Feds Doing Job at Border Tout Laredo Bust
that Puts Backward Pot Law in Perspective
January 18, 2023
The regressive nature of Texas marijuana laws were magnified exponentially on Wednesday in a Dallas Morning News story about the discovery of $7.5 million worth of weed packaged in cotton candy in a bust in Laredo during the weekend on the World Trade Bridge that links the border city to Mexico.
But the DMN piece did not give the Department of Public Safety or the Texas National Guard any credit for the seizure as the agencies in charge of the law enforcement mission Governor Greg Abbott claims to be doing the federal government's border. U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents came across the illicit contraband after stopping a tractor trailer truck that turned out to be loaded with it
The Border Patrol found alnost 3,400 pounds of marijuana wrapped in blue sugar with the help of drug-snuffing dogs. The CBP and the newspaper both reported the development in the same fashion and tone that would be used to characterize the confiscation of hard drugs like heroin, cocaine and fentanyl. The federal agency reported on Wednesday that it snagged 91 pounds of methamphetamine that it valued at $2 million on the Juarez-Lincoln Bridge in the Laredo district on the same day as the pot bust.
But neither the CBP or the DMN mentioned that substantial numbers of Texans can buy marijuana at licensed retail stores in cities and tiny towns that are less than an hour way in the neighboring state of New Mexico. The folks in the Texas Panhandle can get to the Disneyworld of cannabis in Colorado in a drive of three or four hours at the most.
GOP leaders and lawmakers who want to treat marijuana as a crime are finding it harder and harder to justify such a position when Texas is only one of 18 states that have refused to decriminalize THC. Texas ranks at the bottom of class in marijuana reform with nothing more than a pilot program for medical THC that requires prescriptions for amounts that are too low to be effective.
The Texas program has done nothing as a consequence to help the lion's share of veterans who were supposed to be some of the chief beneficiaries of the advent of medical marijuana here. People who are suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome in Texas are forced to states that have serious medical marijuana programs that aren't just for show. Or they can purchase synthetic copycats with small amounts of THC in Delta 8 or Delta 9 at stores that sell CBD legally in the Lone Star State.
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has been the lone major obstacle to the legalization of marijuana in Texas and its decriminalization as well. Patrick may not be aware of the suffering that Texas laws are causing people whose health and lives have been improved significantly by THC. Those who don't have the time or resources to travel long distances are the biggest losers.
GOP State Senator Brandon Creighton of Conroe vowed in a speech on Tuesday at Patrick's inauguration that the Texas Senate would produce one of the most conservative agendas in history at the regular session that got under way last week. But Creighton, who Patrick plans to appoint as the new Senate Education Committee, also promised that the upper chamber's work would be "forward thinking" in 2023.
That will ring hollow, however, if the lieutenant governor continues to hold Texas back with an attitude on marijuana that is unenlightened by every credible measuring standard.
Combined sales of medical and recreational marijuana reached close to $80 million in New Mexico in October and November combined. THC for recreational purposes wasn't legal in the Land of Enchantment until last spring. Marijuana sales surpassed $2 billion in Colorado in 2021 alone. The pot bust in Laredo wasn't even a drop in the bucket for comparisons sake.
more to come ...