Marijuana grown in Oregon and the handful of other states where pot is legal is being smuggled to other parts of America, authorities say. It’s often hard to tell if the trafficked weed was grown legally or illegally, but some say the fact that pot is leaving these states at all puts the marijuana industry at risk.
Here is a look at some recent notable cases.
Colorado officials announced on June 28 they had cracked a huge smuggling ring that, under the cover of the state’s legal medical marijuana industry, shipped pot to a half-dozen other states.
A Denver grand jury indicted 62 people and 12 businesses. It was the largest illegal marijuana operation discovered since Colorado legalized recreational pot in 2012, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman said. Federal agents also were involved in the bust.
The indictment says the enterprise produced more than 100 pounds (45 kilograms) of illegal pot each month for shipment to Kansas, Texas, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma and other states. The ring operated from 2012 until 2016, earning an estimated $200,000 a month, Coffman said.
Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson thanked Coffman for “exposing the influx of Colorado marijuana entering Nebraska,” the Lincoln Journal Star newspaper reported.
Nebraska and Oklahoma earlier filed a lawsuit against Colorado, saying legalized marijuana in the neighboring state was spilling into Nebraska and Oklahoma, complicating their anti-drug efforts and draining state resources. The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed the lawsuit without comment.
Two of the men named in the Colorado indictment were arrested during an earlier traffic stop in Nebraska with 36 pounds (16 kilograms) of marijuana packed into two suitcases in their car.
An Oregon State Police trooper stopped a car that was driving just over the speed limit in a remote part of