Browsing: Smuggler’s Blues

illegal marijuana coloradoCourtesy of the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office

The headline of a post published in this space last year posed the question, “Is Pueblo the Drug Bust Capital of Colorado?” And in recent months, law enforcement in the community has answered this question with a resounding “Yes,” particularly when it comes to marijuana crimes with an international flavor. In a series of raids over the past four months, the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office, working in conjunction with other agencies, has seized more than 8,000 cannabis plants at allegedly illegal grows associated with foreign nationals. Among those arrested as part of the operations were eight men from Mexico and four from Cuba.

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During a recent interview with Westword, Smart Approaches to Marijuana President and CEO Kevin Sabet, one of America’s most influential critics of cannabis legalization, offered an unexpected observation about his visits to Denver. According to Sabet, a number of vehicles provided to him by Denver International Airport rental-car businesses over the past few years have smelled strongly of pot. He added that he’s had to exchange rentals multiple times at DIA before he’s been given one that didn’t reek of weed, giving him numerous opportunities to “educate” personnel at the agencies about the scope of a problem he views as positively chronic.

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Astrological vibes will take hold of America on August 21, when a solar eclipse will stretch across the United States. It will be close to complete in Colorado, and the path of totality is just a few hours away, in Wyoming.

In fact, Wyoming is considered one of the best places in the West to view the eclipse, with between 250,000 and 500,000 people expected to head into the state, taking advantage of its clear skies and place in the eclipse’s direct line. Towns from Jackson to Torrington are on the path, and Casper, four hours up I-25, is even holding a five-day festival leading up to the eclipse; the Astronomical League is holding its annual convention there just before the eclipse.

But the Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police has a warning for travelers coming from Colorado: Don’t bring your weed.

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Thirteen people associated with Hoppz’ Cropz stores in Colorado Springs, including co-owners Joseph Hopper, also known as “Joey Hops,” and Dara Wheatley, nicknamed “Boss Lady,” have been indicted on charges that they illegally distributed nearly 200 pounds of marijuana in a variation on the sort of “free” pot giveaway schemes that date back to the days before and just after the launch of legal recreational cannabis sales.

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