How Retail Cannabis Can Help Law Enforcement

By September 16, 2014Marijuana Facts, Marijuana Laws


What was supposed to be an optimistic “you’re doing such a good job” look into the pile of dollars stemming from legal marijuana sales in Colorado, quickly took a different turn. Law-enforcement and state officials started speaking of abuse of the medical cannabis system and their concerns about normalization of the industry. During a hearing in Denver on above-mentioned subject, police chiefs sounded defeated as they outlined unfunded mandates in their quest to implement experimental regulations governing a booming pot industry. In other words, they believe some of the revenue from marijuana sales should go towards training and enforcement. “We have done a pathetic job of training our law enforcement in getting out in front of this to the point where we can teach those law-enforcement officers how to do what they need to do,” said an angry Chief John Jackson, head of the Greenwood Village Police Department and president of the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police.

Police Officials Want A Piece Of Pot Revenue For Themselves

Various police officers have expressed a wide range of concerns. None of them forgot to mention the question that’s bothering probably every law enforcement official in the states that have opened the door to legal marijuana: keeping roads safe from stoned drivers. Other issues included keeping marijuana out of the hands of youth, what to do with organized crime, diversion and unregulated home-grow operations. Chief Jackson stole the show that evening in Denver, storming at lawmakers for having placed such a heavy burden on law enforcement officials to regulate such infantile industry. He had pretty specific demands and sounded as he had done his homework – being one of the police chiefs who sent a letter to Gov. John Hickenlooper puts him in the spotlight. They have stated that police officials would like to receive 10 to 15 percent of the pot tax revenue for things like marijuana compliance officers, task forces dealing with trafficking, a statewide database on marijuana crimes and of course – training. Because it’s all about the public safety, isn’t it?

What’s So New About Marijuana?

We tried really hard to think what’s so unfamiliar to police officers about marijuana consumption. It’s not like this is the first time they have encountered the issue – marijuana has been among us for a very long period of time. “Marijuana is not new to our communities,” said Mike Elliott, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group. “It’s being used and sold across the country, and what we’re trying to do here in Colorado is simply trying to control it through licensing and regulations. It’s not really that revolutionary of a concept. It’s certainly what we did with alcohol.” It is only healthy to open a debate on new situation, however, police chiefs can make wish lists on and on – the legislature writes the budget. Over the next few weeks they will decide how to distribute the $184 million in pot tax revenue projected over the next year.


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