OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – “These are transnational and national organizations. They’re criminals.”
Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics Director Donnie Anderson is talking about international drug organizations and cartels moving into Oklahoma to take advantage of medical marijuana laws.
Setting up shop here with a legitimate license but then growing and selling marijuana to black market operations in surrounding states where pot is still illegal.
That’s why Oklahoma U.S. Senator James Inhofe is asking for $4 million in federal funds to help our state drug agents fight these operations, operations sometimes bringing more with them than just black-market activity.
“They are bringing with them a list of terribles…criminal activities that have absolutely nothing to do with drugs,” says Inhofe Chief of Staff Luke Holland. “Also, human trafficking, money laundering, weapons trafficking.”
Investigating these type of large marijuana farms is very difficult because they seem legit. They have their license and all that goes along with growing and selling medical marijuana legally to dispensaries in our state.
It takes investigators time to peel back the layers to find out how they are breaking the law.
“They are very in-depth investigations,” says OBN Director Anderson. “They are typical conspiracy investigations of one to two years. We’ve been fortunate this last year to have been doing the operations against them we have. But like I’ve said, on the face value they have their license and they are operating. So, you have to prove this is black market marijuana.”
And that’s what the $4 million in federal money will help with, keeping those intensive investigations going in our state.
Senator Inhofe’s office is hoping the money will get to the OBN by the first of next year.