The recent arrests and legal actions against a former Marijuana Enforcement Division official and several marijuana industry license-holders here in Colorado has been touted by Attorney General Jeff Sessions as an example of why this industry is not working. In a letter to congressional leaders on May 1, he also suggested that in some way the regulated marijuana industry contributes to more illegal marijuana trafficking. In actuality, a regulated system like the one in Colorado has created a boom for us in the areas of job creation, revenue generation and increased law enforcement support, and the list goes on.
Only days after the release of a study saying that collision claim frequencies in Colorado are about 3 percent higher overall than would have been expected without marijuana legalization comes a competing report stating that the crash fatality rates haven’t changed significantly. These seemingly contradictory findings leave one marijuana reformer confused but certain that the sky isn’t falling.
It’s easy to buy pot in Colorado –– but not that easy. Federal law still prohibits mailing marijuana, and that was one of the red flags when two online marijuana retailers claiming to mail their products to purchasers were reported as scams to the Better Business Bureau of Denver.
Scott Pack has been indicted by an Arapahoe County grand jury for what attorney Matthew Buck has called “the largest fraud case in the history of Colorado’s marijuana industry.” Buck, who filed a lawsuit in the matter earlier this year, says the grand jury’s findings tie Pack to what prosecutors describe as a massive operation that grew marijuana for distribution outside Colorado and previously led to the indictment of sixteen people, including Pack associate Rudy Saenz. Among those reportedly indicted along with Pack is Renee Rayton, a former officer for the state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division.
One morning this spring, about two dozen L.A. cops arrived at a large marijuana grow facility with a battering ram. Without knocking, and armed with what the business owner called “full-on assault rifles, like something from a movie,” the owner said police proceeded to bash on the entrance.
Most sensible Americans these days believe in ending the War on Drugs. The facts are clear that low-level drug arrests ruin lives and tear families apart. Some day, selling weed in Florida will no longer feed thousands of new prisoners into the state’s broken criminal justiceBus system.