Law enforcement agencies have detailed a variety of ways the marijuana black market circumvents rules and laws that will hurt New York’s efforts to control the legalized distribution of the drug.
New York’s recreational marijuana battle sits on the front line of a generational war over American cannabis laws. As debate heats up, USA TODAY Network New York is compiling answers to key questions about legalized cannabis. The findings will be updated each Monday as New York considers joining the 10 states that allow adults to use marijuana.
Powerful black-market forces are threatening New York’s efforts to tax and regulate recreational marijuana, experts said.
They cited reams of marijuana smuggled through the mail, bushels of cannabis secretly grown on rugged public land and international drug traffickers targeting New York’s insatiable appetite for pot as examples.
Yet the true scope of cannabis criminality is tough to grasp as authorities bust marijuana grows ranging from home-based operations in sleepy suburbs to backwoods cannabis patches in New York and across the country.