NEW YORK (MainStreet) According to an August 2012 report from the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (RHIDTA), a branch of the White House National Office of Drug Control Policy, marijuana smuggling out of Colorado to other states has increased.
The report states, "From 2005 to 2008, compared to 2009 to 2012, interdiction seizures involving Colorado marijuana quadrupled from an average per year of 52 to 242. During the same period, the average number of pounds of Colorado marijuana seized per year increased 77% from an average of 2,220 to 3,937 pounds. A total of 7,008 pounds was seized in 2012."
The RHIDTA is the Colorado office of the many HIDTA's, created by Congress in 1988, furnishing assistance to federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies operating in high drug-trafficking regions. The purpose of HIDTA is to reduce drug trafficking and production in the United States.
Medical marijuana became legal in Colorado in 2000. There must have been a problem with medical marijuana being diverted for recreational use within the state, because a new law was passed by Colorado in 2010 with the intent of preventing it.
But there was speculation among law enforcement was that medical marijuana from Colorado was also being shipped out of state. Now law enforcement is gathering data validating this.
"There has been a pretty significant increase in marijuana going to other states since it was legalized in 2009 and that is just what we catch," said Tom Gorman, RHIDTA's director.
"It goes to about 28 other states," Gorman continued. "We have another report coming out in the spring and indications are it has not slowed down and interdiction experts are saying only ten percent is caught. It is about three and a half tons going to other states."
That is a lot of grass - at current Colorado average market rates it comes to about $58,240,000. Not a bad annual earning - all of it untaxed of course.