As 2017 drew to a close, Oregon marijuana dispensaries aced a sting operation by state regulators aiming to bust underage sales.
Back in November, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Justice Department was working toward a “rational” marijuana policy. A few weeks later, when Sessions rolled back three Obama-era rules that held the federal government back from interfering with marijuana-friendly state laws, he said the “finite resources” of the DOJ required federal prosecutors to “weigh all relevant considerations of the crime, the deterrent effect of criminal prosecution, and the cumulative impact of particular crimes on the community" when deciding which cases to prosecute.
Well, if there’s any justice in the way Justice ultimately decides who should — and shouldn’t be — prosecuted when comes it to weed, it will consider a recent sting operation in Oregon.
As Marijuana.com reports, one of the biggest hurdles for national marijuana legalization has been the prohibitionist argument that widespread availability of cannabis would lead to wider use of the drug among young Americans. A handful of recent undercover sting operations in two Oregon cities would seem to refute those claims, however.
According to a press release from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, OLCC marijuana inspectors visited 20 cannabis retailers in central Oregon, and all passed a check for prohibiting pot sales to a minor volunteer decoy.
During each undercover sales check, the release explains, a minor volunteer attempted to enter a licensed marijuana retailer and/or purchase marijuana products from a licensed business to see if staff were checking ID’s correctly and refusing entry to anyone under 21. OLCC inspectors supervised the minor volunteers. The volunteers carried their own legal ID that identified them as being under 21, and did not disguise their age or lie to encourage the sale of marijuana.
In all instances, the Oregon marijuana dispensaries were found to be complying with state laws.
“That our licensed retailers in central Oregon scored 100 percent on refusal to sell marijuana to a minor is a sign that this segment of our regulated industry understands the importance of compliance,” says Steve Marks, Executive Director of the OLCC. “As we continue these checks I hope that these results will be reflected across the state.”
While there will always be unscrupulous business owners in any industry, the nation’s cannabis retailers are showing their willingness to play by the rules just as much as, if not more than, anyone else.
With that said, it sure would be nice to know what the rules actually are.
Paging Mr. Sessions.