By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
Prior to marijuana legalization in Washington, enforcement of state marijuana laws were, as with the various other states, primarily enforced by city police, county sheriff’s departments, and the state patrol.
Now the driving force behind state efforts has mostly shifted to the Washington State Liquor Control Board and the Washington Department of Revenue for licensing and revenue collection for state licensed producers, processors, and retailers. The medical marijuana aspect is currently unregulated by the state. There does remain, however, the illicit trade which still provides contraband marijuana and remains the largest supplier of the substance.
Yet when we look at other regulated substances such as alcohol and tobacco, local law enforcement officers rarely intervene in the illegal trade. The primary agency responsible for enforcement of these substances’ statutes is that of the Liquor Control Board.
Should enforcement of the marijuana laws be deferred by traditional law enforcement as well?