D.C. Police Chief Says Illicit Marijuana Sales Tied To Violence As Congress Weighs Lifting Regulatory Blockade

MJ moment

The top police official in Washington, D.C. on Friday expressed concerns about the dangers of illicit marijuana sales, saying the activity is tied to violent crime. Meanwhile, Congress is considering lifting a prohibition on legalizing and regulating cannabis commerce—a move that advocates say could help mitigate those law enforcement challenges by bringing the market aboveground. Speaking about a recent shooting in the District, Police Chief Robert Contee said that many “have taken on a mindset of marijuana is not really a big issue in our city.” But the illegal trade of the plant is, he argued, a contributing factor to crime. The top cop didn’t explicitly weigh in on the politics of the issue, but D.C. voters approved an initiative in 2014 that legalizes personal possession and cultivation of cannabis. Yet there are no legal, regulated stores for people to obtain marijuana products at due to a longstanding congressional rider standing in the way—and so individuals are forced to go to the the illicit market to purchase cannabis. As a result, a vast unregulated industry has sprouted, including some businesses that “gift” marijuana to people who buy overpriced merchandise like t-shirts or juices, for example. “I can tell you that marijuana, undoubtedly, is connected to violent crimes that we’re seeing in our community,” Contee argued at a press conference near the site of last week’s shooting. “When you have something where people get high reward—they can make a lot of money by selling illegal marijuana—and the risk is low, the risk for accountability is very low, that creates a very, very, very, very, very bad situation because those individuals get robbed, those individuals that shot at, those individuals get involved in disputes all across our city.”

A primary goal of creating a regulated system of sales for cannabis…

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Source : D.C. Police Chief Says Illicit Marijuana Sales Tied To Violence As Congress Weighs Lifting Regulatory Blockade

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