Cannabis Benchmarks report

Ex-trafficker: “Legalization wouldn’t have put me out of business” (audio)

Washington resident Scott Johnson is getting ready to spend five years in prison for growing and trafficking marijuana. But ex-trafficker Johnson, who used to grow pot and ship it across the country in a loaded RV, doesn’t think Washington’s soon-to-start legal recreational marijuana sales would have damaged his business, according to a new NPR report.

“Legalization wouldn’t have put me out of business,” Johnson told NPR program Here & Now. “It’s not going to put anyone that’s been doing this for a while out of business.”

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But what of his former customers — will they turn from the black market to the legal market?

“The majority of people will be getting it from their buddy that they’ve been getting it from for decades,” Johnson told Here & Now.

Johnson’s theory is shared by others in his former illicit profession. In February, an anonymous Colorado-based drug dealer told CNBC, “If anything, (legalization) has helped (my business).”

Listen to the NPR program’s full feature on Johnson:

See the video of the Colorado dealer talking about how legal sales have impacted his business.