Colorado’s example shows legal issues marijuana could bring to Illinois

Colorado’s example shows legal issues marijuana could bring to Illinois

Colorado’s example shows legal issues marijuana could bring to Illinois

CHICAGO – For all the back-slapping and applause as Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signs legalized marijuana into law Monday, local law enforcement is bracing for problems that could come along with it.

Legalization doesn’t suddenly remove the drug trade’s criminal element, they say, while some argue it even inspires it.

As one federal agent told WGN Investigates, “Look to Colorado for signs of some of the trouble ahead.”

Just last month, investigators in that state seized more than 80,000 plants and 4,500 pounds of harvested marijuana in the largest marijuana black market investigation in Colorado’s history.

“The legalization of marijuana has created all kind of problems,” said Jason Dunn, U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado. “These are pure black markets creating large amounts of marijuana for distribution out of state through criminal enterprises.”

In the Denver area, police say criminals have ignored limits designed to constrain production, growing so much black-market marijuana, it’s being illegally shipped in significant amounts to seven states, including Illinois.

There are also concerns about road safety. In Colorado, marijuana-related driving deaths have more than doubled since legalization. There were 139 in 2017, up from 55 in 2013. Marijuana was involved in 21 percercent of the traffic fatalities in 2017.

In Illinois, the governor and others portray the legalization of marijuana as a new revenue stream – plus a new start for people who have a criminal record for relatively minor amounts of pot possession.

Under federal law, marijuana is still considered to be an illegal controlled substance on par with heroin. But agents are more concerned with large-scale sellers, than recreational users.

As for the impact on the drug trade?

A top official with the DEA in Chicago tells WGN Investigates: “These are trans-national criminal organizations. They’re in it to generate revenue and they’re not going to stop.”

4 Responses

  1. Hayden,
    Would you be so kind to show me the letter/letters that you mailed to the CDC and other offices? By all means take out any info that identifies you personal. I would just like to perhaps use your letter to send to my congressman and the medical board since my written stills are pretty bad. I have had a very similar experience since moving from Vegas to CO. I to have been tapered by over 80% since the move 13 months ago. Just last month my pain clinic closed their doors. This Tuesday I went to see my primary care doctor and he said that he wasn’t comfortable with my high dose of opioids. That high dose is only 75 MME. Then he advised me that he was only going to write only one more month of opioids and would be force tapering me down to 40 MME. Just like yourself I have ten years of pain mngt records and never had a single problem/issue. I have MRIs, radiological reports, and my neurosurgeon reports. I also have been permanently disabled for almost ten years. To make matters worse I’m on palliative care and have a very serious case of adhesive Arachnoiditis (AA). There is even a law in CO (18-022) that protects doctors for prosecution for treating palliative care patients but I have found every doctor so far could care less. They all seem to be have given the same script which reads “I am not comfortable writing you opioids.” I have tried and tried with many advocates as well as lawyers and I can’t even get a phone call back. Please let me know if I could get that copy sent some how through private means. You you are not comfortable providing the letter I fully understand. God Bless Scott

  2. This has nothing to do with the topic of legalized cannabis use…recreational or medicinal but, I thought it important to bring this issue to light. I have written, e-mailed and telephoned the CDC, HHS, , my state elected representatives and my state medical board since forcibly tapered by 80 percent of the medication I have used for 8 years without a dosage increase, without failure of a pill count, and I have NEVER failed a drug screen test for the last 25 years. I have always been polite to each of the above mentioned agencies. After an e-mail I sent to the state medical board enquiring just “exactly” what the medical board intended to do to stop the pain management crisis on Thursday, June 20th,one of MANY e-mails sent to the board. On Monday morning about 10.00 A.M. I received a visit from two SBI agents. I invited them in and asked if I had broken any law. They stated emphatically…..no. They were quite courteous and proceeded to interrogate me. Such questions were asked about any family “mental disorders” that I may have transpired. I did not think that was a proper question to ask. I assumed they were here to attempt me from asking so many questions. They assured me that the medical board members were quite concerned about pain management patients. That is NOT what I felt they were concerned about. The topic was all about the “opioid crisis. Again I asked “have I broken any laws with my “questions”. and they assured me that I was in no way in any “trouble”. I assured them that I would continue to advocate for the patients forcible reduced in medication that had years and decades of successful use without diverting, abusing, or misusing their personally prescribed medication. Again both gentlemen were quite courteous but, I suppose my silence on the subject would suit the “experts” concerning opioid medication…..better. The attempt to “rattle” me will not work because I have VERY little left to lose. I have lost my business of 37 years, forced to sell my “paid for home” and I had ZERO “normalcy” in life. I suppose silencing patients with decades and years of opioid use after ALL alternative treatments have failed. They were “helpful” enough to offer me suggestions about what I could do to remain in my lifes work without even knowing a d$$$ thing about what I have done with my business life for over 40 years. Is “this” what it is coming to? Silencing those of us that choose to voice our opinions about how the 2016 CDC “guideline” has simply destroyed MILLIONs of lives. Again I will not be silenced even though I NEVER get a response from the “expert” agencies on the issue of pain management. I am taken for a drug addict and that is as simple as that even though I have 25 years of documentation that has probably disappeared. WHY the hell do 20 million patients according to the CDC have no “voice”. I suppose it will get worse but in all honesty I can not “shut up” about how the “guideline” has destroyed my life. Again, off the subject but, this really happened. What can I expect next? The agents “assured” me that I was not on any type “list” as a possible trouble maker but…..I wonder.

    • Would you be so kind as to provide a few more details of the visit?
      Who were agents, or their titles. What state? Did you get their card?
      What was the stated purpose of the visit.?
      Are you going to follow up with the supervisors of the agents for clarification their intent in interrogating you?

      • I really do not wish to give any more details until I discuss the matter further with a qualified agency.. When the pain patient can not request information from the medical board in order to see if the MB REALLY cares one iota about hundreds of people daily taking their lives because of over reaction to the “opioid crisis” and then we are interrogated, we are all in trouble!!

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