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Inhofe wants to waste $4-million to fight Oklahoma marijuana black market

8:43 AM EDT on July 12, 2021

If there's one thing our country's failed war on drugs has shown us, it's that the more money you give law enforcement to fight the war, the more problems it seems to cause.

Knowing that, I guess we shouldn't be surprised to learn that Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe is asking the FEDs to give his pals at the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics $4-million so they can fight their new media-approved boogyman – evil out-of-state black market marijuana growers!

Check this out:

Via KOCO:

Sen. Jim Inhofe’s office announced Wednesday it's requesting $4 million in directed funding through the Department of Justice to assist Oklahoma law enforcement in combating illegal marijuana grow operations across the state, and related criminal enterprises, including drug trafficking, money laundering, human trafficking and more.

“It seems increasingly the case that there are Chinese, Mexican, Russian criminal organizations, cartels that are behind many of these activities and they are bringing with them a list of terrible criminal activities that have absolutely nothing to do with drugs, but also have to do with human trafficking, money laundering, weapons trafficking. These are very serious problems,” said Luke Holland, Chief of Staff for Inhofe’s office.

Holland said that OBN officials want to establish a unit dedicated to fighting the criminal activities associated with illegal grow operations. The funding Inhofe’s office requested would help establish this unit.

Before we continue, I'm not trying to imply that Oklahoma's flourishing black market marijuana trade isn't an issue. If you talk to people in the industry, you're quick to learn that a good chunk of weed being grown in Oklahoma is being shipped out-of-state, while a lot of the weed actually sold in Oklahoma is brought in from places like California, Washington and Oregon. This is a result of...

A) Supply and demand economics, and

B) The fact that you can't expect a cash-based, multi-billion dollar industry that's been operating on the black market for about 100 years to go totally legit overnight. It takes some time.

That being said, throwing an additional $4-million to OBN to combat the problem is a waste of time and money. The only thing it accomplishes is giving OBN and local sheriff's departments more money and resources to waste on occasional TV-news-friendly raids of "illegal grow" operations. Raids that – mind you – won't put a dent in the black market trade. Basically, it will have the same impact as the billions we've already spent on the "War on Drugs" in this country.

So, what's the solution?

I guess one idea would be to create a seed-to-sale tracking system that lets consumers know the weed that's sold in their dispensary was grown in Oklahoma, and not from some greenhouse in Washington.

OMMA actually has a system in the works to do that, but some people in the industry are fighting it in the courts. Those people are claiming they should be allowed to chose the software they use to track their weed, and maybe that's true, but if you had them smoke a batch of Jim Traber's Truth Serum strain, they'd probably tell you they just want more time to buy cheap out-of-state weed and then sell it as a legit Oklahoma-grown product.

Another option would be just to fully legalize marijuana across the United States, regulate the product, and open it up to interstate trade. At that point, the corporate private sector would get involved and do their capitalism thing, and the black market would likely dry up faster than the pre-roll you tossed in the center console of your car a few months ago and forgot about. I hate it when that happens.

Then again, that's a sane and logical approach to the issue, and would eliminate the opportunity for an authoritarian asshat like Jim Inhofe to give his law enforcement pals $4-million in taxpayer funding to bust illegal marijuana grows, so it will probably never happen.

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