As long as drugs are illegal, there will be drug trafficking. And even though marijuana is now legal in Colorado, it’s still illegal in other states and countries, which creates a drug trafficking issue.
Since marijuana was legalized in Colorado and Washington, 70 percent of Mexican drug cartels have seen a decrease in their marijuana profits. This decrease is prompting Mexico to consider its own legalization of marijuana.
Current Mexico City Mayor Angel Mancera, who plans to run for president in the next few years, said he would try to enact cannabis legal reforms if he becomes president. Why? Since the Mexican drug cartels have taken a hit from legal marijuana in the United States, Mancera believes the cartels would take an even bigger hit if marijuana were legal in Mexico.
But while Mexican cartels are experiencing a loss, and overall marijuana-related drug crimes in Colorado are down, our state is currently going through a drug trafficking boom. Federal drug officials claim that drug trafficking has increased here because drug traffickers take advantage of marijuana being legal to buy or grow here and then transport it to other locations.
There are numerous and often creative ways that people concoct to transport marijuana from Colorado elsewhere:
- Someone put marijuana in Halloween trick-or-treat bags on the way to Wyoming.
- Marijuana has been stored inside stuffed animals being shipped to Florida.
- A skydiving company owner flew bags of marijuana to other locations.
- FedEx envelopes filled with marijuana were sent to New York.
- A 32-man organization created false papers to portray themselves as licensed medical practitioners to fly marijuana to Minnesota.
All of this drug trafficking can result in millions of dollars for the traffickers because they can sell the marijuana for way more than it goes for in Colorado.
What Does Drug Trafficking Entail?
Even though I highlighted five different situations above that depict drug trafficking as transporting marijuana from here in Colorado to another state, that’s not the only way to be busted for trafficking.
Drug trafficking is defined as the selling, manufacturing, growing, delivering, or possessing more than a certain amount of a controlled substance. So transporting is synonymous with delivering, and we know that selling a lot of marijuana could qualify as trafficking. But so can growing or possessing?
The answer is yes. And not necessarily because of the act, but because of the other part of that definition, the “more than a certain amount of a controlled substance” part.
So as long as you have more than a certain amount of a controlled substance – marijuana included – you can be arrested for drug trafficking.
And what is that amount?
For marijuana, it’s 25 or more pounds. So even if you have no plans to deliver or sell your 25-pound marijuana bounty to other states, you can still face drug trafficking charges if you grow – or simply possess – that much marijuana illegally.
For other drugs, you can be charged with federal trafficking if you have:
- 28 or more grams of cocaine
- 5 or more grams of pure methamphetamine
- 50 or more grams of methamphetamine mixture
- 100 or more grams of heroin mixture
- 1 or more grams of LSD mixture
- 10 or more grams of pure PCP
- 100 or more grams of PCP mixture
With this increase of trafficking activity, law enforcement officers are more vigilant than ever to try to curb drug trafficking in Colorado. That’s why you need to contact an experienced Colorado drug trafficking attorney if you are facing trafficking charges. A skilled attorney can help you fight your charges and protect your rights so that prosecutors can’t make an example out of you.
About the Author:
Kimberly Diego is a criminal defense attorney in Denver practicing at The Law Office of Kimberly Diego. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and her law degree at the University of Colorado. She was named one of Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars of 2012” and “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Colorado” for 2012 and 2013 by The National Trial Lawyers. Both honors are limited to a small percentage of practicing attorneys in each state. She has also been recognized for her work in domestic violence cases.