POLICE Magazine

JUL 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

Issue link: https://policemag.epubxp.com/i/1138759

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Page 32 of 52

30 POLICE JULY 2019 N o matter what side of the cannabis debate a Californian is on, chanc- es are he or she has heard of Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey. Lopey's publicly waging war on California's illegal cannabis op- erations, and as he does, he's fighting the charge against legaliza- tion in general. It's been nearly a year and a half since the Golden State legalized recreational marijuana, but law enforcement officials, like Lopey, say they're seeing the unlicensed, illegal cannabis market thrive, and even grow, across the state. is is the opposite of what proponents of Proposition 64 declared the legal- ization of marijuana would do. Advocates believed legalizing recreational mar- ijuana would reduce crime. And, in some ways, this is true; dealing in cannabis was once considered a crime, but it's now a legitimate and lucrative business and viable career option complete with benefits. THE DARK SIDE But there is a dark side to this booming business. ough proponents of legal- ization argued the black market would dry up as legitimate cannabis businesses opened their doors, this has not been the case in California, or in other states where it is legal, such as Colorado, Alaska, Oregon, Maine, Massachusetts, Ne- PHOTOS: GET T Y IMAGES ENFORCING THE WILD WEST OF WEED LEGALIZING MARIJUANA IS REQUIRING LAW ENFORCEMENT TO RETHINK AND RETOOL ITS DRUG ENFORCEMENT EFFORTS. Ronnie Wendt

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