Gov. Newsom Shifts National Guard to Fighting Marijuana Black Market

Marijuana1Gov. Gavin Newsom is shifting the California National Guard from border enforcement to cracking down on the illegal marijuana industry — even though he was an advocate for the legalization of the drug.

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After announcing earlier this month that he was scaling down the National Guard presence near the border, Newsom shifted resources to fighting illegal marijuana farms, which are maintaining a black market that makes it difficult for legal suppliers to thrive, and that deprives the state of tax revenues that it expected legalization would provide.

The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday:

ast week, Newsom announced an expansion of efforts by the California National Guard to work with federal officials to target the black market, including illegal drug grows in Northern California operated by international drug cartels.

The governor proposed that at least 150 California National Guard troops would be redeployed from the U.S.-Mexico border to join a federally funded Counterdrug Task Force. The new forces would focus on illicit cannabis activity in Northern California.

As much as 80% of the marijuana sold in California comes from the black market, according to an estimate by New Frontier Data, a firm that tracks cannabis sales and trends. Analysts also found that California’s illicit pot market was valued at an estimated $3.7 billion last year, more than four times the size of the legal market.

In addition to black market woes, marijuana entrepreneurs in California are frustrated at the slow pace of local permitting processes for dispensaries.

California voters approved the legalization of recreational marijuana by passing Proposition 64 in 2016.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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  1. Can’t wait for the reports of doors being busted open by Jack-Booted Thugs…..errr…..NG Troops!

  2. Just like the drug cartels, cali doesn’t want any competition.

  3. Predictable government stupidity. Legalize a product to control it and then overtax it and keep the black market cartels in business. Everybody wins…almost.

  4. Irony noted, since the illegal drug trade has been pouring over our open borders and into our sanctuary cities for decades.

    Don’t care what it gets called, close these borders to illegal drug lords and grow farms. Clean up this state, Gov Newsom. Yesterday.

  5. At some wondrous point in the future, the government employee unions will start electing people who commit to protecting this state. it. It is in their best interests to build this state up’ not keep tearing it down.

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