Last week a 22-year-old Maryland man was indicted on “drug kingpin” charges after police say he was responsible for the shipment of some 85 pounds of marijuana last year.
Joseph Miller allegedly went by the name of “Pablo” and oversaw seven people while running an elaborate scheme to have cannabis mailed from Oregon and California to be sold in Maryland.
“Joseph Miller directed individuals to collect parcels from shipping locations, managed the laundering of U.S. currency through business fronts in banking institutions,” detective Chad Bleggi wrote in a statement of probable cause.
Here we see one of the side effects of ending prohibition on a piecemeal basis, one state at a time. States that still suffer under prohibition act like magnets that draw weed from legal states into their own black markets. Marijuana in a legal state is cheaper, better quality and easier to procure; from there it is simply a matter of how to get it transported into an illegal state. For those who figure out a way, massive profits await.
The best way for Maryland and other illegal states to keep cannabis from flowing across their borders is to legalize it themselves. They must undercut the black market in their own state and reduce how lucrative set ups like this one are. Until then they will be spending a good chunk of their law enforcement budgets on busting guys like “Pablo” who are being mailed weed.
Of course, spending big chunks of a budget is the best way to justify an even bigger budget the following year. In any case, this is the type of story you won’t hear about a couple of decades from now. People will have little need to mail marijuana, and when they do, no one will care.