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The Mainstream Media’s Promoting Marijuana Myth Makers and Prohibition Junkies

  • by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director October 8, 2010

    The longtime government supporters of Cannabis Prohibition are very nervous about the upcoming binding ballot initiative in California which appears on track to be approved by millions of state voters. There is much evidence for this assertion:

    A few weeks ago the Los Angeles Times published a so-called unprecedented ‘jointly’ signed letter by all of the former drug czars (aka, Directors of the Office of Drug Control Policy) crowing against cannabis and the voter initiative in California that is likely going to pass this November 2nd. Ironically, or not, when readers go to the Los Angeles Times’ webpage to read the former czars rant-n-rave, they’re pitched cannabis-related Google ads.

    It is hard to imagine Cannabis Prohibition surviving too much longer when pro-cannabis ads ring government propaganda!

    This week the Wall Street Journal regrettably compromised its usual rhetorical commitment to ‘less government’, more ‘free markets’ and ‘personal responsibility’ by publishing an absurdly argued op-ed from every previous administrator from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) calling on the Obama administration to actively oppose the democratic will of the voters in America’s most important state politically and economically if they choose, as it appears likely they will based on recent polling, to legalize cannabis for responsible adult use, sales and taxation.

    Why the ‘we don’t like big government’ and free market-oriented editorial page editors of the Wall Street Journal decided to  shill for a federal government agency, who, according to a report from the Office of Management and Budget is little more than a bureaucratic sacred cow, has one of the worse performance records in the history of otherwise bloated inside-the-beltway bureaucracies that the Journal editors usually relish skewing is beyond me.

    Firstly, the rant from these former ‘head narcs’ against the Democratic Obama administration comes mainly from partisan Republicans.

    Second, as has been noted in NORML’s submitted letter-to-the-editor at the Wall Street Journal (which we understand will be published on Monday, October 11) and at Reason, these former DEA heads make a flaccid and intellectually dishonest assertion that a state must be saddled with a failed federal public policy like Cannabis Prohibition in contradiction to the popular will of it’s voters. Really? Is this true? Then why do states like California, Colorado, New Mexico, District of Columbia, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Maine have systems in place to authorize the retail sale of medical cannabis and to tax the product as well?

    Is the sole focus on ‘legalization’ by these former anti-drug technocrats a left-handed acknowledgement that medical cannabis use and sales are in fact lawful and taxed commerce at the state level now, while at the same time trying advance the unpersuasive argument that states sanctioning and taxing non-medical cannabis is now going over some kind of impermissible line of state autonomy? Or worse, a violation of international treaties?

    One can understand on the level of myth-making, propagandizing, brain-washing, indoctrinating, embracing pseudo science and possessing the most tin ears politically why these men (and a woman) who’ve represented the ‘big lie’ to the American public and Congress for so long are reticent to  1) acknowledge that they were at all wrong in opposing cannabis legalization (even notably medical access and industrial hemp), 2) that they’re logically afraid of rightly being branded as ‘liars’ and 3) having to cop to the hundreds of billions of tax dollars that have been both wasted and left uncollected for decades…to say nothing of the 21 million arrests and millions of incarcerations since 1937.

    One can almost feel bad for these individuals for a nanosecond when considering how badly pop culture is currently treating them, and how I personally believe history will likely cast dark shadows over their championing of Cannabis Prohibition.

    What do I mean by ‘casting dark shadows’?

    Here’s two prime examples from the list of former DEA heads:

    After making a reputation at the DEA for opposing NORML’s administrative law victory in challenging the DEA’s mis-scheduling of cannabis in Schedule I, Jack Lawn went on to fame and fortune as the CEO of the Century Council–the main non-profit organization funded by the hard booze lobby to promote ‘alcohol awareness and to deter youth access and drunk driving’.

    Peter Bensinger, who has a business partnership with former drug czar Robert DuPont providing anti-drug advice to fortune 500 companies and drug testing services (including to members of Congress), also has a daughter who used to be a spokesmodel for Miller Beer.

    Yep…you can’t make this stuff up!

    These lame and too-late-to-the-game monologues by all of these former government agency heads who made careers (and small fortunes) lying about cannabis and demonizing cannabis consumers and patients in the Los Angeles Times (shame on you!) and the Wall Street Journal (doubly shame on you!) are likely going to be as successful as the last and great ‘unprecedented’ attempt by Cannabis Prohibition’s A-Team to thwart the direct will of the citizens regarding setting a new path to end prohibition, when, every living US president (Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush 1.0 and Clinton) signed a 1996 op-ed for the Los Angeles Times (so much shame for this paper’s historical support for Cannabis Prohibition!) against a then supposedly radical and society-threatening Prop. 215–which the voters approved in California at a higher rate than they did for returning President Clinton back to office.

    As has been predicted recently by a number of polling firms and political scientists in California, the state’s voters may well endorse in greater numbers for legalizing cannabis in three weeks then they will in supporting any major political candidates for elective office. One would think that these mainstream, duopoly political candidates would finally say ‘Uncle!’ and end their stubborn and unfounded opposition to a long-sought end to cannabis prohibition in California if only out of the pure embarrassment of how wrong they’ve been in bucking public sentiment and the free market.

    Something tells me I probably shouldn’t hold my breath.

    35 Responses to “The Mainstream Media’s Promoting Marijuana Myth Makers and Prohibition Junkies”

    1. Jordan Dvorak says:

      Marijuana is good.Alcohol is bad. God made weed, man made alcohol.

      Just legalize it, it helps me get A’s on my college exams,relieves my stress from a long week at school, helps me study with school work and keeps my adhd under control. It grows out of the ground and looks beautiful and smells Godly.

    2. Cat Person says:

      I think its a pride thing with the DEA. They have enjoyed putting fear into the hearts of the American people for so many years now. They don’t want to budge an inch even when they are wrong. They could care less about democracy. All the TV shows that are on about them. They like being looked upon as Gods. If they want our respect they should stop the great lie. I know our law enforcement officers puts their lives on the line for us everyday. God bless them for that and keep them safe.

    3. Michelle says:

      Good job NORML!!! Stand up & fight for us!!!!!!!! Much respect!

    4. warren says:

      I predict 75% in favor of prop 19. Just to show these idiot politicians who is running this show.

    5. Chris C says:

      The second I see good old Gil as a reference my eyes just roll back into my head. Just took a look at the official voters guide and apparently prop 19 will “endanger” 9.4 billion in schools. Absolutely ridiculous. I am assuming that would be from Federal funds being withheld and at that I laugh. What better way to help society than to strong-arm our political agenda by taking away education from the next generation. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    6. Willie says:

      The last time I checked we live in a democracy. Why are so many politicians vehemently opposed to the will of the people? They are willing to go as far as circumventing the whole democratic process! They need to take a deep breath and repeat after me… Of the people, for the people, and by the people!!

    7. Ernst Berg says:

      Some of you know me as JackTheGrower from the Site ICMag.com. I in the process of moving to Calicannabis.org but those are my credentials so i mention that.
      I am a 10 year Medical person is Stanislaus county. A county where the DEA was successful is stopping local Dr’s from recommending Cannabis and a place where dispensaries have been banned all these 14 years with at least on False arrest of the owner of one of two dispensaries that did try and open.

      Nice Article.. And Yes we should note who is on the Prohibition Dream Team!
      We should really write it down Literally so we can NOT VOTE for them again!

      I am in Stanislaus County and we still have no official medical dispensary.
      I have had no success obtaining work as well being a legal and responsible Medical person.
      The Cannabis word was until a few months ago still like declaring one is a Communist in the middle of a Republican Convention and asking for their endorsement in the upcoming theoretical elections.

      I wish to point out that if prop 19 passes we should NOT FORGET our real Medical Brothers and Sisters!

      There is still a need for Canna-Justice.

      That the main consumer base will be less willing to pay for a medical recommendation means that those who are honestly Medical and working to provide for Medical people still need our support and love.

      So do vote! Do realize that prop 19 and the property ownership clause is a bad thing but for Gawds Sake please help the rest of us Medical people have some freedom and Community even after Prop 19 vote!

      Don’t forget that the war is not over and we all shouldn’t get stuck in the “I GOTS MINE” frame of mind if prop 19 passes.

      Lastly, if Prop 19 doesn’t pass consider joining a community group to help in 2012. The only thing between us and Cann-freedom is our own laziness.

      Thank You for this opportunity to share my points of view.

    8. Jim says:

      Combining its medicinal, industrial, spiritual and now recreational potential makes cannabis at least one of, if not the most beneficial substance on the planet. That the politicians and still way too large a minority of people believe and/or contend it’s a bad thing is testimony to the power of propaganda. Thankfully, we’ve got centuries of evolution since the discovery of cannabis, people who still remember how to use their brains, and the approaching end of this period of devolution for man.

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