By Joe Tilton
“There already here,” a state officer said.
The question came from a contingency from Colorado at the RxSummit in Atlanta, who said Chinese and Mexican mafia had dramatically populated the state to take over the marihuana trade, avoiding taxation and skirt so-called “legitimate” dealers. Their operations, such as home delivery, avoided taxes to sell weed at a lower price. Home delivery is illegal in Michigan, but it’s happening anyway.
Michigan has already taken measures to enforce up-coming marihuana laws by creating a 40-officer task force, with civilian agents, to stop unlicensed “medical” marihuana activities and stop the state’s black market. The first year for the team was investigating and enforcing tobacco tax avoidance plus process background checks on marihuana-facility license applicants.
Already pot sellers are complaining about “unfair and illegal” competition. Many unlicensed dispensaries have sprung up without even attempting the licensing process. A huge surprise came when Michigan’s Supreme Court allowed retail outlets selling pot to stay open, apparently feeling sorry for the poor sellers who find state processes “confusing” or too difficult. An example is a statement from Joe Neller, involved with Green Peak, which is a grow facility in the state. He said, “It’s unclear where the black market ends and where the licensed industry begins at this point.”
Through the Detroit News and direct contact with MSP, we know the State Police will be sorely tested to keep up with marihuana laws and the black market since the market is “shifting” according to officials.
The pot industry holds itself out as legitimate, but it’s not, and not even legal until the initiative petition is tested in court. This process could take two years since the legislative process was avoided by the pot industry.
The MSP Marihuana and Tobacco Investigation Section is working with some local prosecutors to investigate illegal operators, which MSP and Government see as a serious problem to the so-called “legitimate” market and tax money promised to state Government.
Loopholes are already being exploited even in the “legitimate” market. For example, they are selling a $10 box of chocolates for $50 with two to three grams of marihuana.
A marihuana-location site called “WeedMap,” shows 205 marihuana-delivery options in Michigan. The result is complaints by other pot dealers of being “cheated.” Illicit business advertising is prohibited, so why is it permitted for marihuana?
In spite of the 40-man MSP unit organized to enforce marihuana tax law, police have the attitude that they must limit their efforts for locations where they know prosecution will be successful. So, the system set up by the initiative petition and subsequent law plus court tests may not succeed given the dramatic growth of the black market and influx of Chinese and Mexican mafia.
What a mess! With loopholes in the coming legal market, the black market and mafia operations, Michigan is destined to become another Colorado, known as a seriously messed-up state from their legalization of marihuana. Pot is not a medicine. There is no difference between “medical” and “recreational” because it’s the same thing. Not only is pot an enforcement problem, it brings additional crime, traffic fatalities, delusional work force and lower standard of living. Pot users are 97-percent more likely to use fentanyl and meth. We will be paying for more law enforcement, jails and prisons, lawyers, judges, rehabilitation facilities, emergency-room visits and hospitalizations.
Personal visits with Colorado residents have revealed; their experiment with marihuana over the last six years is a dramatic failure they wish they had never allowed. This experiment on the brains of youth is, at least, a tragedy