As the economy of Colorado prepares to thrive with the trade and taxation on medical and recreational marijuana, there is a new initiative that the Colorado budget proposes. It aims to put in place an entirely new law enforcement unit for the state for investigating, combating, and eradicating the illegal marijuana business in Colorado. These illegal ops are, as a matter of fact, have mushroomed all over the state.
Gov. John Hickenlooper’s Initiative to Uproot Illegal Marijuana Business in Colorado
Governer Hickenlopper’s proposed budget for the year 2018-19 has set aside $1.2 million from the marijuana tax revenue for setting up a task force to “investigate black market marijuana operations across Colorado.” This task for is due to operate under the aegis of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. The total budget for the year 2018-19 amounts to $30.5 billion.
Gov. Hickenlooper expressed in a letter addressed to the legislative Joint Budget Committee, “Black market marijuana cultivation, distribution and exportation continues to increase in prevalence, especially in rural communities where local law enforcement agencies lack the resources necessary to coordinate an effective response. The unit will help reduce the number of black market grow operations and the nexus to organized crime.”
This initiative comes as a follow-up after the step to make the regulations for selling and buying marijuana in Colorado for recreational use stricter. Prior to those legislations, most illegal ops in Colorado had been exploiting the loopholes in the regulations. Earlier in 2017, the state of Colorado had put two new laws in effect – bringing down the limit of home-grown pot plants from 99 to 12 per household, and allocation a $6 million dollar grant 9as reimbursement) in the direction of curbing illegal activity by way of law enforcement.
What the Proposed Allocation Means
If the proposition is approved, there will be scope for recruiting eight new officers in the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. This team will include a supervisor, an administrative official, and six investigators, as revealed by Senior Deputy Legal Counsel and marijuana adviser to Hickenlooper, Mark Bolton.
The responsibilities of this force will include providing supplementary resources as well as expertise in the entire state. Its relevance, however, is more so for assisting the rural areas which are now the hubs for illegal marijuana businesses in Colorado since the department cracked down upon these ops in urban areas of the state. “A lot of those rural counties just don’t have the same amount of resources,” Bolton commented.
This proposal also justifies the promises that were made to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He had expressed concerns about the state’s competency in regulating the selling and buying of marijuana in Colorado effectively. This sounds like a great plan by Hickenlooper and Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman to prove its seriousness in fighting this sort of illegal activity. They also assure that more efforts will follow in 2018.
On the same, Bolton commented, “I think we want to do what we can to address this problem. I’m hopeful that we’ve put the infrastructure in place that we can really start to eradicate that behavior.”