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Detroit police linking 2020 homicides so far to marijuana

Marijuana deals have been a common theme in many of the 17 homicides reported in Detroit so far this year, the police chief said.

Police chief says violence occurs when buyers rob marijuana sellers or dealers rob customers

Marijuana deals have been a common theme in many of the 17 homicides reported in Detroit so far this year, the police chief said. (Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty Images)

Marijuana deals have been a common theme in many of the 17 homicides reported in Detroit so far this year, the police chief said.

Marijuana is legal under Michigan law, but small recreational sales aren't legal yet in Detroit. The illegal market is still thriving, Chief James Craig said.

He said violence occurs when buyers rob marijuana sellers or dealers rob customers.

"My staff tells me there are more shootings involving sales of black market marijuana than any other drug, including cocaine or heroin," Craig told The Detroit News.

Detroit City Council has banned recreational marijuana sales through Jan. 31. Council member James Tate wants to extend it through March. A vote could occur next week.

Craig said his officers are focusing on arresting people who illegally carry guns while buying or selling marijuana.

Stuart Carter, owner of a medical marijuana shop in Detroit, said marijuana sold on the street requires no taxes, testing or state license.

"The black market has no overhead, so it drives the price way down," Carter said.

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