational marijuana retail shops in Colorado are expected to open around right around January 1, 2014. And if legalization goes well and proves lucrative there and in Washington, you can bet other states will follow suit sooner than later.

h/t -- Dan Feidt

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.



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124 comments
stephenreb
stephenreb

In the late sixties Playboy ran a single-frame cartoon with two cops walking a beat.  One says to the other: "I smoked pot once.  It made me want to rape and kill."

LOLThc
LOLThc

Almost just as revelant to say water makes you violent.. I hope this guy isn't  for real, with a name like Dick Stanek I don't put it past this man though.. http://www.lolthc.com

Hank Schoonover
Hank Schoonover

Um..I had some friends in college who smoked a lot...some of them got pretty cranky and irritable. I don't mean to be contrary here but he might be on to something here. I'm not saying it happens with everyone, but it can happen. Just like some people are mean drunks, and some get passive.

George Schmidt
George Schmidt

I totally believe it cause I remember fighting over the last donut once.

Jon Mulack
Jon Mulack

No, extremely stupid people that get elected and say and do even stupider shit makes me violent. What a dumb ass

Christen Winsor
Christen Winsor

All I wanna do is take my pants off, eat an entire box of cereal, and take a nap.

Ben Bakunin
Ben Bakunin

Well, he's retarded, and probably a violent douchebag to boot. He's got his violence goggles on.

Dennis Dillon
Dennis Dillon

After reading this, this JACKASS is just a complete MORON!!!!!!

Dennis Dillon
Dennis Dillon

Before I read this I'll bet he's a REPUBLICAN'T!!!

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

Stanek is the fairly typical unimaginative, uninquisitive authoritarian type so common in Law Enforcement.  Such people tend to believe whatever they are told by authority figures, whether or not it makes any sense. Indeed, if it conflicts with their own experiences, they tend to edit their recollections of their own experiences, so as to curry favor with the authority figures they worship.

Stanek isn't an evil guy, by all appearances. But he's exactly the kind of guy who should never be allowed to be in charge of anything.

Matthew Ikola
Matthew Ikola

Well if we end the war on drugs, old Rich doesn't get as much federal $$$ to play with.

Tanker10
Tanker10

Sounds like he's worried about his job , think of all the cops that would be out of a job if they ended this worthless war on drugs , talk about saving money . I did a year in Stillwater for 3 OZ back in 1979 and I still think the war on Drugs is a waste of money .

Kevin Mccarthy
Kevin Mccarthy

Dude, how many violent drunks do you arrest for assault and DUI annually as opposed to a stoner with the munchies? What a dope.

k2yeb
k2yeb

It all comes down to two things. Ingorance. Job security.

Adam Klugherz
Adam Klugherz

What he means is 54% test positive for weed in a drug test. You know, meaning they've smoked weed sometime within the previous month. Stanek is a moron.

Rene Klein
Rene Klein

If by violent you mean hungry, then you would be correct.

Steve Anderson
Steve Anderson

I think he's correct. I remember the guys in my dorm lounge smoking weed and then going on a violent rampage in search of Doritos.

Mare Anderson
Mare Anderson

You speak in a manner very much like the people I know who can't handle weed; abrasive and demeaning. Those who think we are all alike when it is convenient are merely lemmings or stuck on a hamster wheel. Have you ever worked with juveniles who haven't had their physiological problems addressed and turn to substances in hopes of changing how they feel only to find themselves more off track? I feel for your children and hope they never struggle with mental illness or such that doesn't make them "normal" like you. Thanks for helping me prove my point that a jury of my peers would be like jumping in quicksand, whew!

Mpls Dancehall
Mpls Dancehall

he should make a visit to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner office, ask Dr Andy or any of the ME's down there how many deaths they can find (within their own jurisdiction or IN ANY AROUND THE WORLD THROUGHOUT THE COURSE OF HISTORY) that can be attributed to the use (NOT the prohibition/illegality) of marijuana.

Daren L. MN
Daren L. MN

I actually am stoned in a home I own and not hassling anybody but you. ;)

DanMitchell
DanMitchell

I bet more than 54 percent of those booked for violent offenses also have knees and elbows. We must combat knees and elbows!

Daren L. MN
Daren L. MN

Ms. Anderson, what you have just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this thread is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

mmikrut
mmikrut

@Dennis Dillon = DIPSHIT

mmikrut
mmikrut

@Dennis Dillon = DIPSHIT

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