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Drug Cartels Take Colorado? Drug Enforcer Backtracks

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) --Has Colorado's reckless decriminalization of marijuana opened the floodgates to all kinds of chaos and iniquity?

You might be forgiven for thinking that, if you read this widely-syndicated Gannett story entitled "Feds worry that drug cartels are moving into Colo." 

But the story offers no evidence of a link. Quoted in the story is Tom Gorman, director of the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, which, the story tells us, is connected to the White House National Office of Drug Control Policy.

"Our intelligence tells us, and all indications are (drug cartels) are going to move in if they haven't already," Gorman says.

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In a subsequent radio interview Gorman continues to engage in scare tactics, saying Colorado marijuana retailers could easily end up being victims of extortion.

"It's real easy for [cartels] to come in and look at these retail stores and say 'I want a piece of the action," Gorman says.

"They're treacherous, and there's no way when they show me a picture of my little girl walking to school that I am going to go to law enforcement, worrying about my family or my safety or blowing up my shop or whatever it is," he tells the interviewer.

But then shortly afterward, he backtracks--something brought to my attention by Sanho Tree, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.

"I didn't say it'd happen. I said it's a perfect storm. It's a good opportunity," Gorman tells the interviewer.

Gorman also notes that "there was some information that the press got ahold of tying it to a Colombian cartel."

Tying what to a Colombian cartel? He never tells us. Nor does the story he refers to -- that same Gannett story in which he is the only official quoted.

The whole scare campaign seems so ham-handed, frankly, it recalls-well-the War on Drugs: a ham-handed campaign that is way past its expiration date.

Follow @dan_freed


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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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