Sunday, April 3, 2016

Victor Licata: Ybor City's Axe-Murdering Marijuana Addict

An American murderer who used an axe to kill his family in Ybor City on October 16, 1933. The killings, were reported by the Press as the work of a 
"axe murdering marijuana addict". 
Evidence that there was a link between recreational drugs, such as cannabis, and crime. Despite evidence Licata had a pre-existing history of mental illness, police and the press made unattributed claims that he was “addicted” to marijuana. On October 17, 1933 the Tampa Bay Times wrote:

W.D. Bush, city chief detective, said he had made an investigation prior to the crime and learned the slayer had been addicted to smoking marijuana cigarettes for more than six months. However, a day later the Chief of Tampa Police Department downplayed the role the drug had in the murders, although he pledged himself to the cause of marijuana prohibition.
"Maybe the weed only had a small indirect part in the alleged insanity of the youth, but I am declaring now and for all time that the increasing use of this narcotic must stop and will be stopped."
An October 20, 1933 editorial on page six of the Tampa Morning Tribune was entitled "Stop This Murderous Smoke". The editorial writer called for the prohibition of marijuana. here
83 Years later Tampa Decriminalizes Marijuana. here

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