DEA Admits Legalization Reduces Black Market Demand

The DEA admitted in a recent report to Congress that state-wide cannabis legalization policies have overall reduced demand in the illicit cannabis market.

Full story after the jump.

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) admitted in its latest performance budget submission to Congress that state-legal cannabis markets have helped to reduce demand in illegal cannabis markets. The admission, reported first by Marijuana Moment, also appears to suggest that DEA believes the eventual legalization of cannabis is all but inevitable.

“After the 2017 legalization of medical marijuana in Florida resulted in retail distribution centers throughout the [area], the legalization of low-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (10%) smokeable medical marijuana in March 2019 is anticipated to lead to a growing market for Florida-sourced low-THC marijuana. Yet, until high potency marijuana becomes legalized in Florida, we believe the impact will be minimal on the demand for high-THC marijuana from California and other states.” — Excerpt from the report

This admission appears to confirm that cannabis consumers prefer legal sources to the unregulated market — additionally, the agency used the word “until” instead of “if” when referring to the eventual legalization of adult-use cannabis in Florida, implying that even federal law enforcement recognizes the ineffectiveness of cannabis prohibition.

“Their framing clearly indicate that the days of prohibition are nearly over. We are living through the death rattles of prohibition,” Justin Strekal, political director of NORML, told Marijuana Moment.

Meanwhile, polls continue to indicate that an increasing number — currently, about two-thirds — of Americans believe that cannabis use should be legalized nationwide.

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