GRANTS PASS, Ore. – The Josephine County Sheriff’s Office is addressing why illegal marijuana that’s been seized by authorities can’t be re-sold legally to fund law enforcement.
The sheriff’s office released the following statement on Monday, August 22:
On Thursday August 11th, 2022 at the Local Public Safety Coordinating Council meeting (LPSCC), a request was made that we explain and advertise why illegal marijuana that has been seized by law enforcement cannot be sold legally to support/fund law enforcement. Many of our citizens have been asking this reasonable question in our newspaper’s letters section and elsewhere for some time.
No, we cannot sell seized marijuana to fund law enforcement. Here’s why:
Illegal marijuana is very often tainted with toxic chemicals like “Raid foggers,” making the product dangerous to use and a public health concern. Legal marijuana and hemp cultivation operations are subject to inspection by the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission. Testing of the product is mandatory per license/permit regulations. This is done for good reason.
If we were to rely on sales of confiscated marijuana for revenue, that could create a conflict of interest and possibly lead to an unethical situation where law enforcement had ulterior motives in prosecuting individuals. We strive to avoid any real or perceived conflicts of interest.
Selling confiscated marijuana would be no different than the bad old days of law enforcement funding itself with traffic tickets, (which we do not). If you think about it, how many tickets could our police write? Could this lead to abuse instead of enforcing traffic safety?
Furthermore, our County does not compete for sales with law-abiding cannabis producers, possibly undercutting their business margins, or “flooding” the market.
Illegal marijuana is evidentiary in nature. This also prohibits its sale to the public.
So, while we applaud the innovative thinking of the citizens asking why our County does not sell confiscated illegal marijuana to fund public safety, this will not be a revenue solution for Josephine County.
The goal in this release is to help inform the public and extend gratitude for those whose goal is to support law enforcement in Josephine County.
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