With numerous reports surfacing from news outlets within Colorado and surrounding areas, the nation has turned its focus back to the first state in the union to legalize marijuana for recreational use by adults, and wondering why federal and state busts are still occurring. What these news reports outline is the fact that in-state grow operations for both recreational and medical marijuana programs have been also utilized to supply other states’ black markets with high-quality cannabis.
Many states in the country have been looking towards Colorado as a model of how to form their own policies regarding both medicinal and fully legal cannabis programs. This latest round of raids forces a larger question however, one posed to the federal government: When are you going to legalize cannabis for the country and stop wasting tax payer dollars on a lost cause? Recent Gallup polls show that Americans now overwhelmingly favor the legalization of cannabis for adult use to the tune of 56 percent, with only 44 percent against.
In Colorado, law enforcement officials have called the investigation “very large” and “successful” — a bit of an oxymoron when one considers that a large operation costs millions of tax dollars on something that most Americans think should be legal in the first place.
Unconfirmed reports from sources within the Colorado cannabis industry identified several popular marijuana shops as the victims of the raid. Speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not yet authorized to comment on the case, sources further stated that the out-of-state neighbors facilitating the investigation stemmed from Minnesota, a state that has recently implemented its own medical cannabis program.
The question persists even further as to how law enforcement can be best utilized in this country, especially when tax money can be utilized for a battery of other national issues, like security (domestic terrorism), health (Ebola virus protocols) and unemployment initiatives. These raids involved two medical marijuana states — states which have shown progressive attitudes towards cannabis as well as tolerance, yet federal and state agencies have devoted hundreds of man hours and millions of dollars in a feeble attempt to prevent American adults and patients from easily obtaining a substance less harmful than alcohol or tobacco. The question is not whether or not these people were breaking marijuana laws; the question now is, when will the laws change so that ineffective law enforcement stops wasting America’s money on antiquated and unpopular blue laws that stem from the 1930s?
It is the hope of this 40-year-old publication that both Congress and the White House (yes, you, President Obama, you still have some time to do one solid for the people) wake up and get over what ever lingering paranoias still exist regarding cannabis and move this country forward into the 21st century, for the betterment of everyone.