Monday, January 7, 2013

Law enforcement industry dividing spoils from Interstate 90/25 cannabis commerce

Most right-wing media outlets continue to stigmatize cannabis by referring to the herb using the 'm' word. Spokane, Washington's Spokesman Review is one example: it services many red state readers downwind of its blue state address.

Eastbound I-90 through Idaho is among the first of a multitude of lucrative traps for unwitting cannabis rights pioneers.
High-grade cannabis grown in Washington, Oregon and Northern California is worth about $1,800 to $2,500 a pound locally. But in Chicago the price jumps to $5,000 a pound and can climb even higher on the East Coast, law enforcement officials say. The Idaho State Police patrol division is seeing a surge in marijuana seizures. In 2012, troopers confiscated more than 660 pounds in 45 traffic stops involving at least a pound of pot. Most of that was in the Boise area along Interstate 84, followed by the I-90 corridor in North Idaho.

The trade group for Washington’s self-regulated medical marijuana industry is pushing for changes in state law that will help bring production and distribution out of the shadows, said Greta Carter, executive director of the Coalition for Cannabis Standards and Ethics. “The more that cannabis can be routed into legitimate markets, where we can tax and we can regulate and control it, the less appealing the underground economy becomes,” Carter said. --Scott Maben, The Spokesman Review
Jonathan Martin in the Seattle Times says the legislature may be weighing changes, that Carter is pushing for new laws to protect patients from arrest and to explicitly allow medical cannabis dispensaries. Colorado Public Radio provided similar testimony touting that state's providers' rigorous oversight.

If states want to control sales and punish minors for possession these might be some realistic inaugural steps: odd that they appear analogous to the operation that sent Montana's Chris Williams to federal prison.

Bob Newland tells readers that efforts are underway to introduce kinder, gentler language in South Dakota law and Montana's legislature is being seated: the red state nut race drags on.

If President Obama is seeking a replacement for Attorney General Eric Holder it's been quiet.

Yep: I-90 and I-25 intersect here, just a few miles from Pumpkin Buttes.