An undercover drug investigator from Colorado warns Nebraska lawmakers to be careful when considering legislation to legalize medical marijuana.
James Gerhardt with the Thornton Police Department says Colorado has been frustrated in its attempt to regulate marijuana growing and use since the state legalized recreational marijuana.
“The problem is, how do you independently verify what’s being produced and where it’s all actually going?” Gerhardt states during a presentation at the Capitol to lawmakers and law enforcement. “They can create a paper trail, as you can create here, the problem is that they rely on the industry itself to state how much they’re producing and where it’s all going. Because absent that you would have to have a regulator, someone from the state, at every one of those facilities all the time verifying what’s happening. So, it’s not really an easy thing to regulate at all.”
Colorado voters in 2000 legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes. In 2014, Colorado voters legalized marijuana for recreational use.
Nebraska lawmakers have debated a measure sponsored by Sen. Tommy Garrett of Bellevue to legalize medical marijuana. No vote has been taken.
Gerhardt claims those backing marijuana legalization use deceptive arguments.
“One of things that people will constantly try to claim is that if you allow marijuana to come in that it will displace other problems,” according to Gerhardt. “I always hear this: what about the hundreds of thousands of people who die of prescription drugs, what about all the people who died of alcohol? Well, those people are still dying. Those problems are still there. What we’ve done is we’ve added to them; we’ve added to them with pot.”
Gerhardt says marijuana legalization has created numerous problems for Colorado law enforcement.