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Why The Feds Love Marijuana Legalization

by Team Marijuana News

Opening a marijuana dispensary in Massachusetts requires all the usual resources: money, expertise, money.

Entering the cannabis business in the Bay State also requires cooperation from local elected officials, in the form of a letter of support or “non-opposition.” No letter, no marijuana business permit—an arrangement that makes that letter extremely valuable.

So how do you get one of those? In Fall River, a struggling former mill town and one of the poorest cities in the state, the answer was “bribe the mayor.”

On Tuesday, former mayor Jasiel F. Correia II—convicted in May of soliciting and accepting more than $475,000 in cash bribes from four would-be cannabis entrepreneurs—was sentenced to six years in federal prison.

Correia, who sold himself to voters as a savvy and suave wunderkid when he was elected mayor at the age of 23 in 2016, is one of the highest profile American politicians to be snared in a cannabis-centered corruption scheme. And until cannabis legalization is reformed to not grant extraordinary power to politicians like Correia, he will not be the last.

In the meantime, this is great news for federal law enforcement, for whom marijuana legalization—and the temptations it presents for deciders like Correia—presents a prime opportunity to bust corrupt politicians. And as Politico reported in detail last December, they have been busy doing so. [Read More @ Forbes]

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