In the weeks since marijuana became legal in Colorado, there have been a thick plume of stories on how to plan a pot-smoking vacation. Even The Dallas Morning News, which still blanches at the notion of fully legalized pot, offered a buyer's guide.
The pot tourism boom, however large it will prove to be, is all well and good, but what about the pot enthusiast who, through lack of time or means, can't make the trip? Will they never have the opportunity to partake of legally produced Colorado weed?
They will, thanks to entrepreneurs who, as the Houston Chronicle reported this weekend, are already shuttling the stuff into Texas.
The Chronicle piece is based primarily on a report released last year by the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, which looked at what had happened with medical marijuana in Colorado as a proxy for the likely impact of full legalization.
Texas, according to the report, is the No. 4 importer of Colorado's medical marijuana. In 2012, law enforcement here seized 18 shipments containing 198 pounds marijuana that originated in Colorado, compared with 37 shipments in Kansas, 30 in Missouri, and 22 in Illinois, all straight shots down Interstate 70. (Texas was No. 2 in the number of seized mail parcels).
The report cites one case in which Texas Highway Patrol stopped a Richardson-bound vehicle with a couple of pounds of pot and four containers of marijuana-laced, butter, popcorn, drinks and cookies.
Tom Gorman, who heads the Rocky Mountain HIDTA, tells the Chronicle officers are already seeing an increase in those numbers post-legalization.
The agency's report is backed up with statistics showing that seizures of Colorado-sourced marijuana have increased fourfold over the past four years, and law enforcement agencies in Colorado and neighboring states are understandably wary that full legalization will spur further increases.
No doubt that will happen, but there's no chance that enough high-quality Colorado weed will flow through the Panhandle to fundamentally change the dynamics of the Texas drug market. It'll just be another option, available to those who seek it.
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.
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