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Press Release

Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado

MSU Denver Students Present Community Impact Research June 24

Contact: Tim Carroll, Office 303-556-5136, Cell 303-870-7705

Posted: June 22, 2015

WHY:    Student researchers from Metropolitan State University of Denver will release findings of studies on the perceived impact of retail marijuana since sales began in Denver on Jan. 1, 2014. A summary of their findings will address crime statistics, community perceptions of livability, and the homeless population’s need for social service agency support.

Representatives from the Mayor's and Governor’s offices, the City Attorney’s Office, Denver Police Department, Denver Health Department, Divisional Social Services and Marijuana Industry Group will attend. This event is open to the public with limited seating.


WHAT: Research methods students in criminal justice and criminology, and psychology analyzed the effects of retail marijuana legalization as part of their fall 2014 and spring 2015 research projects. Following is a summary of research performed:

Perceived livability survey – 230 field surveys of metro Denver residents were performed to determine if perceptions of livability in Denver have changed within the city since legalization of marijuana.

Denver police crime statistics analysis – Crime rates were reviewed and grouped before and after legalization to determine if legalization affected Denver’s crime rate. Crimes were categorized by crimes against persons, crimes against property, crimes against society, drug/alcohol crimes, and traffic crimes.

Homeless population impact – Denver county homeless shelters employees and volunteers were surveyed to determine if legalization of marijuana has affected the shelter population.


WHERE: Student Success Building, Room 420, 890 Auraria Parkway

WHEN: Wednesday, June 24, 2015, 1 p.m., (Parking is available in Tivoli garage)

Event Agenda

Research presentation                                               1-1:45 p.m.

Media Q&A                                                              1:45-2:00 p.m.

Informal group discussion and interviews                   2:00 -2:15 p.m.


WHO:   Denise Mowder, Ph.D., J.D., Criminal Justice and Criminology assistant professor and former prosecutor

Rebecca Trammell, Ph.D, Criminal Justice and Criminology assistant professor

Randi Smith, Ph.D., Psychology assistant professor

Presenting students: Josette Barraza, Corey Engle, Diana Gonzales Escalante, Michael Moelendorf, Brittany Parker, Nicole Pyfer, Jesus Rodriguez, Nolan Taylor, Kristina Tinajero, Maria Jose Ytterberg.


About Criminal Justice and Criminology

The Criminal Justice and Criminology (CJC) program at MSU Denver provides students with opportunities to broaden their understanding of criminal justice systems and criminal behaviors within the information age. Knowledge and investigation in these areas contribute fully to an individual’s professional development. Included in this understanding is an awareness of the technological, societal, political, and economic implications of various approaches to different crime control policies and implementation strategies. The CJC undergraduate degree gives students a wide range of employment opportunities after its strong preparation for entry-level positions throughout government, corrections, policing and social services. The most common occupational categories for graduates include: police officers, probation officers, victim advocates, social service workers, correctional officers and youth workers.


About Metropolitan State University of Denver

MSU Denver is a leader in educating Coloradans in university programs particularly relevant to the state’s economy and the demands of today’s employers. With the highest number of ethnically diverse students among the state’s four-year colleges, MSU Denver offers 58 majors plus master’s degrees in accounting, teaching and social work. More than 21,000 students are currently enrolled at MSU Denver, and 75 percent of the University’s 80,000 graduates have remained in Colorado as valuable members of the state’s workforce. 

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