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Marijuana is law enforcement’s cash crop

By   /   July 22, 2014  /   No Comments

By Travis Perry │ Kansas Watchdog

SEEING GREEN: In the past 10 years, Kansas law enforcement have split $6.3 million reaped from drug tax stamp laws.

OSAWATOMIE, Kan. — In Kansas, the War on Drugs is really just the war on marijuana.

At least, that’s the picture painted by the latest statistics from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

KBI stats show marijuana was involved in about 8,000 law enforcement incidents during 2013. For the record, marijuana busts account for more law enforcement involvement than cocaine, meth, heroin, LSD and all other drugs combined.

Courtesy the Kansas Bureau of Investigation

Courtesy the Kansas Bureau of Investigation

The statistics don’t include figures from Topeka, Overland Park, Olathe and Kansas City. Those municipalities don’t track specific drug types.

Yes, while Kansas’ neighbor to the west has legalized the nation’s most widely used recreational drug (excluding alcohol and tobacco), the Sunflower State continues to come down hard on cannabis.

One possible reason is something that Kansas law enforcement have known for years — marijuana means money.

It just depends which side of the legal fence you’re on.

In the past decade, according to documents provided by the Kansas Department of Revenue, law enforcement agencies statewide have split a combined $6.3 million reaped from assessment of the state’s drug tax stamp law. Marijuana and other drugs may be illegal to possess, it still won’t stop the government from trying to tax you for it.

While that dollar amount isn’t broken out by drug type, it’s not a hard to figure that for law enforcement, marijuana is the real cash crop.

Related: Law enforcement reap big payouts from War on Drugs
Related: Kansas spends millions to keep non-violent drug offenders behind bars

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Travis Perry is an investigative reporter covering news and politics for Watchdog.org's Kansas bureau. Before joining the organization, Travis graduated cum laude from Washburn University and cut his teeth as news editor for the Osawatomie Graphic, where he received numerous awards from the Kansas Press Association.