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White collar crime trend takes on shade of marijuana green

Colorado residents are well aware of the changing attitudes regarding marijuana not just here but in all of the U.S. Here, marijuana laws have been the subject of controversy as well as actual legislative change in recent years. And just as new laws make for progress but also new legal questions, they also seem to making for new criminal risk.

According to federal regulators, the new wave of marijuana availability, businesses and changing views have inspired so-called "scammers" to try to cash in on the marijuana interest. Authorities warn potential investors to be careful about investing in the marijuana business because of white collar crime tied to the growingly popular but still controversial drug business.

A recent Gallup poll suggests that more than half of Americans believe in the legalization of marijuana. Those opinions alone don't magically change the laws overnight and allow marijuana businesses to pop up all over the country, but they do possibly reflect belief among the public that the marijuana business will grow in the coming years.

Consumer protection advocates and regulators claim that supposed criminals understand the changing mindsets regarding marijuana and want to tap into investors' interests in the field. Basically, authorities fear that investors are getting scammed by people claiming to represent legitimate investment opportunities tied to the marijuana industry.

Officials have their eyes peeled to try to find any possible white collar criminals, and with the marijuana business already running in Colorado, they will undoubtedly be looking for scams that are seemingly tied to the new industry. Someone who is accused of fraud should immediately work with a defense lawyer who can try to protect his or her best interests against the aggressive nature of prosecutors in this area of the law.

Source: KOMO News, "Scammers looking to cash in on marijuana boom," Herb Weisbaum, Oct. 25, 2013

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