When voters in Oregon agreed last year to banish prohibition and establish a legal framework for a statewide cannabis market, they had no idea that law enforcement was scheming to create a master plan aimed at squeezing pot dollars to spy on the state’s suppliers and vendors.
It appears as though the same green-eyed monsters that once fought the battle against black market marijuana have decided to wage war against the state’s legal cannabis industry. Reports indicate that the Oregon State Police recently put in a request for a $3.9 million raise in their annual budget to supplement the already $1.3 million the state approved earlier this year, so that cops could keep an eye on legal weed.
Although state police officials have refused to comment on the reasoning behind their proposed $5 million budget to act as the state’s Bud Brother, there is speculation that these demands stem from an outcry by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, who have begged for the creation of “peace officers” to act as pot watchdogs similar to excise cops in the world of booze. Essentially, the state is asking for a department to be created to ensure weed is not being sold to minors and that businesses are paying their taxes.
There are some concerns, however, that establishing a supervisional program could potentially set the state’s legal home-growers up for unexpected shakedowns.
“You could potentially have a marijuana enforcement agent knocking on someone’s door to look at a home grow,” Senator Floyd Prozanski, who is part of the Senate Committee overseeing the cannabis trade, told Willamette Week. “I don’t think anyone on the committee would want them to have that broad of power.”