Facts on the Federal Marijuana Meeting
On July 19, 2017, representatives from multiple federal agencies joined local officials in Colorado Springs to have a closed-door meeting on the effects of Colorado’s legal marijuana industry.
Officials with the vice president’s office, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the resident DEA agent met with Mayor John Suthers, the Colorado Springs Police Department, Dr. Kenneth Finn, a Colorado Springs physician who has previously expressed concerns about marijuana to local officials, and Gregory Ecks, Director of Student Discipline Services for Colorado Springs School District 11, as reported by The Gazette and KKTV.
“I think they’re in Colorado to find out what law enforcement and other regulatory agencies’ view is toward marijuana regulation in Colorado,” Suthers told KKTV. “They’re [local law enforcement] talking about what they’re finding in houses, what they’re finding and who is doing it, and where these people are coming from.”
Suthers explained to KKTV that the federal marijuana meeting wasn’t open-door because some of the information was potentially confidential.
“A lot of it was around sensitive case investigations; that’s another reason why it couldn’t be public,” Suthers said. “So without getting into that I would tell you that probably most of the discussion centered around the huge black market that exists for marijuana in Colorado.”
“We have received word and believe that these meetings are about circumventing state law because of [federal seizure law’s lucrative] revenue difference,” said Jason Warf, the executive director for the Southern Colorado Cannabis Council, in a statement. “This is unacceptable and can not move forward. This is direct conflict of the Constitutional Amendments passed by the voters of Colorado.”
Warf is concerned that the meeting on July 19 signals something greater, perhaps the start of the Trump Administration attempting to fulfill its promise of “greater enforcement” in regards to federal marijuana law.
To add to the industry’s concern, the federal marijuana meeting in Colorado Springs wasn’t the only meeting held while the feds were in town.
According to The Gazette, representatives from the Department of Justice and the White House Office of Drug Control and Policy met with members of Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’s staff, state regulatory agencies, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area on July 17 to talk marijuana.