Authorities have made a reported $22 million cannabis bust after pursuing a vehicle at high speeds. The defendant, Jesser Oaxaca, 32, will face one count of trafficking cannabis, numerous weapons charges, and one charge of delivering cannabis.
According to police, they spotted the van exiting a warehouse they suspected of drug activity. Two suspects emerged from this. One was Oaxaca and the other was an accomplice, Nicholas Valentino.
Authorities followed the van while Valentino and Oaxaca conspired on Facetime to ambush the pursuing agents. At one point, Valentino fired two shots into the officers’ car. No one, however, was injured. Afterward, a high-speed chase ensued. The two vehicles piloted by each suspect fled in opposite directions. The Volkswagen, driven by Valentino eventually crashed into a squad card, thus ending the chase.
Later, a search warrant of the warehouse found pallets full of marijuana products including edibles, vacuum-sealed flower, THC cartridges, and psilocybin mushroom bars. They also recovered around $100,000 in cash and an AK-47.
Isn’t Pot Legal?
Not really. While states like Illinois have passed marijuana laws that allow individuals to possess up to one ounce for personal use, the market is so tightly controlled that many of the same folks who were criminals prior to legalization are now criminals after legalization. Because these laws affect Black and brown neighborhoods, the same social justice issues that existed prior to legalization still exist today.
How do you know these laws are targeting poor people in Black and brown neighborhoods? Because anyone who lives in public housing or gets a housing voucher is banned from possessing weed and could be charged with a crime if they are caught.
Even after decades of failure, authorities still believe that they can create huge regulatory infrastructures around drugs without it unfairly targeting the poor. But every time they pass a law, it always ends up the same way. In this case, you have actual language in the text of the law that directly targets only the poor.
So, no, pot is not legal. It is just legal to smoke, possess, and distribute under certain conditions. Certainly, the majority of poor people will not be able to afford to set up all the licensing to sell pot themselves or be able to afford the overhead of starting a new business. Even most drug dealers cannot do that on their wages, and felons likely would not be able to apply for licenses.
The major benefit of legalization and its only real purpose, is so that the state generates new tax revenue from sales. But do not be confused. There is not one shred of evidence to suggest legalization was inspired by social justice reform.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you are facing charges related to marijuana possession, distribution, or cultivation, call the Chicago criminal defense attorney David Freidberg today at (312) 560-7100 to learn more about how we can help.