The Afterburner 01/08/14

Going up in smoke What a year this might be!

By LeaAnne Klentzman 

Going up in smoke…

What a year this might be!

In some circles 2014 is starting off with quite a bit of promise with Colorado taking a trial run at the legalizing pot. Irrespective of your views on marijuana the legalization of pot in just a couple of states can have long lasting effects. For example, if the Colorado experiment is deemed a success, then the government will get to play in a very large way. You see, if pot is legal and taxed, say like liquor and cigarettes; think of the revenue! It is a whole new pool for the politicians to wade off into.

Currently, only Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and law enforcement types really benefit from those cash seizures along the road. But in the event the Colorado test works out and the federal and state governments start taxing the green stuff, well, local law enforcement that has benefited from the roadside seizures are going to lose their cash cow; a.k.a. cop toy fund.

Now when dope monies are seized it is divvied up amongst the local law enforcement agencies that are part of the Narcotics Task Force. For example, when cash seizures are made, and after the case is completed, the monies are divided up evenly between, say the Sheriff’s office, Missouri City Police, Stafford Police, Rosenberg, Sugar Land, any police agency who has an officer in the Task Force. Oh, and don’t forget the District Attorney’s Office that also gets a slosh of the slush for prosecuting the criminals. This is very much beginning to look like the Contract Deputy program; first we pay with tax dollars, and then you pay again with some other monies, to get the original job done.

Digressing back to the cash crop; so far Colorado has only experienced an influx of tourists and business has been good. Businesses and companies are creating new regulations to deal with the new laws and the federal government is quietly watching from the cheap seats. However, it will be quite some time before the jury comes in on this issue but the odds are it will end up being very much like cigarettes, liquor, and gambling; a ground war between talking heads.

And while they are scrapping it out on your channel du jour, it begs the question, what are the Cartels going to do? Could it be they might just have to compete with the US Government for a stake in the green leafy stuff? Say it ain’t so! What ya’ bet they just move back into the white powder and brown tar business, it’s smaller and far easier to sequester.

A few things to note for your next visit to the new and greener Colorado, one must be 21 to purchase pot. One cannot smoke it in public; it is against the State’s Clear Air Act. One can only purchase up to 1 oz. at a time and the reason for the distinction between medical marijuana and recreational use is….the tax. Medical users do not have to pay the taxes on the pot they buy. And most importantly the federal government appears to be looking the other way on that against the federal law issue. One might wonder if the feds will do the same for a federal gun law violation? Will be interesting to see.

2014 has surely gotten off to an interesting start – new laws, and oh goodie new politicians making a run for old offices.

Bang the Gong and let the games begin!

Send questions or inquiries
to LeaAnne Klentzman
Fort Bend Star
4655 Techniplex Dr. Suite 300
Stafford Texas 77477

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