What Should Counties Do With Confiscated Weed?

If you’ve ever wondered what local authorities do with all the weed they seize, you’re not alone. That very question came up in Yolo County last year and it’s now leading to fairly serious discussions about ways the county could benefit from all its impounded cannabis.

Supervisor Matt Rexroad appears to be the first person to have raised the question directly -- and out loud.

“Why don’t we sell (cannabis) for millions of dollars?” he asked.

Rexroad has a point. Selling the confiscated bud to pay for enforcement seems, at first glance, to be a far better idea that destroying it, as the county currently does. But any attempt to sell the marijuana to raise revenue would run into more than a few ethical, legal, and logistical problems.

First, a government entity would be participating in an illegal act under federal law. Secondly, it would run into serious ethical questions similar to those that already surround the practice of asset forfeiture. And thirdly, the county could be seen as introducing unfair competition into the legal marketplace.

Unsatisfied with the idea of burning $15 million in cannabis, supervisors are still brainstorming ideas. They’ve made no official moves yet.


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