Marijuana legalization has become one of the most commonly debated topics in American politics over the last decade. As more states like Colorado have moved to legalize marijuana within a certain limit the industry feeding it has boomed. However, like any industry as business owners and farmers of marijuana work to make more money, in more ways, the general public and police forces have been hit with a new challenge.
Essentially, legalizing marijuana has done two things. First, it made it readily available to the general public. While that isn’t a bad thing, especially with as many studies showing not only recreational benefits, but medical benefits – the second thing that has happened is less appealing. By marijuana being legalized it has opened the door for new methods for legally distributing marijuana, or more simply, the industry is adding new applications for marijuana in places where it is legal.
However, look at a place like LaFollette, Tennessee. Marijuana has been seized by police in essentially every way imaginable. One way though that police chief Jim Jeffries is now experiencing marijuana seizures is through various candies, butters, and even assorted non-traditional food products. Culturally speaking, most people have heard of pot being put in various baked goods. However, a new phenomenon is taking place where people are experiencing marijuana in an entirely new way – and the legalization of it has contributed directly to this evolution.
That’s where police come into the equation. They have an entirely new brand of criminal activity to track now, given how these edibles are oftentimes being moved between and through state lines. Where it is legal to use marijuana this isn’t as much of an issue as it is in places where legalization hasn’t happened – and doesn’t appear to be happening in the near future. The problem though is spotting these types of things, because ultimately, this makes marijuana blend in a lot better with its surroundings than it ever did in the past.
Chief Jeffries pointed out after the first seizure that, “This is the first time that we have ever seen marijuana butter or any of this candy containing marijuana in the county.” He went on pointing out that he was hopeful it would be the “last time,” he saw it in his own county. However, the reality is that this is something that has become acceptable as marijuana becomes more regularly legalized.
One of the problems though associated with this type of edible marijuana is that oftentimes, users can ultimately eat too much, and suffer from varying levels of psychosis-like symptoms. This could mean anxiety attacks, increased stress and heart rates, and much more. Robert J. MacCoun who is a professor of law at Stanford pointed out that, “Citizens in nonlegalization states are far less likely to be receiving those messages, so their risks are probably greater.”
Like the editorial he wrote though on the subject, ultimately, there aren’t any hard figures right now out there to really determine how much of this stuff is being moved between states, and around the country. If that information were made available or teams did more research on the matter as it goes through its legalization phase around the U.S. law enforcement might have a better idea of what is going on with these marijuana edibles.