Last week Denver police officers and federal agents descended on cannabis grow sites throughout the city — grow sites they say were operating illegally.
According to authorities, the raids were part of a two-year investigation that will still take a few more months to complete. No arrests were made, but you can be sure copious amounts of cannabis and equipment were seized; it’s hard to tell as officials are being tightlipped on details.
Raids like this remind us that even in the heart of legalization as we currently know it, there is still plenty of black and gray market in operation.
In a perfect world, people would be allowed to grow cannabis for any purpose in any amount, as long as they were not infringing on the rights of anyone else. But as we are all well aware, the government — whether it be local, state or eventually federal — would never allow legalization without regulation and taxation.
In other words, no cannabis growing past a certain amount without a license. No doing what should have never been illegal in the first place without government getting its cut. You’re going to need a license, oversight, tracking, regulations and a few levels of taxation before you can grow those plants.
Of course everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but I would not be surprised if these grows were illegal, even under new legalization standards. As much as I think everyone should be allowed to grow as much cannabis as they want, if you still break the law in a legal state, you are really asking for authorities to come down extra hard on you.
Sometimes you just have to take what you are given while continuing to fight for more.