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Federal Marijuana Smuggling Declines as More States Go Legal

It’s become a familiar lament in the age of legal marijuana: Weed from places like Colorado and Washington is making its way all over the country, creating headaches for law enforcement.

Nebraska and Oklahoma recently sued Colorado over the state’s legal marijuana market (the Supreme Court declined to take up the case). Sheriffs in neighboring states have been complaining about the strain that Colorado weed is putting on tight law enforcement budgets. A recent USA Today story described a “flow of high-quality marijuana out of Colorado” and into other states.

It may seem as if the country is drowning in cheap, potent Colorado weed. But federal datasets tell a more complicated story: Nationwide, federal marijuana trafficking offenses are on the decline.

The United States Sentencing Commission (USSC), which compiles data on federal law enforcement efforts, recently released its latest drug trafficking statistics. And they show that federal marijuana trafficking offenses have fallen sharply since 2012, the year that Colorado and Washington residents voted to legalize marijuana. The decline continues through 2015, the most recent year for which data is available. [Read more at The Washington Post]

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