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Colorado Border States Decry Marijuana Crime Increases

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Colorado Border States Decry Marijuana Crime Increases

States bordering Colorado are reporting large increases in illegal marijuana coming in from the border. Least surprised is the DEA.

“[These] trends are what us in law enforcement expected would happen,” DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

This surge in illegal sales from Colorado is making law enforcement apprehensive, to say the least, about what will happen surrounding Washington state’s implementation of legal sales this summer.

Leonhart warns that neighboring Kansas has seen a 61 percent increase in marijuana-related crimes. Nebraska law enforcement says the problem has gotten bad enough that they want Colorado to foot the bill for these crimes.

The DEA’s concern, however, isn’t on the state level. They’ve been instructed to allow local authorities to handle such cases, ignore crimes on an individual basis, and put their focus elsewhere, such as preventing sales to minors.

Although Colorado citizens still fully support their legalization, skyrocketing tax revenues and tourism rates is a minor issue, in the DEA’s eyes, compared to cannabis getting into the hands of citizens in nearby states. Moreover, it seems, at least to industry representatives within Colorado, that the issue is being blown slightly out of proportion.

“We are moving from a black market to a regulated market,” Brian Vicente, Executive Director of Sensible Colorado, said to ABC News. “There are going to be some criminal actors and that’s where law enforcement can focus their resources. The vast majority of people who use marijuana in this state are acting in full compliance of the law.”

“Law enforcement can point to a couple dozen incidents of people shipping marijuana outside of the state in the 12 years we’ve had medical marijuana,” Vicente says.

As Amendment 64 is put into place, ironing out the kinks, Vicente believes the illegal sales will go back down. The proverbial ball will be in the hands of the remaining 48 states.

Should cannabis leaving Colorado’s borders be a concern for neighboring states? Tell us in the comments below.



  1. Nicole

    July 18, 2014 at 11:34 am

    I agree with the comment of the other 48 states joining for Hemp, I would love for it be legal here in MO soon. As we have some of the best land for crops. The revenue that could come from here could double the out put of hemp for industrial uses , with out the need of importing or drastically changing the dirt available.

  2. Johnna Stahl

    June 3, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    I wish I could find some Colorado bud here in New Mexico — really, from anywhere else would be an improvement. And the anti-drug folks in New Mexico complain plenty about Colorado, both for its “easy” medical marijuana program, and for legalization. Irrational fear can make people… irrational.

  3. Andor

    May 27, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Maybe the other 48 States need to follow suit and legalize and collect the Tax revenue and be done with it……”crimes solved”

  4. Josh

    May 26, 2014 at 9:11 am

    No matter what, it is against the law in these states. It should not be Colorado’s fault that people are taking it from there, it is the laws fault for not doing anything about it! If Utah is against weed, let Utah Handle their issues. Don’t go crying to mom and blame someone else. However, it should just be legal everywhere so we can focus on the real problems, like meth and herion

  5. Daniel Diamond

    May 25, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    I live in Colorado and I have seen nothing but a positive revenue for this state ,which is being spent on education and other places the state needs money.In five years when the state has a surplus of funds while the rest of the country slips further into debt.Also hemp being one the strongest biodegradable fibers on the planet.

  6. James Aitken

    May 23, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    The states complaining(except for New Mexico) are Red states that don’t like weed to begin with and spew a lot of propaganda anyway. New Mexico and Texas get a lot of their weed from Mexico. Typical RightWing propaganda.

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