The main driving force behind the legalization of marijuana in Colorado back in 2014 was that it would kill and end the sale of illegal marijuana within the state. But the opposite happened, the legalization of marijuana acted as a magnet for black market marijuana.
Governor John Hickenlooper spoke to Rocky PBS and said,” the intention was to make the black market disappear but instead it reduced for a moment and then grew back up. It was counter-intuitive and not what we expected.”
In 2013, voters of Colorado decided to decriminalize marijuana. People aged 21 and above within Colorado are now able to purchase a controlled amount of marijuana and cultivate it within their home for personal use.
A Strong Marijuana Black Market
Something happened in the coming years since legalization. The number of people being charged with marijuana felonies, like growing and possessing large amounts of marijuana increased in Colorado. These crimes have made it clear that the black market is strong and alive growing 7 times over from 2014 to 2017.
Law enforcement officials pointed to the statistics indicating an organized and robust underground market for illegal marijuana. The black market went even further to begin transporting illegal marijuana to other states. They have also found large grows of marijuana hidden deep in the national forests, rural farmlands and even in secluded homes in the suburban areas.
The black market from Colorado had grown and spread to at least 34 states.
Founder of the Terrapin Care Station, Chris Woods said,” the mistake that was made is that these states that legalized marijuana allowed home cultivation.”
The law enforcement authorities have been running raids to financially starve the drug trafficking organizations. They have however admitted that it has been a tough job and they have no idea if it is actually working.