Christopher Bodzioch, a Regional + City Planning student, recently published a column in The Oklahoman titled “For Oklahoma marijuana industry to keep growing, illegal activity must be stopped.” He wrote this piece as part of an assignment for the Regional + City Planning course “Planning with Diverse Communities” with Dr. C. Aujean Lee as well as the course “Herban Planning: Planning and Policies for Medical Marijuana” with Dr. Bryce Lowery.
In the column, Christopher explores how there is still a considerable amount of illegal marijuana activity happening in Oklahoma even after legalizing its use. He writes, “What completely baffles the mind is when people who can obtain a license to have a grow farm operation for under $7,000 continue to break the law in such egregious ways as transporting across state lines or selling products illegally for personal gain. It’s pure ignorance and a spit in the face to local government to think that there are not concerns over how this whole new industry is being formed.”
While tax incomes from marijuana operations are a benefit to local communities, these operations also put strain on infrastructure such as water and electricity. If operations with a legal license start to operate illegally, they threaten the safety and wellbeing of Oklahoman communities. Christopher writes, “This new business can be dangerous because it is not federally legal, and while the rest of the states are left to fend for themselves in legalizing and figuring out how to tax/zone for the new potential income, illegal operations are also being prepared and planned. Local law enforcement must be one step ahead if we want to have this income stay in Oklahoma.”
To read the full column, click here!