Officers are sounding the alert. Illegal marijuana grown in Colorado is spreading to other states like wildfire. A new report says Colorado is a major exporter.
Colorado voters said yes to legalize marijuana, but 48 other states did not. The Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area released the study today showing hundreds of pounds of illegal marijuana from Colorado is ending up in rest of the country.
The report states Colorado is exporting more illegal marijuana than California.
"It never came up that we could actually have a negative impact on surrounding states. I think that's one of those things that shows how damaging this really is and it really wasn't thought out,” said El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa.
According to the report, three and half tons of seized pot in 2012 was destined for 37 states, mostly for Kansas, Missouri and Illinois.
"At the end of the day, marijuana is still a violation of federal law,” said DEA Agent Matthew Barden.
Barden points to a statistic in the report where Nebraska state patrol found 476 pounds of pot during one seizure. It's legal to buy two ounces of medical marijuana at one dispensary in Colorado.
"A person would have to visit every one of those 1,100 dispensaries four times each to equal 476 pounds at two ounces per purchase,” said Barden.
That big boost over the border has Sheriff Maketa concerned for our children.
"They said it's being named "purple haze". Terms like that are usually associated with a marketing scheme to target a younger audience,” said Sheriff Maketa.
You can read the full report on this marijuana exporting study here.