COLORADO: The U.S. Department of Justice says it raided medical marijuana facilities Thursday because they were violating one or more of the “enforcement priorities” laid out in an Aug. 29 agency memo.
If that’s indeed the case, then Coloradans should support the crackdown, because those priorities are largely sound.
They include, for example, “preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors” and preventing the diversion of cannabis to other states. Who could argue?
Coloradans approved medical marijuana back in 2000 in order to help patients, not to abet drug trafficking or socially destructive diversions of the drug.
Some observers of the pot scene are wondering if federal agents were also trying to send a message to Colorado’s upcoming retail establishments, which will begin to open in January in compliance with Amendment 64.
We have no idea, but does it matter?
After all, if the federal government is genuinely committed to allowing retail sales of recreational marijuana to go forward rather than blocking them, then a message to growers and sellers that they’d better mind their p’s and q’s is actually quite timely. Most Coloradans, including most who voted for Amendment 64, no more want their state to become a marijuana free-for-all than do the feds.
Mike Elliott, head of the Medical Marijuana Industry Group, cautioned against assuming anyone’s guilt, while adding, “Really, I see enforcement actions happening as a sign our industry is maturing and this program is working.”
In other words, if these are bad actors who have been corraled, then good riddance.