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Misleading Baltimore Stats for Celebrating Lax on Crime

Summary:
In 2020, the City of Baltimore stopped prosecuting "minor charges" such as drug crimes.  The headlines are that 2020 crime "went down a lot" from 2019.  Homicides fell by 13.Not mentioned is that, over a similar time frame (2020 Q1-Q3 vs 2019 Q1-Q3), "Opioid Intoxication Deaths" increased by 48 persons (at an annual rate).  That is an increase of 36 percent, compared to 21 percent for the rest of the state of Maryland or 3 percent for Baltimore 2018-2019. Of course a lot of unusual things happened during the pandemic, which was also experienced by the rest of Maryland and the world.  But is there any reason to be confident that lax enforcement of drug laws would not increase activity associated with fatally dangerous drugs?

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In 2020, the City of Baltimore stopped prosecuting "minor charges" such as drug crimes.  The headlines are that 2020 crime "went down a lot" from 2019.  Homicides fell by 13.

Not mentioned is that, over a similar time frame (2020 Q1-Q3 vs 2019 Q1-Q3), "Opioid Intoxication Deaths" increased by 48 persons (at an annual rate).  That is an increase of 36 percent, compared to 21 percent for the rest of the state of Maryland or 3 percent for Baltimore 2018-2019. 

Of course a lot of unusual things happened during the pandemic, which was also experienced by the rest of Maryland and the world.  But is there any reason to be confident that lax enforcement of drug laws would not increase activity associated with fatally dangerous drugs?

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