WEED FEED / John Ross Ferrara / Monday, Feb. 5 @ 9:49 a.m.
WEED FEED: Oregon Grows Three Times More Marijuana Than State Will Legally Consume, Experts Say
No matter how much pot residents smoke, vape, dab or eat, Oregon is growing way more than it will legally consume, the state’s top federal prosecutor said last week.
The Associated Press reports that U.S. Attorney Billy Williams called together representatives from 13 U.S. Attorney’s offices on Friday. The FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, as well as U.S. attorneys from California, Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Montana and Washington attended the meeting, centered around quelling marijuana overproduction and keeping the drug off the black market.
“Here’s what I know in terms of the landscape here in Oregon, and that is, we have an identifiable and formidable marijuana overproduction and diversion problem,” Williams is quoted saying in the AP article. “And make no mistake about it, we’re going to do something about it.”
Williams’ actions come after Attorney General Jeff Sessions withdrew the Cole memo, an Obama-era policy directive telling federal prosecutors to lay off states that have legalized recreational marijuana use.
However, Oregon Governor Kate Brown told officials at the meeting that Williams assured her administration that lawful Oregon businesses will not be targeted by law enforcement.
While there’s no official data on how much illegal black-market weed is leaving the Beaver State, former Oregon State University professor and marijuana economics expert Seth Crawford told the AP that he estimates Oregon grows up to three times more weed than the state legally consumes.
“You created this huge industry that has nowhere to put its product,” Crawford told the AP. “If you were an investor and you had just dropped $4 million into a [marijuana] grow and you had thousands of pounds of flower that was ready to go but you had nowhere to sell it … if you want any of your money back, the only thing you can do is sell it on the black market. It was a system designed for failure.”
California is facing a similar problem. Hezekiah Allen, the executive director of the California Growers’ Association, told the Los Angeles Times in July, that he estimates the state grows up to eight times more weed than Californians can legally consume.
While 30 states and District of Colombia have legalized some form of marijuana, it is still illegal under current federal law to ship marijuana out of state.
The Weed Feed is a weekly column written by John Ross Ferrara.
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