RMHIDTA Report Finds Colorado Regulations Ineffective in Preventing
Diversion of “Medical” Marijuana
Rocky Mountain HIDTA’s Investigative Support Center conducted a small-scale, three-week assessment to determine whether there was any evidence that Colorado’s “medical” marijuana was being diverted for unintended purposes. Today, RMHIDTA issued the resulting report that provides a brief synopsis of over seventy public record examples of diversion by patients, caregivers and dispensaries both within Colorado and to twenty-three different states. The assessment is just a sampling of what is suspected of being diverted and an indicator that Colorado regulations are not effective in stopping diversion.
The mission of the Rocky Mountain HIDTA is to facilitate cooperation and coordination among federal, state and local drug enforcement efforts to enhance combating the drug trafficking problem locally, regionally and nationally. This mission is accomplished through joint multi-agency collocated drug task forces, sharing information, training and working cooperatively with other drug enforcement initiatives throughout the country, including interdiction. RMHIDTA includes Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming. The current chairperson is Wyoming DCI Deputy Director Kebin Haller.
Examples of Findings:
· Driver with 10 pounds of marijuana stopped in Kansas admitting to buying the marijuana out the back door of a Colorado dispensary.
· 200 pounds of marijuana from a Colorado dispensary in a law enforcement undercover operation.
· Hundreds of pounds of “medical” marijuana from Colorado shipped to the East Coast.
· Denver Police Department finds Craigslist “dispensaries” source for diversion of marijuana.
· Boyfriend gives “medical” marijuana edibles to 14-year-old.
· Multi-state “medical” marijuana drug trafficking organization dismantled.
· Drug Enforcement Administration – Denver Field Division: “Colorado’s medical marijuana system allows for widespread exploitation and illicit marijuana distribution… Colorado is on track to become a primary source of supply for high-grade marijuana throughout the country.”
· “The Chicago Police Department Package Interdiction Team is reporting that the Colorado “medical” marijuana industry has been making its way to Chicago via UPS, FedEx and USPS parcels. Compared to previous years, marijuana from Colorado is steadily becoming just as prevalent as marijuana from California and Oregon.”
· Drug Enforcement Administration – St. Louis Field Division: “During 2011, the number of marijuana seizures that originated in Colorado surpassed California, possibly reflecting increased availability of ‘medical’ marijuana in the St. Louis Division.”
· Special Operations Division, Kansas Bureau of Investigation: “…we are experiencing a significant increase in medical marijuana being brought into northwestern and North Central Kansas. …intelligence-gathering from sources in our investigation indicates that the targets are traveling to Colorado and bringing in large quantities for this area of the state back to Kansas.”