After rescinding the Cole Memo, the Justice Department virtually set U.S. attorneys throughout the country loose on the legal marijuana market. U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling threatened Massachusetts in January and now the Oregon marijuana market is being threatened by U.S. Attorney Billy Williams.
Many of the states that have legalized recreational marijuana already had a rather prolific illegal marijuana market, and one of the desires of ending prohibition was the elimination of the marijuana black market. The illegal marijuana market is still thriving and it very well may be that legal marijuana grows are fueling it. The illegal cannabis crossing state lines is drawing the ire of the Justice Department as it does not feel like states such as Oregon, California and Colorado are doing enough to stave off the black market.
U.S. Attorney Billy Williams laid out his plans for the unprecedented event in a recent newspaper column , saying Oregon has a “massive marijuana overproduction problem” that is attracting cartels and criminal networks and sparking money laundering, violence and environmental woes.
“In sum, I have significant concerns about the state’s current regulatory framework and the resources allocated to policing marijuana in Oregon,” Williams wrote in The Oregonian, adding the summit and the state’s response to his concerns would “inform our federal enforcement strategy.”
“The Justice Department clearly is unhappy that the states aren’t doing more to stop marijuana activity outside the state legal system,” Roberts said. “I suspect that for DOJ to allow the states to keep making money off legal marijuana, DOJ will want to see a real commitment of state tax dollars to law enforcement efforts against black market growing and trafficking heading out of state.”
The summit being called for by U.S. Attorney Billy Williams in Oregon to basically brainstorm about the prevalence of the black market and the possibility that the surplus of legal marijuana is leaking into the black market does not sound terrible by itself. Don’t you believe that the legal marijuana market should not feed the illegal marijuana market?