Colorado's Weed is Flooding Oklahoma's Courts
Arrests for marijuana possession in Oklahoma's panhandle have increased dramatically since legalization.
Published on May 11, 2016

People are getting caught with marijuana for personal use on Oklahoma’s highways, and, instead of acknowledging their own draconianism, the state is blaming Colorado’s pot laws.

Arrests for marijuana possession in Oklahoma Panhandle have increased dramatically since Colorado legalized marijuana use in 2014.

The spokesman for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drug Control, Mark Woodward, expects to see the numbers increase as people begin trying to distribute marijuana from Colorado into other states.

“You tend to see 200 pounds in duffel bags going to the East Coast from California because they have a black market,” he said in a fit of reefer madness. “Those connections in Colorado are still being established.”

Colorado seized dank buds leaving the state 288 times in 2013—a 400 percent rise compared to 2008, according to a Rocky Mountain High-Density Drug Trafficking study. Oklahoma is one of the top five destinations for Colorado’s marijuana.

“It is exploding our docket,” said Oklahoma-based District Attorney Mike Boring. “It’s just massive. Cimarron County has been … averaging 37 felony cases per year. That’s what they’ve averaged for the last 11 years. As of today, we’ve already filed 23 cases, and we’re not even to the end of April.” Most of the marijuana found is for personal use, The Oklahoman reported, undermining Woodward’s dramatic image of duffel bags headed east.

Joined by Nebraska, Attorney General Scott Pruitt claimed in a federal suit that Colorado’s decriminalization of marijuana has led it to flow more regularly into Oklahoma.

Thus, rather than acknowledging its his state’s antiquated laws causing thousands of generally law abiding citizens to have their time wasted in the courtroom, Pruitt argues that Oklahoma’s criminal justice system has been burdened by Colorado’s marijuana laws.

Justin O'Connell
Justin is a California-based writer who covers music, cannabis, craft beer, Baja California, science and technology. His writing has appeared in VICE and the San Diego Reader.
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