By "Radical" Russ Belville on January 7, 2011
(Denver Post) State law enforcement officials today unveiled an indictment against an alleged large-scale marijuana-trafficking ring the officials say were using Colorado’s medical-marijuana laws as cover.
Nine people were named in the 21-count indictment announced this morning by Colorado Attorney General John Suthers. In the announcement, Suthers said investigators from his office and the Northern Colorado Drug Task Force seized more than 110 pounds of marijuana and 687 cannabis plants during the investigation.
“This case, while disturbing, should come as no surprise to Coloradans who have been concerned that there is a nexus between Colorado’s booming medical marijuana industry and illegal distribution of the drug,” Suthers said. “This case counters the contention among marijuana advocates and some public officials that a regulated medical marijuana system will undercut the illicit market for marijuana.”
John Suthers sure is good at fighting strawmen. Nobody has ever claimed that a regulated medical marijuana system undercuts the illicit market for marijuana – we’ve claimed that providing a regulated system keeps patients out of the illicit market for marijuana.
So long as 90% of the people who enjoy using cannabis are defined as criminals, there will be some of them who do everything possible to protect themselves under a medical marijuana law. So long as the market for those 90% is criminal, there will be some who use a medical marijuana law to protect their business. The only thing that can undercut the illicit market for marijuana is to make the market legal.