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Pot pops problems

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

National media outlets are pouncing on the story of an arrest of former University at Buffalo student Alexander Zito, who was caught by Buffalo narcotics detectives with 640 Jolly Lolly marijuana lollipops, marijuana chocolate hard candy, five pounds of regular marijuana, crack cocaine and hashish on Thursday.

According to the article by the Buffalo News’ Lou Michel, here’s the background of Zito’s undercover business:

Zito, 26, allegedly arranges to obtain the marijuana on trips to California under the guise that it is for medicinal purposes and then has it shipped here through the U.S. Postal Service. Medical marijuana in California is legal under state law, but that is not the case in New York.

Michel’s article further explains that, while Zito has been unemployed for a few years, he’s doing quite well financially. Arrested for felony possession of marijuana and cocaine from his Delaware apartment, Zito was listed on business cards as the proprietor of a medical marijuana shop in San Diego.

“Infusion factories” are blossoming in popularity, especially in light of the coming November vote on the legalization of recreational marijuana use in Colorado, Oregon and Washington. This Washington Post piece by Sari Horwitz delves more deeply into the state regulations vs. federal law conflict that could be an explosive issue soon.

Browsing through the Jolly-Lolly website, a number of flavors—including the Canni Soothe lozenges, which bring a soothing menthol-eucalyptus flavor—are available at $10 a “pop.” Lollipops aren’t even the craziest edible that marijuana is blended into—butter, oil, “high tea” and gingerbread are available for medicinal purposes in California only. A Facebook page for the Infusion Factory promotes “hash drops,” which are more versatile, apparently.

The currently free weed market in Colorado is flourishing, according to the Daily Beast, and it even has considerable political backing.

“Weed is the new gay,” says Ted Trimpa, a Democratic strategist said in Tony Dokoupil’s outstanding article.

If your Halloween candy tastes a little funky—and you feel a little mellow and hungry after—you should be wary, Buffalo.

(Header photo courtesy of Flickr / greenbes—and they’re just lollipops, not pot lollipops in the photo—to clarify).

TAGGED: alexander zito, legalize marijuana, university at buffalo, washington post

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