Cocaine: Now Legal to Make, Sell, & Use Next to Washington State
Company Gets License to Make and Sell Cocaine
First, most hard drugs were decriminalized and now one company has received a license to make, sell, and distribute cocaine right next to the Washington State border.
Cocaine, Meth, Fentanyl, Heroin, and More Decriminalized
There is not one, but two different borders with Washington State where hard drugs in small amounts are now legal.
Both Oregon and British Columbia, Canada have laws enacted that decriminalize most hard drugs in small amounts.
The laws were created to help fight addiction by making it easier to get addicts treatment. Instead, the plan has yet to get any positive results since it was first enacted in Oregon in November 2020.
British Columbia's law just went into effect on January 31, 2023, making it much too soon to judge yet.
This is part of a 3-year trial of the law where possession of up to 2.5 grams of opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine, or MDMA won’t be punished. The law will last until January 31, 2026.
Why is the Oregon Plan Failing 2 Years Later?
Oregon passed Ballot Measure 110 with 60% approval by voters in 2020, they expected hundreds of millions of dollars from cannabis sales would be channeled into treatment programs for addicts.
The reality is that years later the funding is slow to get where it is needed and incidents of drug use and overdose have increased according to AP News.
The law was supposed to decriminalize drugs and help people get treatment.
When a user was found with small amounts of drugs, instead of a citation or jail they are given a number to get treatment. They found in a recent audit that less than 1% of people that were written a citation and given the phone number called the helpline.
The Director of Oregon Health Authority blamed the dysfunction of the program in the interview on "ambitious implementation timelines and stretched OHA staffing resources due to the pandemic."
Higher drug use and overdose rates are not the only problems facing Oregon. Property crimes like theft and vandalism spiked especially in the summer months of Oregon after the law change, according to RTI International.
British Columbia Takes Shocking Step with Hard Drugs
Oregon has not had any success getting addicts treatment after multiple years of funding but they at least are not "providing drugs" to the addicts.
That fact has not stopped British Columbia from taking a shocking next step and making it legal for companies to produce the newly legal drugs and distribute them in small amounts.
I thought the original idea was to try and get drugs off the streets by getting addicts help, not create a whole new legal hard drug commercial market.
Company Gets License Approval to Make, Sell, & Distribute Cocaine
A company named Adastra in British Columbia has been given an amendment to its Controlled Drugs and Substances Dealer’s License that allows them to "interact with up to 250 grams of cocaine and to import coca leaves to manufacture and synthesize the substance."
They are also allowed to "possess, produce, sell and distribute up to 1,000 grams of psilocybin and its chemical cousin psilocin" with the amendment.
Does Adastra See Dollar Signs Instead of Treatment?
Adastra already has multiple cannabis companies under its brand operating in British Columbia namely Sitka Weedworks, Clarity Cannabis, Phyto Extractions, and PerceiveMD.
The CEO of Adastra Michael Forbes says in an interview "We will evaluate how the commercialization of this substance fits in with our business model at Adastra in an effort to position ourselves to support the demand for a safe supply of cocaine."
When he says "how the commercialization of this substance fits our business model" and then wants to "position ourselves" in the market, does it sound like he wants to help the problem or profit from it?
Store in Vancouver Plans to Sell MDMA and Cocaine
A Cannabis store has now promised to carry and sell MDMA, methamphetamines, cocaine, crack cocaine, and heroin in Vancouver, British Columbia after the law change.
Even though he will buy the drugs illegally, he claims he will be allowed to re-sell them at his "legal" store location according to Daily Hive.
His plan is to call the store "The Drug Store" and offer a delivery system called "DrugDash".
The owner Jerry Martin says he knows he could be arrested because trafficking those drugs is still illegal but thinks it is worth the risk.
The Impacts on Washington State
It is too early to tell if these laws across the Washington State border are having an effect on increasing crime or drug use here but there is an obvious concern.
Homelessness, theft, drug use, and crime, in general, have been an increasing problem in Washington State over the last few years. Are these new drug policies partly to blame?
Only time will tell for sure, but it does not look good. Hopefully, this problem doesn't spill over into Washington State, or worse yet that we adopt some of these policies ourselves.