Wednesday, September 14, 2022
The Human Trafficking -Cannabis Industry Hype by Mark Rose
The Human Trafficking -Cannabis Industry Hype
You may have seen recent news reports hyping up human trafficking in the cannabis industry. And while it's true that a small amount of illegal cannabis is finding its way into legal dispensaries, I'm here to tell you that the hype is just that—hype.
I should know. I paid a heavy price by losing my Dispensary Grateful Meds in Nederland Colorado because of legislation that was passed in 2010. Prior to that I operated my dispensary using the caregiver model that was voted into our State constitution in 2000 by the people of Colorado, I opened my dispensary June 1 2009, I think there was 4 dispensaries then. This was well before the state-licensed medical cannabis industry was born. And then of course legalization for personal use later. I had predicted back then that there would be a domino effect and once other States saw that the sky was not falling in Colorado they flipped. I also said that it would be legal Federally in 10 years, people laughed at me. Well it has been past 10 years but there is a bill in Congress for legalization of Cannabis.
The Real Problem with Illegal Cannabis
So if human trafficking isn't the problem, what is? The real problem is prohibition of any kind. As long as cannabis is illegal at the federal level, there will always be a black market for it. And as long as there's a black market for cannabis, there will always be a risk of human trafficking in it. But it should be asked, was this problem better when Cannabis was illegal? Back when the billions of dollars made from the sale of cannabis in each State annually went to places like Mexico and Columbia. My whole argument when testifying at Colorado's State Legislature regarding legalization was about keeping the money local. When I lived in Nederland where I started my dispensary I preached about keeping the money circulating locally. I believe that on a national scale also, there is no need for us to be importing Cannabis or letting foreign folks that are here illegally have grow operations in our National Forests or middle class neighborhoods.
It's time for Congress to end cannabis prohibition and finally bring this burgeoning industry out of the shadows. Only then will we be able to fully address the problems of human trafficking and the illegal cannabis market. Until then, the hype surrounding human trafficking in the legal cannabis industry is nothing more than a distraction from the real issue at hand.
by Mark Rose