Illegal pot sales boom in California after legalization

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    • #59721
      • Total Posts: 6,184

      COSTA MESA, Calif. — In the forests of Northern California, raids by law enforcement officials continue to uncover illicit marijuana farms. In Southern California, hundreds of illegal delivery services and pot dispensaries, some of them registered as churches, serve a steady stream of customers. And in Mendocino County, north of San Francisco, the sheriff’s office recently raided an illegal cannabis production facility that was processing 500 pounds of marijuana a day.

      It’s been a little more than a year since California legalized marijuana — the largest such experiment in the United States — but law enforcement officials say the unlicensed, illegal market is still thriving and in some areas has even expanded.

      “There’s a lot of money to be made in the black market,” said Mendocino County Sheriff Thomas Allman, whose deputies seized cannabis oil worth more than $5 million in early April.

      Legalization, Allman said, “certainly didn’t put cops out of work.”

      “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”
      ~Samuel Clemens

    • #59730
      • Total Posts: 578

      Tax revenue is the strongest political argument for the legalization of recreational pot.

      That said, if the taxes are disproportionally high, there is an avenue for black market weed to thrive.

      Further, the infrastructure for black market pot has always been in place. It takes time for the well established black market to diminish. The new law cannot immediately make that established black market infrastructure disappear and the black market will never significantly diminish until recreational use is addressed at the federal level.

      The repeal of alcohol prohibition did not prevent illegal distilleries, but it did move the vast majority of alcohol use within a regulatory system, and it did so increasingly over time. Illegal alcohol still thrived in “dry” counties where the black market niche still remained. Alcohol prohibition was addressed at the federal level, and the black market was more easily and quickly mitigated as a result.

      There is a subtle relative difference here. Alcohol prohibition was repealed nationally and remained criminalized at a local level in various regions. Pot prohibition is in the process of being repealed locally, yet remains criminalized nationally. This must be taken into account when comparing how their respective black markets have been effectively mitigated.

      "I welcome their hatred" Franklin D Roosevelt

    • #59760
      NV Wino
      • Total Posts: 7,713

      The regulations, taxes and permits are so onerous that growers can’t comply and stay in business, much less turn any kind profit. We made it legal, but in the process of doing so, killed the small entrepreneur. The deck is stacked for the corporations yet again.

      “As we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore.” Barbara Lee
      “Politicians and pro athletes: The only people who still get paid when they lose.” William Rivers Pitt

    • #59776
      Ohio Barbarian
      • Total Posts: 21,304

      If the black market, be it for booze, pot, or underwear, can sell for significantly less than the legal market, the black market will always thrive. This principle is as old as trade itself.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #59808
      • Total Posts: 2,496

      There will always be a black market if the street price is cheaper than the legal price. Why pay $400 when you can get it for $200?

      I don't waste my time teaching pigs to sing.

    • #59810
      Sanders Independent
      • Total Posts: 58

      sidebar: I was driving home with my daughter today and wondered out loud when Circle K or 7/11 would merge with an enterprising Dispensary.  Then I thought, wait a minute….maybe WE should open the first one.

      formerly SandersDem @Squibbles on Twitter

    • #59815
      • Total Posts: 74

      In my little town in Northern Solano County, we actually have one dispensary. It opened post-legalization. It’s convenient, but we’re taxed at 33%! There is a county tax, a state cannabis tax, and the town has their own tax as well. Some member of the state legislator proposed a moratorium on the taxes for two years exactly because of the black market, but the proposal died in committee.

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