Report: Colo. marijuana laws meant higher quality pot and whole new problems in Kansas

The following map depicts in green those counties where a survey respondent reported the presence of Colorado marijuana (Source: Kansas Atty. General's Office)
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Since the first marijuana shops opened in Colorado two years ago, the fallout from our western neighbor has reached nearly every part of Kansas.

That's the finding from a new report released Monday by the Kansas Attorney General's Office.

“This report provides the first data-based snapshot of the specific effects Colorado’s experiment in ‘legalization’ is having in Kansas,” Atty. Gen. Derek Schmidt said.

While Schmidt said he commissioned the report to determine how marijuana from Colorado affects crime in the Sunflower State, the report noted that wasn't where it made the biggest impact.

The report found since Colorado's "legalization," the quality has improved as high grade marijuana, believed to be from the Rocky Mountain State, has supplanted lower quality pot grown at home or imported from Mexico.

In fact, the report concluded that "it is not clear that Colorado marijuana "legalization" has led to a significant overall increase in the number of marijuana crimes statewide. Although, it did add that some regions have reported an increase.

The higher quality may in turn be leading to higher instances of violent crime, though, because the marijuana more expensive, the report says. The Franklin Co. Sheriff's Office said it is "driving up the burglary, thefts and financial crimes due to users trying to afford it."

The Shawnee Co. Sheriff's Office reported a "spike" in marijuana dealers because the higher cost means greater profit.

The Sheriff's Office recounted a homicide in which it said the victim was selling a large amount of marijuana when the suspects entered the home and killed the victim. Several pounds of marijuana and thousands of dollars were reportedly found in the the home after the homicide.

Also, many parts of the state reported an influx from Colorado of marijuana-laced edibles and other products, like waxes and oils. As far as the edibles, law enforcement agencies report finding marijuana in: brownies, chocolates, gummy bears, lollipops, and more. The Douglas Co. Sheriff's Office said wax is popular now because it's easy to conceal and easy to use. It's also very common in E-Cigs.

One of the main problems law enforcement agencies reportedly faced when determining the true effect of Colorado-sourced marijuana was conclusively proving that's where it came from. For example, the Topeka Police Dept. told researchers they could only confirm seven cases, yet said "most of our high grade marijuana is coming from the State of Colorado." The report cited several agencies mentioning the high quality of Colorado marijuana.