In response to the legalization of pot in Colorado, the Justice Department last year directed federal prosecutors to focus their efforts at making sure marijuana grown in those states isnt being diverted to states where the drug is illegal. Indeed, federal investigators who say FedEx has been knowingly delivering illicit prescription medications to the tune of $820 million in profit, prosecutors say don’t know how much illegal stuff moves through private package delivery networks, but they do know it’s a whole bunch. You can bet your bottom dollar that Colorado is probably shipping a ton of stuff, and as a result Washington is watching all avenues coming out of there, says Finn Selander, a retired DEA special agent and now a member of LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition ,who works to end marijuana prohibition in order to defuse a vast and sometimes dangerous black market. What you dont realize, and whats a big part of this puzzle, is that medical marijuana is very expensive, and the demand out there is huge, which means theres still a huge, huge, huge black market of pot grown legally for medical use that is being diverted to the national black market for pot. There are other factors playing into what Mr. Selander believes is a major movement of illicit drugs through the mail. A decade ago, companies like FedEx worked with federal drug agents, allowing agents to borrow trucks and clothing in order to bust recipients at their homes. (Agents used an electronic beacon that went off when the package was opened inside the home.) But that cooperation ended, he says, as safety concerns rose about drivers, who work alone, being targeted as snitches or police informants.
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