Why Did the Police Stand by and Watch a Marijuana Dispensary Get Robbed in Broad Daylight?
It’s no secret that there isn’t a lot of love between the cops and most cannabis consumers. This could be due to decades of being hunted by the police in order to beef up their arrest quotas and being labeled as criminals in the eyes of the public, or the blatant and documented abuses from the badge wearing enforcers.
Nonetheless, with the legality of cannabis we did begin to see a shift in the way that the cops dealt with cannabis and cannabis users in general. In places like Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and the likes have seen the cops become more passive towards the activities of cannabis users, businesses, etc. In fact, some places have found police collaboration to be quite pleasant.
In California – something is happening. While overall, the state of California has seen a marginal increase of crimes, there are specific areas that has seen some significant shifts – namely, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, and San Diego. These places have seen a significant rise in homicides at a 30% increase and vehicle theft and commercial burglaries by 20%.
This is where our story comes in – the 20% increase in burglaries seems to correspond with numerous cannabis businesses who have been robbed. A recent Forbes Article outlined how 25 cannabis businesses were burglarized in the span of two weeks losing roughly $5 million dollars of inventory.
According to the cannabis businesses in that region, the police are either not responding to the crimes or in some cases simply letting them happen.
“San Francisco police responded to the scene of the crime—and then “stood by” and watched as at least three suspected burglars filled up a bag with merchandise, piled into a getaway car, and then politely executed a three-point turn before driving away.” – Forbes
According to authorities, there is a recent surge in crime due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. San Franciso also saw major retailers in Union Square get burglarized in “mob-style” fashion. However, in that instance the police did follow through and arrests were made.
In contrast, the police were aware of nearly 20 cannabis related businesses that were “burglarized” or had an “attempted burglary” directed towards the establishments according to Paul Chambers, a spokesperson of the Oakland City Police.
Other than this information, the police has been very quiet about their response to this rise in crime. Their silence however, did spark a few theories including;
· The police are at odds with cannabis legalization. Cannabis helped pad their arrest records and now they no longer have that as a department resource.
· Others believe it’s a form of protest in response to the George Floyd incident. In other words, they are essentially saying, “This is what a defunded police looks like…”
· Some believe that perhaps the police are hesitant due to potential “armed robbers” and their fear of being prosecuted under the current District Attorney Chesa Boudin. In other words, the police inaction could be a power play by the cops.
· Or probably the most logical answer – the cops are freaking out about the pandemic and are overwhelmed. After all, they are humans too….or so we think.
Of course, some of these ideas are wild personal projections mixed with a bowl of good weed. We might never know the motivation for the police’s inaction in the face of a rising crime wave.
According to Oakland Police Department, they are simply overwhelmed with a wave of violent crimes including homicide, car jackings, and armed robberies. While California has seen historic lows in crime over the past few years, places like Oakland and San Francisco is beginning to present symptoms of prolonged exposure to Covid Lockdowns.
The Covid Aftershock
At the time of writing this article, we’re nearing out second year being subjected to “Covid Enforcements” and lockdowns and at this point in time, all of the relief funds have run dry. Most government assistance has stopped and inflation has kicked in. In some cases, prices have risen sharply over the past year.
For food, we have seen an increase between 5% – 10% depending on the item. Gas has seen a 58% increase in certain places. All across the board there has been price increases, yet salaries have not seen similar growth.
Couple this with many people switching professions, getting laid off, or simply businesses closing down due to prolonged closure. Right now a perfect storm of poverty is brewing and when people start getting hungry, they tend to shift real quick into a far more violent version of human. These are the moments when radical ideas become “appealing” as people get tired of the struggles and with politicians seemingly in the dark about how the average Jane and Joe feels about “the state of things” – an aftershock is coming.
While many people are pro lockdowns to keep us all “safe”, this strategy excludes taking into account people who live paycheck to paycheck. Those that don’t have savings or corporate gigs to carry them over. These people still need to pay bills and buy food, and with a 10% hike in prices, that simply means there’s not enough money for the days in the month.
This is why property theft, car-jackings and the likes all have increased in those areas. This behavior stems directly from the conditions created by the Lockdowns and if something isn’t done about it sooner than later, it could swell into a very nasty period in our human history.
After all, it took only 10 years from 1920 for the Nazi Party to gain so much popularity that it became the second largest party in Germany in 1930. Nine years later, we had World War II.
I’m not saying that the conditions in Oakland is even remotely close to Germany during the last pandemic, however – we can consider the Nazi example as an extreme response to extreme situations. People were starving, afraid, broken –all it took was one charismatic asshole with a hard-on for death and violence to sway millions of Germans into engaging in one of the darkest periods of human history.
I don’t want to be an alarmist, and I still think that this may be too early to tell – however, we certainly must keep an eye on crime rates all over the world. As this pandemic continues with its current strategy, what comes after the virus might be far more dangerous.