In a strategic, if not ominous, move, Denver’s U.S. Attorney’s Office is considering taking focus off of actual illegal drug trade and using those resources to expose legal, licensed dispensaries and other cannabis businesses as fronts for a lucrative drug trade that goes outside the bounds of the written law.
Up to this point, Colorado has focused entirely on prosecuting completely illegal operations, ones hidden away from the government and the public in general and that are meant to be distributed exclusively in the illegal marketplace.
“Where has our breathless sprint into full-scale marijuana commercialization led Colorado?” Troyer asks in a Denver Post op-ed. The question seems whimsical, but the litany of his following concerns is as serious as it gets. This is one Colorado resident, with the privilege of power, who was not and will not be part of the cannabis supporting majority.
In the op-ed, Troyer says of his many observations, including increases in plant and edible potency as well as an increase in alcohol use since legalization that, “these impacts are why you may start seeing U.S. attorneys shift toward criminally charging licensed marijuana businesses and their investors. After all, a U.S. attorney is responsible for public safety.”
He went on to say, “Now that federal enforcement has shot down marijuana grows on federal lands, the crosshairs may appropriately shift to the public harms caused by licensed businesses and their investors, particularly those who are not complying with state law or trying to use purported state compliance as a shield.”
The statements are ripe with judgment, stigma and even a threatening voice. Rather than focus on making sure regulations are being followed and making corrections where need be, the U.S. attorney seems to be on his own mission of malevolence. Looking at compliant businesses and then rubbing your hands together like a nefarious Mr. Burns is no way to deal out justice, in fact it seems to be very non judicial indeed.
While naturally Colorado cannabis advocates are in favor of stopping illegalities in the movement, they are wary of Troyer targeting businesses that are actually following the rules. “Targeting legal dispensaries that are doing their best to follow the letter of Colorado’s laws makes no sense without meeting with the owners and discussing their interpretation of the laws,” stated Kristi Kelly, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group.