Despite Legalization, Drug Dealers Continue to Do Business and Kill in Colorado

“If you can get it tax-free on the corner, you’re going to get it on the corner.”

A woman holds a sign at a pro-marijuana rally at the University of Colorado in Boulder

Unsurprisingly, legalizing drugs doesn't actually work. It leads to an increase in tax revenue which is more than offset by the expenses created by its users. And the illegal drug market keeps rolling right along.

A 25-year-old is shot dead trying to sell marijuana the old-fashioned, illegal way. Two men from Texas set up a warehouse to grow more than they would ever need. And three people buying pot in a grocery store parking lot are robbed at gunpoint.

Arapahoe County, outside Denver, has seen “a growing number of drug rips and outright burglaries and robberies of people who have large amounts of marijuana or cash on them,” said District Attorney George Brauchler.

“It has done nothing more than enhance the opportunity for the black market,” said Lt. Mark Comte of the Colorado Springs police vice and narcotics unit. “If you can get it tax-free on the corner, you’re going to get it on the corner.”

His district has seen at least three homicides linked to pot in recent months and a rising number of robberies and home invasions.

Among them was a February case in which a 17-year-old boy said he accidentally shot and killed his girlfriend while robbing a man who had come to buy weed.

Elsewhere, prosecutors say, Nathaniel Tallman, 25, was killed during a January drug deal when he was robbed and shot, and his body dumped in Wyoming.

And Colorado's drug market is now becoming a regional problem.

If some Colorado drug dealers have lost business to legal retailers, some also have made up for it by transporting weed to other states.

A Lakewood man was arrested in March after postal inspectors intercepted a package he was mailing containing a pound of pot. Drug task force officers who later searched his home found scores of gallon-sized bags of marijuana and 76 plants.

But don't worry, this is just a temporary transition period, said every ideologue ever.

Pot advocates say the state is in a transition period, and while pot-related crimes will continue, they will begin to decline as more stores open and prices of legal marijuana decline.

“It’s just a transition period,” activist Brian Vicente said. “Marijuana was illegal for the last 80 years in our state, and there are some remnants of that still around. Certainly, much like alcohol, over time these underground dealers will fade away.”

Sure, sure. Just give it a few years and everything will be fine. It's just 'remnants' of the old way.

The USSR kept saying that right before it fell. Ideologues always assume that people will behave in line with their ideology and contrary to human nature.

And people always go on behaving according to human nature instead.

Meanwhile the pot advocates will say that if the state stops taxing pot, then the drug dealers will go away, even though their whole legalization argument rested on tax revenue.

And then when that doesn't work, they'll call for penalizing organizations that claim drug abuse is wrong.

Tags: Colorado

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