R.T. Rybak defends blaming homicides on dope buyers

Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak thinks we gave him short shrift this morning, after he blamed marijuana buyers for the recent spike in gang violence and homicides around the city. So he did what a lot folks do: He offered a (lengthy) comment below our post.

"The comments I made about this are a lot more complex than you state here," he said. "My point about marijuana comes in here: The gangs that operate in this area get a lot of money from the sale of drugs and the key money drug is marijuana. If you buy marijuana in this area it's a good bet that they money you paid directly or indirectly gets back to the gangs who are part of this violence."

If you spent a lot of money at a store and every week or so the owner walked onto the street and shot someone, you would (hopefully) stop going to the store. That's what I ask about marijuana: stop giving money to the people who are killing people," Rybak said.

Have your own views about legalization and whether it's a harmful drug, Rybak continued, but there's "an underground economy that leads to violence and many middle class people who think they have nothing to do with this are funding that. It's time people owned that fact."

He identified himself in the comment. But just to make sure someone wasn't impersonating him, we got a confirmation from his chief of staff, Jeremy Hanson Willis, that, yes indeed, the mayor was reading The Blotter, and offering his own thoughts.

The mayor's original comments came of the heels of the city's 20th homicide this year: Derrick Gregory Martin's shooting death Monday night on the Lake Calhoun bike path was part of a gang war that appears to have spilled into a normally peaceful part of the city.

Here are the others:

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