If only Colorado had such friendly neighbors …
Ever since weed was first legalized in Colorado in 2013, and then in Washington a year later, there's been worry about the trafficking of marijuana into states where it's still illegal.
In fact, that was the big problem Nebraska and Oklahoma had with Colorado when they tried to sue us because their people couldn't keep their grubby little hands off our recreational weed.
But now, in a very unexpected decision, Portland police have made it overwhelmingly clear that they don't care if Oregonians bring legal weed from Washington back into their state.
The states’ shared borders and geographic proximity makes for a veritable weed wonder-world; and to be fair, it's highly unlikely that measly state lines would prevent that from happening. It's pretty big of the Portland police to recognize that.
However, there is one slight problem, and it was penned by Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole in August of 2013. The document he wrote, called "The Cole Memo," outlined eight enforcement priorities that must take place in order to implement state-by-state legal weed. One of the eight enforcement priorities is, of course, “Preventing the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in some form to other states.”
So, it's not like it's legal to traffic weed between Oregon and Washington per se … but police do have some agency in choosing how rigorously to enforce the guidelines laid out in The Cole Memo. Which, according to a statement that Sgt. Pete Simpson gave to The Oregonian, is very, very lightly.
“We are not doing interdiction on people who are going there to buy their weed and bringing it back," he said. "Our drugs and vice division has not and does not focus on low level drug transfers of any kind. They are working large scale operations, which is not what we are talking about.”
Yes! That's exactly what we've been waiting to hear! Because if you're going to decriminalize pot … decriminalize pot. Colorado has made leaps and bounds in that arena, but to play devil's advocate, we don't have the same neighboring-state support that Washington does when it comes to how people handle the newly legal stuff. So, to Oregon, bravo for focusing your police attention on issues that really matter. And to Colorado, let's smoke this bitch out because we're not sharing. Looking at you, Oklanoma.