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Monday, May 20, 2024
Mugglehead Magazine
Alternative investment news based in Vancouver, B.C.

Cannabis

Illegal cannabis market violence raises concerns in California

Authorities investigate six murders tied to illegal cannabis trade

California marijuana via wikimediacommons
Crime related to illegal cannabis in California raises concerns. Via wikimediacommons

The recent killings of six individuals in a remote desert area outside El Mirage, California, have shed light on the ongoing violence associated with the state’s illegal cannabis market. Despite years of legal sales aimed at curbing illicit activities, underground marijuana operations continue to thrive, posing significant risks to public safety.

In a stark reminder of the dangers lurking within the underground cannabis economy, authorities discovered the bodies of six men on January 23 in the Mojave Desert. Moreover, law enforcement officials suspect the killings stemmed from a dispute over an illegal cannabis transaction. This further highlights the persistent challenges associated with unlicensed marijuana operations.

Jerred Kiloh, a dispensary owner and leader of the United Cannabis Business Association, pointed out the escalating violence and risks faced by legal cannabis businesses. Incidents of armed robberies targeting dispensaries have become increasingly common. This emphasizes the need for comprehensive solutions to address the root causes of illegal cannabis activities.

Following the discovery of the bodies, authorities swiftly apprehended five suspects believed to be involved in the killings. Each individual faces multiple charges, including six counts of murder. Despite the arrests, concerns remain regarding the underlying issues fueling the illegal cannabis trade and associated violence.

Read more: Israel launches ‘anti-dumping’ probe into Canada’s cannabis companies

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Stricter penalties urged for illegal cannabis activities in California

San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus urged lawmakers to revisit cannabis laws, emphasizing the need for stricter penalties for individuals engaged in illegal pot activities. Recent events underscore the challenges in effectively regulating the cannabis industry despite California’s legalization efforts. The expectation of dismantling the illicit market has not been realized.

Despite the passage of Proposition 64 in 2016, which aimed to legalize and tax the cannabis industry, California’s legal market has faced numerous obstacles. High taxes, coupled with widespread illegal sales, have hindered the growth of legal cannabis businesses. This is leading many consumers to continue purchasing marijuana from unlicensed sources.

Proposition 64 reduced penalties for cannabis-related offenses, resulting in a surge of illegal grow operations across the state. Law enforcement agencies, overwhelmed by illicit activities, struggle to dismantle underground cannabis networks. This contributes to the proliferation of violent incidents associated with the illegal trade.

Industry experts and legislators alike have called for comprehensive reforms to address the underlying issues fueling the illegal cannabis market. Proposals aim to enhance law enforcement powers. They also aim to expand regulatory oversight to curb illicit activities and promote public safety in California’s evolving cannabis landscape.

As California grapples with the aftermath of the recent killings and the broader challenges posed by illegal cannabis activities, policymakers face the daunting task of striking a balance between legalization and public safety.

 

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