A new Colorado bill would require the implementation of technology to scan cannabis to determine whether it was legally purchased.
Colorado lawmakers have introduced a new bill which would require the development of “marijuana tracking technology” to help law enforcement distinguish between legal and illegally purchased cannabis. The bill, SB18-029, was introduced by Representatives Leroy Garcia, Daniel Pabon, Kent D. Lambert and Yeulin Willett on January 10 under the title “Development of Marijuana Tracking Technology.”
According to the text of the bill, it will require the Institute of Cannabis Research at Colorado State University – Pueblo to develop cannabis tracking technology. The bill calls for development of an “agent” that can be applied to cannabis plants or products, industrial hemp or industrial hemp products. The cannabis or hemp product would then be scanned by another device which would indicate whether the cannabis or help was “cultivated, manufactured, or sold by a licensed marijuana business or registered hemp cultivator.”
The general assembly finds and declares that the technology will benefit Colorado by increasing the ability of law enforcement to properly enforce Colorado marijuana laws, which in turn will enhance the regulated marijuana market by differentiating between legal and illegal marijuana and protect state revenue from unregulated marijuana sales.
Further, the bill instructs the Institute of Cannabis Research to find a vendor to develop the technology to the satisfaction of the state licensing authority. Once this technology is determined to be an effective means of tracking cannabis and hemp, the state licensing authority will create rules which require the technology to be used by licensed cannabis businesses. In addition, the commissioner of the Department of Agriculture will create rules that require registered industrial hemp cultivators to use the technology. Finally, the bill would require that the technology be made available to law enforcement throughout the state.
The actual text of the bill reveals more details about what exactly constitutes an “agent” and what kind of tracking technology might be employed in pursuit of catching gray and black market users and dealers. As noted, the bill would require cannabis and hemp dealers to “insert unique and traceable identifiers” into legal medical and retail cannabis and industrial hemp. But what would this technology look like?
According to the text of the bill,
The Institute may determine whether the marijuana tracking technology should be nanotechnology; isotopic; chemical, or biological identifiers; other available technology; or a combination of any technologies.
Yep. You read that right. The Colorado bill for tracking legal cannabis purchases may use nanotechnology, or isotopic, chemical or biological identifiers. What does that mean for your health? Will there be any risks associated with smoking this new nanotech weed? Time will tell, but hopefully studies will be conducted before this technology is pushed on the people of Colorado and spreads elsewhere.
One final intriguing note is the mention of a “distributed ledger” to catalog all of this data. The bill states that the “identifiers” used to track the cannabis must be coded into “secure records using distributed ledger technology that, in compliance with federal guidelines and industry best practices, will be accessible by law enforcement agencies or the department of revenue.” Although the bill does not explicitly state it, a distributed ledger could be a reference to the state of Colorado using technology similar to the Blockchain, a distributed ledger that is used for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Will this technology be a part of Colorado’s new efforts to track pot users?
At the end of the day the bill is a perfect illustration of how big of a joke the War on Drugs has become. The people of Colorado have decided they want to use cannabis recreationally and medically. However, instead of being free to do so they had to convince the legislature to leave them alone. Now that the law has changed, the lawmakers want to continue exploiting the prohibition of drugs like cannabis by pursuing “illegal” users.
Legalization of cannabis in Colorado (and elsewhere) was never about freeing the people from the tyranny of government. It was always about putting the state tyrants in charge of what you can and cannot smoke. This is why the authorities are spending more money and time trying to smoke out the users and dealers who still choose to operate on the peaceful gray and black markets. These entrepreneurs and their customers represent the last threat to the State’s complete control of the cannabis market.
Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist and liberty activist. He is the Lead Investigative Reporter for ActivistPost.com and the founder of the TheConsciousResistance.com. Follow him on Twitter. Derrick is the author of three books: The Conscious Resistance: Reflections on Anarchy and Spirituality and Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 1, Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 2 and Manifesto of the Free Humans.
Derrick is available for interviews. Please contact Derrick@activistpost.com