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. It all about the money duhhh! It is ridiculous how people are going to jail for smoking pot it is absolutely ridiculous. Taxpayers are paying to imprison pot smoker’s while Billionaires fund 3 letter agencies to just imprison the people smoking DONT WORRY that makes sense it just shows how much of a joke this country is. Everyone needs to see how Portugal works they are a beautiful country in Europe check it out for the misinformed!

    2. Yes friends we need a slam dunk in
      November on all the MJ issues
      Love that pat robertson is speaking out
      What is needed now is to get more
      High profile celebs to come out of the
      Basement and endorse the miracle

    3. rubel clement says:

      bonjour, j’aimerai acheter l’herbe la moin forte que vous avez, merci.

    4. mr says:

      so we borrow money to give to the police to bust people who smoke weed? were 15 trillion in the hole wtf, fuck the us government and there corruption, a new day will dawn

    5. adam says:

      my problem is that absolute power corrupts absolutely this country is starting to sound like Nazi German the war on terror is just like hitlers war on Jews make them hated then dispose of them just like the lobbyists of this country and law enforcement saying were just doing are jobs well isn’t that what the SS said at the Nuremberg trails and all of them were either sent to the gallos or shot America is hitlers 4th Reich

    6. Buggsy13420666 says:

      The lobbyists are just part of the police state we live under, keep the money flow going for the 21ST CENTURY INQUISITORS. We get prosecuted for marijuana use and they rule with an iron fist to keep us from seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. You don’t see AUTHORITARIANS in the unemployment line. Prisons and drug testing are big industries, you don’t hear anyone working in those sectors complain about money. The LOBBYISTS protect BIG PHARMA, OIL COMPANIES, LUMBER INDUSTRY and producers of WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION and STRUCTURES OF CONTAINMENT FOR CITIZENS OF THE DRUG WAR. There is a LOBBYIST for everything that goes before CONGESS. Money talks and we are the BULLSHIT that gets walked on. When you walk out of your front door, BIG BROTHER-THE NEW WORLD ORDER and the POLICE STATE with the ORWELLIAN MENTALITY have their eyes upon us with their unjust laws and regulations of entrapment. We are the fuel for their UTOPIA. GREED is just another piece of the puzzle at us non-conformists. THEY DON’T WANT US TO DREAM-THINK or let us take action to DEFEND ourselves. It’s time to put on the DARK SUNGLASSES to see the real reality of what is around us. HAIL TO THE MONARCHY!

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    8. Jim says:

      Apparently the DEA is sending out “agents” or “representatives” into states to oversee election procedures. Twelve states are voting this November regarding either medicalization or legalization (for recreation) of Cannabis.

      The DEA “agent” in Colorado, her name is Roach. Ms. Roach.

      The only two things she said that the press reports as significant is that

      1) Cannabis has no medical use

      2) Medical marijuana is a danger because many homes (maybe thousands) could face water damage and resulting mold in places where indoor gardening occurs.

      So I have to wonder how much of national tax revenues is used to support a government agency that is unconstitutional first, draconian and a source of problems second, and more obviously: unnecessary, unjustified, ineffective, and unconscionably inane with no good reasons to justify its existence.

      Cannabis is a medicine. It is most probably the safest medicine known to man, who carried it from the mountains of Asia to every part of the earth.

      Thomas Jefferson obtained a special cultivar or strain of Cannabis while in Paris and brought them back home with him to Virginia.

      To think, that in the land of the free, the beacon of liberty to set an example for the whole world

      there is an antiquated prohibition

      -that directly creates organized crime and related violence by motivating those sorts with easy money

      -leads to felony convictions, imprisonments, social stigmatization as criminals for a non-crime, and murders by no-knock search…for having in possession a bag of dried flowers

      And the US people pay money to allow this sort of pointless tragedy to continue, to the benefit of a small group of interests and people who lack meaningful work or scruple.

      An alien arrives on earth and observes life in America. He observes and notes a pattern that is obvious but is hard to see unless out of the box. Pharmaceuticals are released experimentally, e.g., you can’t know if taking a new pharma pill and having a baby at the same time could lead to birth defect(s), the FDA does not scrutinize these drugs enough. Many pharma drugs are claimed to “treat” particular illnesses, but don’t do so better than Cannabis. There is no better medicine, FDA approved or DEA approved, to treat glaucoma by lowering intraocular pressure (IOP) than cannabis.

      Pharma makes people sick, taxes the hell out people’s livers with semi-toxic experimental drugs. When you’re almost dead, insurance takes over raking up more money. Hospitals, Pharma, Insurance are in a beneficial scheme together, as the prices of all three keep climbing simultaneously.


      Cannabis free and more effective, and NOT a crime in any reasonable way by any non-insane standard.


      the hospi-insure-pharm triad


      Make in legal in all 50 states. Grow it everywhere you can. An unjust law is no law at all.-Thomas Aquinas

      Vote Ron Paul, even if you have to write him in on your ballot.

    9. Anonymous says:

      I’d vote for Ron Paul if he wasn’t a racist and antisemite.

    10. Robert says:

      This is ridiculous…legalize it already…

      In a perfect world pot would be legal, alcohol and tobacco wouldn’t.

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