How Federal legalization of marijuana will stop illegal operations and stop draining the resources of local law enforcement.

by Todd Mitchem

It’s no secret that marijuana legalization in states like Colorado, Washington and Oregon is working. Opioid overdose is down by 25%, new funding has been added to schools, and in Colorado we were just voted the number one economy in America (up from number three in 2015).  All of this is attributed to legal marijuana. Still our black market flourishes as reported by Police Commander James Henning in a local news story. But while some anti-marijuana activists in both the government and private sector would use this as an example for not legalizing marijuana, that logic is actually counter intuitive. 

The reason we do not have news stories about illegally made beer, as an example, is because this substance is not barred in random states. In fact it is the full legal system for all forms of alcohol, which give us over 3.9 million jobs, and a lack of black market in that space. The same was not true during prohibition of alcohol in the 1920’s. Back then it was prohibition, which created huge cartels, bootlegging of alcohol, and legendary levels of organized crime.

The legalization of cannabis is the same in the sense that it is the illegality of it, which creates the many unintended consequences from it crossing state lines to the rampant sales on craigslist. It is only when we fully legalize marijuana can we expect to see these more illegal operations diminish and more quality, consistent products enter the market.  It is the current patchwork of state-by-state misfiring of standards and policies that create our biggest problems, and only the federal legality, guided by our team, can solve this challenge.

I know some naysayers out there would say, “So Todd we should just legalize every drug and substance to stop underground?”  And to that I would say NO! In fact, I would rather the police, prosecutors, and lawmakers focus on keeping real dangerous substances away from our society, but marijuana is in a new and unique category of non-harmful substance.  There is no other organic plant that we grow naturally which has the same level of benefit both medically and recreationally. Pot consumers like my own mother and most of the $6 billion cannabis industry workers, understand that we can actually stop many of the illegal operations dead in their tracks by turning the lights on to legalization of a plant which we continue to realize each day, helps millions of people.

So to all you out there who claim that the legalization cannabis in some way leads to increase in crime, danger, or illegal operations, you are only looking at it with a limited lens.  We only disrupt illegal operations when we legalize pot, regulate it, and work to build a safe system for millions of jobs to flourish inside that legal marijuana system. #getreal