In 2018 56% of voters voted for recreational marijuana legalization in Michigan. According to the ballot 21 years old and older residents can use and possess cannabis legally. Since December 2019, dealers have started to sell marijuana. Moreover, Police Assistant Chief Charles Fitzgerald claimed that the illegal drug trade changed its ways as well. Now instead of special locations like vacant houses dealers choose various places for individual meetings with their clients. So, it becomes harder to track marijuana, but it does not create so much nuisance for neighborhood residents. Besides, the government imposed taxes on cannabis sales and the money fills the city budget.
Surely, this fact had a great impact on drug enforcement activities. Earlier, marijuana-related cases made up the largest part of the police department drug alerts. As a result of cannabis legalization, in Detroit marijuana raid percentage dropped by 95% compared to 2012 data. For example, the number of raids conducted in 2012 was 3,462. Year after year this number has gotten lower and lower. Thus, during the last year, only 186 raids were made. Let’s agree that the dip is significant, and this tends to change police duties and preferences in Detroit.
Charles Fitzgerald said that the main focus of the police is now on residents' concerns in neighborhoods. “Today, the complaints we are getting the most are things like neighborhood speeding and drifting, or large crowd control during the summer, as opposed to drug locations, so we have adapted our enforcement efforts to reflect citizen complaints,” the letter said.
Unfortunately, Detroit remains an unsafe place because of violent-crime cases. Every 3 of 10 people at least once have been a victim of a crime in 2021. According to the last report, there were 11,908 violent incidents in a year. At the same time, in addition to these crimes, there were 14,677 offenses. By the way, these numbers remained constant from 2020-2021. Yet, murders were 900 more in 2021 compared to 2020 reaching 22900.