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United Republic Investigative Report: Why Can’t You Smoke Pot? Because Lobbyists Are Getting Rich Off of the War on Drugs

  • by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director March 8, 2012

    A relatively new webpage called Republic Reports (a project of United Republic with the sub moniker ‘Investigating How Money Corrupts Democracy‘) has turned much needed public attention to one of the five pillars of Pot Prohibition: The Law enforcement community’s role in perpetuating another possible 74 years of Cannabis Prohibition laws in America.

    Local/state police, sheriffs, prosecutors and federal agents from the DEA claim, as they often do, that ‘they don’t make the laws, they only enforce them‘.

    Is this really true? Not according to Republic Report.

    By Lee Fang

    John Lovell is a lobbyist who makes a lot of money from making sure you can’t smoke a joint. That’s his job. He’s a lobbyist for the police unions in Sacramento, and he is a driving force behind grabbing Federal dollars to shut down the California marijuana industry. I’ll get to the evidence on this important story in a bit, but first, some context.

    At some point in the distant past, the war on drugs might have been popular. But not anymore — the polling is clear, but beyond that, the last three Presidents have used illegal drugs. So why do we still put hundreds of thousands of people in steel cages for pot-related offenses? Well, there are many reasons, but one of them is, of course, money in politics. Corruption. Whatever you want to call it, it’s why you can’t smoke a joint without committing a crime, though of course you can ingest any number of pills or drinks completely within the law.

    Some of the groups who want to keep the drug illegal are police unions that want more members to pay more dues. One of the primary sources for cash for more policing activities are Federal grants for penalizing illegal drug use, which help pay for overtime, additional police officers, and equipment for the force. That’s what Lovell does, he gets those grants. He also fights against democratic mechanisms to legalize drugs.

    In 2010, California considered Prop 19, a measure to legalize marijuana and tax it as alcohol. The proposition gained more votes than Meg Whitman, the former eBay executive and Republican gubernatorial nominee that year, but failed to pass. Opponents of the initiative ran ads, organized rallies, and spread conspiracy theories about billionaire George Soros to confuse voters.

    Read the rest here.

    52 Responses to “United Republic Investigative Report: Why Can’t You Smoke Pot? Because Lobbyists Are Getting Rich Off of the War on Drugs”

    1. mark says:

      I love throwing the fact the police are funded by drug laws. I tell all the right wing Georgians about how they waste more money than all the unemployed or welfare cases. What a waste. Georgia is going to drug test welfare and food stamps recipiants, even through an aduit in Flordia reveiled this process does not work and cost more money to implament. the senator and his shit head friend can go hang themselves from some fat hemp rope!!

    2. John Silverton says:

      …and, wasn’t it clever of the Supreme Court Justices, who ruled that drug testing violated THEIR right to privacy; thus exempting themselves from testing? All the while the rest of us are subject to testing to get a job, and recently, to get welfare in our time of need.

      Hipocrates, one and all…

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