Boots & Sabers

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1923, 16 Dec 22

Legal Weed Fueling Rise in Violent Crime and Human Trafficking

As predicted by so many

The marijuana black market has continued to thrive to the point where legitimate growers and sellers are struggling to stay afloat in areas of the country awash in illegal weed. In California, for example, the illegal weed market is “indisputably many times larger than the licensed community,” according to an analysis from the Los Angeles Times. That same report found that unlicensed farms outnumbered legal operations by as much as 10 to 1 in the state’s biggest cultivation areas.


Other states that have legalized recreational pot use, including Oregon and Colorado, have faced similar challenges. New York has grappled with a booming “gray market” of unlicensed weed sellers that emerged as the state worked to set up its new system for legal retailers. Other nations that have legalized pot like Canada and Thailand have faced similar challenges.


The thriving marijuana black market isn’t just harming legitimate sellers trying to compete. The proliferation of illegal pot farms has also brought with it a surge in violent crime, human trafficking and severe environmental damage in the areas where unlicensed growing is concentrated. States are also missing out on hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue when weed sales happen outside the legitimate market.


1923, 16 December 2022


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