Medical marijuana report proves Colorado MMJ being illegally diverted, advocate says
For years, medical marijuana opponents have argued that MMJ is being diverted for illicit recreational purposes, with industry advocates countering that there's no proof of such claims.
There is now, says Tom Gorman, director of the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. A new report entitled "Colorado's 'Medical' Marijuana" lists more than seventy such incidents. See it below.
"It's a very small study, a small sampling," Gorman says. "But I think it's the tip of the iceberg as to what exists out there. Indications are that it's being diverted from patients, caregivers and dispensaries."
The introduction to the report, which consistently puts the word "medical" in quotes, notes that "in a Rocky Mountain HIDTA (RMHIDTA) 2012 law enforcement-sensitive threat assessment, the original draft inferred that 'medical' marijuana was being diverted and that Colorado was becoming a source state for marijuana." However, "these statements were removed because they were not supported by actual data."
To address this issue, Gorman recommended to the RMHIDTA executive board that the organization "conduct a cursory assessment to determine whether there was any evidence that Colorado 'medical' marijuana was being diverted," the introduction continues.
As such, Gorman says, "we sent e-mails to different agencies asking, 'Do you have any information that would indicate Colorado's medical marijuana is being diverted?' And this is what we got" from nineteen law-enforcement organizations over the course of three weeks.
The data is far from complete, Gorman concedes. "We didn't sample the whole United States, and there's no requirement for any agency to say, 'This is really medical marijuana. This ties back to Colorado's medical marijuana.'"
Nonetheless, the RMHIDTA heard from plenty of peers from across the country, as illustrated by this map depicting the locations where Colorado medical marijuana is said to have turned up as part of investigations:
"There was one about buying 200 pounds of marijuana from a dispensary," he says, referencing a West Metro Drug Task Force investigation in which an undercover officer claiming to be from Pennsylvania said he wanted to sell the pot out of state. "We have one where a guy traded a stolen rifle for medical marijuana at a dispensary" in Colorado Springs circa 2010, "and hundreds of pounds being shipped back east" -- specifically to Virginia, according to the North Metro Drug Task Force.
Page down to read more of our interview with Tom Gorman and see the report.