DEA Admits State-Level Marijuana Legalization Reduces Illegal Market Demand

DEA Admits State-Level Marijuana Legalization Reduces Illegal Market Demand

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently acknowledged in a report that state-level marijuana legalization reduces instances of illegal interstate trafficking. In its performance budget submission to Congress for fiscal year 2021, DEA gave an overview of its enforcement efforts and made predictions about future trends. Buried within the document is a subtle admission that giving consumers legal access to cannabis means that demand for marijuana products sourced from the illegal market decreases. DEA said “after the 2017 legalization of medical marijuana in Florida resulted in retail distribution centers throughout the [area of responsibility], the legalization of low-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (10%) smokeable medical marijuana in March 2019 is anticipated to lead to a growing market for Florida-sourced low-THC marijuana.” “Yet, until high potency marijuana becomes legalized in Florida, we believe the impact will be minimal on the demand for high-THC marijuana from California and other states,” it continued. “Until then, the potential for abusing current law remains a possibility due to the difficulty in detecting THC potency by law enforcement.” The acknowledgement seems to be two-parted. Not only is DEA recognizing the simple fact that people tend to prefer obtaining marijuana through legal channels, thus disrupting the illicit market, but the agency also uses the operative word “until” when discussing the prospects of adult-use legalization in the state. Justin Strekal, political director of NORML, told Marijuana Moment that DEA’s conclusion is “obvious.” “Just as the practice of bootlegging moonshine declined after the legalization of alcohol, so too would the smuggling of illicit…

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Source : MJ moment
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