Recreational marijuana has been legal in California for a little over a year now, but cannabis delivery drivers may tell you there's still a lot of kinks to work out.
California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers continue to arrest and seize marijuana during traffic stops of cannabis delivery drivers. In 2018, CHP seized nearly eight tons of marijuana, which was more than double what they seized in 2017. That's not a great statistic, considering recreational marijuana became legal in California on January 1st, 2018.
A major case occurred in September of 2018 when two men who operate a cannabis distribution business were pulled over after receiving payment for a major order of $257,000. Despite there being no cannabis in their vehicle, a dog smelled marijuana and then men were detained and their money seized. The men were eventually released, and while they have not been charged with a crime, their $257,000 payment was seized by the police and given to the Department of Homeland Security.
The two men who were pulled over in September have sued the CHP and want the California courts to handle this situation.
CHP defends their policies, saying they're simply attempting to prevent black market distribution of cannabis. And they say that drivers with proper documentation and licenses. But look again to the lawsuit from September and see that these two men committed no crime, had no cannabis on them, and yet they still lost $257,000.
Now, last week the California Bureau of Cannabis Control announced that marijuana delivery is now legal throughout the state, even in local jurisdictions that have banned recreational cannabis sales. And the government has provided guidelines to both drivers and law enforcement about how to handle the new policy. So perhaps these CHP seizures will decrease in 2019.
Once again we have to wonder why police officers don't have anything better to do than seize marijuana.
(h/t Sacramento Bee)