POLICE Magazine

JUL 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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Page 35 of 52

POLICEMAG.COM 33 2.9% state sales tax, a 15% excise tax, and 10% special sales tax as well as local taxes in some communities. Patrick Chown is president of Safe and Sound Security, a California securi- ty business that helps licensed cultiva- tors, retailers, and dispensaries secure their businesses. He says he sees plenty of white market business owners trying to do the right thing, but heav y taxa- tion is making it hard for them to make ends meet. "Because of the taxes and the money they spend on compliance, some operations choose to stay in the black market, while those in the white market often sell some of their product illegally to stay afloat," he says. Dipping profits and high taxation are leading to the most shocking truth of all—at least in California, reports Lopey. Of the approximately 14 million pounds continue to escalate crime rates, in- crease addiction numbers, and put cit- izens and law enforcement officers at risk. He is entreating law makers to up federal funding for enforcement efforts, increase funding for D.A.R.E. program- ming for kids and for addiction treat- ment centers, and he is demanding that the federal government become a more active partner in enforcement activities. "People ask me why I care so much about marijuana. ey'll ask, 'Aren't opioids, meth, or fentanyl worse?'" Lopey says. "Of course, they are. But in my county, I don't have 1,500 illegal drug traffickers dealing in meth." USE INCREASES AND IMPACTS Over 35 million residents call the state of California home. e state is also Because you protect others, we protect you WoodmenLife ® is grateful for the dedication you show in your community. As a police officer, you serve unselfishly to protect others' families. We value what you do and want to help protect your family by being there when you need us most. Our products are designed to provide financial assistance to families should the unthinkable happen. In addition, we offer a $25,000 benefit 1 to the family of a member who has died in the line of duty as a First Responder. Find out more at WoodmenLife.org/first-responders 1. Member benefits are available to members. An individual becomes a member by joining our shared commitment to family, community and country, and by purchasing a WoodmenLife product. These benefits are not contractual, are subject to change and have specific eligibility requirements. CD1508 11/18 Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society: Omaha, NE "People ask me why I care so much about marijuana. They'll ask, 'Aren't opioids, meth, or fentanyl worse?' Of course, they are. But in my county, I don't have 1,500 illegal drug traffickers dealing in meth." —Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey of marijuana grown in California an- nually, less than 20% is consumed in California. e remainder crosses state lines via illicit drug trafficking opera- tions, moving its way East. Drug cartels continue to grow illicit cannabis crops in northern California, while southern California is a haven for illegal delivery services and pot dispensaries. "It is totally out of control now," states Lopey. "ere is an illicit and a legal in- dustry operating in the state now." While cannabis' black and gray mar- kets continue to thrive, there's a move- ment afoot to legalize the drug at the federal level, which Lopey believes is a recipe for disaster. "We are pushing back against the marijuana industry. ere are some cannabis operations that try to do it right, but by its nature it's a very corrupt industry," he says. He predicts federal legalization will

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