What Ontario’s Weed Business Means for Idaho
Ontario, Oregon is in the national spotlight, and it's not a good thing in my opinion. The digital publication Politico has written a deep dive into the pot selling business in Oregon. Even the title of the piece, Border weed: How the hometown of tater tots became a cannabis capital, is provocative.
The article is a detailed puff piece on the rise of the weed entrepreneurs in Ontario. How big is the legal weed selling there? According to the Portland Business Journal, Malheur County sells the most weed per capita in the beaver state. And we all know the reason why. Idaho is the only state who has a complete ban on selling marijuana legal, says the Idaho Coalition for Cannabis.
Ontario has made millions marketing the weed to drug consuming Idahoans. There's so much money made illegally that dispensaries are by guards carrying M-16s, bullet proof vests, and pistols, reports the Politico reporter. Why the need for the armed guards in a town of 11,000? The weed business is illegal according to federal law. That means that banks cannot and will not handle deposits from any dispensary.
The federal government under the Obama administration failed to enforce federal which has allowed states to legalize the weed. The Biden Administration has vowed to decriminalize marijuana at the federal, but so far as failed to do so. Ontario has gone from the home of the tater tot, to the weed capital of Idaho. (Props to Politico for the tater tot fact.)
Idaho State Police continue to monitor the Idaho/Oregon pulling over Idahoans who speed or give them a reason to pull them over. If caught with marijuana, they are prosecuted. Marijuana consumers use the online tool Reddit to avoid ISP. There are continued efforts to legalize medical marijuana in the Gem State. Governor Little has stated publicly that he is not in favor of approving the sale of the weed for recreational use.
What most is not explored in the Politico article is the detrimental impact drug legalization has had on states that violate federal law. The local police chief shared that domestic violence, drugged driving and other criminal behaviors have increased. He says these issues began to rise once the weed became legal to sell. Join us Tuesday morning from 8am-10am as we hold a town hall on legal weed in Idaho with Russ Belville from the Idaho Coalition for Cannabis.
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