US Attorney for Colorado, Bob Troyer, signaled potential prosecution of “state legal” marijuana operations and their investors in an op-ed written last Friday in the Denver Post. The piece signaled a new approach to reigning in Big Marijuana in states that have legalized. In the editorial, Troyer stated that his office would begin taking legal action against federally illegal marijuana businesses and their investors that have used Colorado’s so-called legal status “as a shield”. In response, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) President Dr. Kevin Sabet released the following statement:
“Law enforcement in Colorado have been working overtime to combat this thriving market that has been using the cover of legalization in the state to ship illicit pot to at least three dozen states. Now, the Attorney’s office is shifting from combating the symptom of the illicit market (illegal grow operations on federal lands) and instead getting to the root of the problem: state licensed operations and their investors that are nothing more than a front for illegal activity.
“Contrary to the promises of legalization advocates, legalizing pot does not discourage the illicit market, it makes it easier for it to thrive. The legalization ‘experiment’ has turned legalized states into glorified production centers for criminal enterprises and foreign cartels. It is my sincere hope that US Attorneys in other states follow suit.
“A handful of states currently are being courted by the marijuana industry’s deceptive promises. However, five states have rejected legalization and no states have legalized since 2016. I applaud the efforts of the US Attorney’s office in their stewardship of public safety and public health and ask policymakers nationwide to learn from his leadership.
“Colorado’s experiment in marijuana legalization has led to youth use in Colorado at 85% higher than the national average, and marijuana-related traffic fatalities up 151%. 70% of dispensaries are recommending highly-potent pot to pregnant mothers, environmental concerns over water and energy consumption are abound, and a booming illegal market exploiting the lax regulatory system has flourished. This ‘experiment’ has failed by all measures.”