A former member of the Vancouver police gang unit says legalized recreational pot in Washington State will have zero impact on organized crime.
Constable Doug Spencer says people will still seek out non-licensed marijuana, which remains illegal.
“They’re not paying taxes, not to mention the weed when they grow it legally, it’s going to have to be safeguarded because gangs will go and rip it off and rob it, there is no way they can compete with the gang’s black market on the lower class of weed.”
Spencer is also concerned legalization sends a bad message to young people, with underage youth more likely to try the drug because it’s become main stream.
Legal recreational marijuana became available for purchase for the first time in Washington State this week.
The owner of Bellingham’s first recreational pot shop says he isn’t concerned about getting robbed.
Thomas Beckley with Top Shelf Cannabis says he’s taken extra security precautions.
“We have facial recognition cameras, we have product locked up every night which has seven padlocks on it, and we have glass breaks and motion sensors.”
Beckley says it was a hectic first day of making history, with more than 2-thousand customers passing through the doors eager to get their hands on the first legal pot for recreational use sold in Washington State.