“Legalizing cannabis will reduce crime and raise Tax revenue – All savings will come from reduced policing, lower crime rate, less supply reduction costs, and increased tax-revenue from licensing!”
So pealed the promises to the unwitting population from the addiction for profit advocates! Well, as the following (and little broadcasted) data reveals, the cannabis chaos continues to unfold in California (and other states). It does not augur well the future of this always clearly ‘bad idea’! Outside of the emerging ‘medicinal cannabis’ market, Australia currently has one market for marijuana – the illegal market (Black Market). We most definitely do not need this three market ‘circus’ – Legal, Black and Grey Market and the ballooning costs both fiscally and health wise, these will bring.
‘In regards to illegal Cannabis grows, they are getting worse, not better. One of the things I promoted over two years ago, when I got involved with the issue of cannabis policy, was to address the issue as we move from the illegal to a legal market, that we have to hold accountable those that are not participating in the legal market. Particularly those that are continuing to profit of illegal grows now are manifesting they’re getting bigger and becoming more stubborn, more acute. They are not just issues for environment, of an environmental concern, but increasingly of fire safety itself. So, there is a direct correlation again between our fire preparedness and our fire safety, in addition to addressing – mitigating ah [sic], the Cartel activity that persists up north…” (February 11th 2019 Press Conference)
“Stepped-up enforcement comes with a certain measure of irony — legalization was meant to open a new chapter for the state, free from the legacy of heavy policing and incarceration for minor infractions. Instead, there are new calls for a crackdown on illegal selling…But no other state has an illegal market on the scale of California’s, and those illicit sales are cannibalizing the revenue of licensed businesses and in some cases, experts say, forcing them out of business.
‘Getting Worse, Not Better’: Illegal Pot Market Booming in California Despite Legalization (NY Times 27/4/2019)
California Department of Finance – Office of State Audits & Evaluations.
- Even with a thriving illegal market in California, only 15 enforcement unit staff positions have been filled, though 68 were authorized. "The bureau's ability to process complaints, perform inspections and investigations and review ... testing laboratories is severely impacted," auditors wrote.
- The three agencies that regulate marijuana need to do a better job communicating. "Enforcement unit staff stated a central contact from the other licensing authorities has not been established," the report found.
- There's a cash shortage. The primary source of revenue for the agency is from application and license fees. About $200 million was expected to come in through June 30, 2019, but the bureau has collected only $2 million as of January 2019.
California Cannabis Regulators Struggle With Job, Audit Shows
During fiscal years 2016-17 and 2017-18, cannabis program expenditures totalled $6,774,577 and $14,876,055, with revenue received of $0 and $1,092,250, respectively. Due to the program’s infancy and initial establishment of its structural foundation, the Bureau has incurred expenditures higher than revenue.
Bureau of Cannabis Control – California Department of Consumer Affairs Performance Audit