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TheFix.com: “The Drug Warriors Cashing In on Pot Prohibition”

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director March 22, 2013

    “Former public servants, from DEA chiefs to cops, are using their clout to lobby for drug policies that enrich themselves.”

    That’s the sub-headline on today’s exceptional feature story on TheFix.com highlighting the revolving door of moneyed interests in perpetuating the war on cannabis.

    Author Kevin Gray, whose work has appeared in numerous outlets including The Washington Post, articulately summarizes the role of former drug czars, cops, federal bureaucrats, and others who lobby the keep the drug war machine moving forward — and, as a result, line their own pockets.

    “The time-honored revolving door between government and business swings fast and often. It can be straightforward, like the appointment of banking behemoth Goldman Sachs’ alumni as economic policymakers by recent presidential administrations. But when it comes to the drug war, the family tree is more like a thicket of interests among law enforcement, federal and state prisons, pharmaceutical giants, drug testers and drug treatment programs—all with an economic stake in keeping pot illegal.”

    The whole story is really a must read. Here is the link to the full text.

    67 Responses to “TheFix.com: “The Drug Warriors Cashing In on Pot Prohibition””

    1. chris says:

      @ evening bud
      my post to you was about your post on “Free press”
      When The corporational world decides they want to be apart of the movement of medical cannabis, or recreational cannabsis, then they can and will allow for media coverage on television.

      At our current time and presence we only have the said “tel”-(it’s now we need to find the)”e-vision” and put them together. That’s what i was getting at, It’s how they make us believe their way is correct by allowing us to view what they want us to allow as “socially acceptable” ect pumping alcohol into the square fountain…..Even if cannabis were fully legal. If you stomped out a joint and left it, much like the fountain of beer( un-gaurded), it would be thrown into our faces at how we allowed for this substance to be obtained by our children..when we as resposible consumers are not that ignorent.

      When we all know how the truth is , and if they can get past their stage of “denial-of-service”, then maybe the media can play in our favor as well………..
      Sorry if i led this one out there, as pointed out to me by an “old guy” at one point in my life….lol…. I hope it makes more since now.

      Peace to all on this day of “Resurrection”

      as always
      thanks for reading
      chris

    2. Julian Olinick says:

      @Evening Bud,
      Thanks Bud. I’m more of a “morning bud” myself. A good view, some good coffee and a good morning bud would make one hell of a commercial to me.
      Commercializing marijuana by ending the DEA’s cartel control through the C.S.Act would force the rest of the cartels to settle their disputes in court instead of the bloody streets of Laredo and Nuevo Laredo. How about a commercial like “I’d like to buy the world a toke… for perfect har-mo-ny…” and show a couple of Mexican cartel bosses shaking hands and sharing a big churro outside of a courtroom? “Mexi-Churros; Viva la Paz!”
      I have some good political and personal reasons to see these made to fail drug wars end. I believe it’s the personal voice at the grassroots that’s going to move our vote. On the political side, rogue government agencies pay off the media, sell their “marijuana madness and brand activists as “conspiracy theorists.” Allow me to share a few short stories and essays of my activism, first political and then personal, and you tell me which one will get the votes out.

      SEXPIONAGE AND THE POLITICAL BULLET
      On the political side I don’t know whether to cry or laugh. It turns out the DEA was showing our secret service where all the prostitutes were in Cartagena. Remember the Summit of the America’s last year? Memory refresher: It was the event at which that Secret Service scandal occured. It also happens to be the first time since Nixon signed the Controlled Substance Act that a U.S. President (Obama) had to respond to international scrutiny over the failed drug wars. The Presidents of Honduras, Guatemala and even Mexico would not attend unless they had a response which had never happened before. Obama responded; He said “We will not be changing our drug policy at this time,” (during an election year of course), But the problem is nobody heard his response because we were all too busy soaking up the drama of whether some Colombian prostitutes committed SEXpionage? REALLY? I brought this point up verbatim to the Dianne Rheams Show on NPR. I said, “Which brings me to my final question; is it Secret Service policy to defend the President from political bullets? Because… if that’s the case, then it appears the Secret Service did their job after all.” I had some former SS officer rolling. Dianne turns to him and says, “What ARE we talking about?” And in true political fashion, the Officer replies, “I don’t know but that’s the best conspiracy theory I ever heard.”
      While I was glad Dianne put me on the show, the show ended with me labeled as conspiracy theorist. Funny thing is my last comment was complete satire. Only intelligent people would have caught on to that. But we’re trying to sway a broader audience; Not just some dumb agent who fails to pay a hooker.

      My 3 Personal Reasons to End the Drug Wars
      and the Controlled Substance Act.
      My wife is Mexican. We have two kids and travel to Mexico at least once a year. Also, my friend of twelve years, A Mexican foreign national we’ll call “Al”, was just placed under witness protection after 3 marriages and 11 years of slavery to the DEA. He was busted with some coke back then and from there on agents used him to infiltrate the same drug lord for more than a decade. Sure they had enough evidence on the guy, but Al was a good soldier. The DEA could make their quotas on the small fries buying from the kingpin and meanwhile the crooked cops were raking in a fortune in drug money, prostitution and rent from all the clubs the kingpin owned downtown. Meanwhile Al was forced to tell his first, then second wife, that he had a night job but couldn’t tell when he’d be home or what he was doing. Even when he told his third wife, against the “rules” of his agent overseers, she has been shifty and lonely at night.
      Al called a few days ago and said,” This is the last time I can use this cell phone, and I don’t know when I’m coming back,” the marriage was already on the rocks. I wonder if she went with him? Leave her family for a man she could hardly get to know? Would the DEA finally give Al his passport back and the VISA they had been promising all this time? The J Visa from the Justice Department only works while you work for them. A kind of modern day bondage– entrapment if your line of work involves drug dealers playing Russian Roulette to your head at night. Al lost count of how many times the trigger pulled empty to his head. He said his blood turned cold. I wonder if they finally give him that VISA, IF he fianally gets out of hiding, who will he BE then to enjoy the freedom he sacrificed so much for? Will the agents ever be satisfied, close their case and let Al go? Will his third wife stick around for that?
      Al’s story needs to be told. All the Glamour in Hollywood films like “The Departed” or “Goodfellas,” doesn’t even pierce the hell-on-earth of being an informant. Drug informants are merely slaves of the U.S. Justice Department that perpetuate the Beurocracy of made to fail Drug Wars for profit.

      The Political Interpretation; Made-to-Fail
      Drug Wars.
      Every war we’ve been in since Nixon took office has been about selling drugs and guns, and outlawing hemp and marijuana has been the worst racket of all. The iron triangle sold heroin out of Vietnam, and the source of opium is where we’ve been for more than a decade now in Afghanistan. What the hell is the DEA doing THERE may we ask? I mean, besides regulating the opium trade for the sale of weapons. The only good news is that hemp and marijuana are now the leading crops in Afghanistan, giving the world our only glimmering hope for peace in that harsh country. Lord knows I’d gladly buy an Afghan carpet made of hemp if it ment we could send our agents and soldiers home, and keep the profits for the farmer instead of the Taliban who ransomed the farmer’s daughter. I certianly don’t want to go deeper in debt using our precioous tax dollars on NATO troops who block the roads while the Afghan police pillage the opium farm conveniently around harvest time.

      Fear and Forgiveness in the Drug War.
      Last Christmas was the first time I was afraid. Calm on the surface, but not as willing to forgive the stares from men in uniform holding Ak-47s at the Mexican border or the uncertainty of the road ahead. We were driving. All the way to Jalisco, land of the agave, my wife and I and daughter of 5 and son of 2. My first impression of Piedras Negras when we crossed though Eagle Pass was, “Wow. I don’t remember seeing everything so clean.” Then it hit me– not just the speedbumps– but the realization that the roads were freshly paved. The permit office, or “Aduana,” was much further inland and secure than the one in Laredo. I was pleasantly shocked; President Calderon really DID spend on infrastructure. No WONDER Mexicans were going home; there was more work in Mexico during the recession than there was in the States. As my mind wandered through the open desert mountains of the Sierra Madres, I wondered about freedom and fear; Anger and forgiveness. I wondered about the freedom to drive my family safely from Texas to Mexico without fear of being hijacked or caught in the middle of a gun battle in the streets. I wondered what all these cartels would do if marijuana incorporated. Would it be enough to cut the funding out of all the meth they started purchasing from the Chinese after California opened up their pot-shops? Then I started blaming the DEA, the principal cartel, for dragging us into these civil wars that no one wants. Selling guns like the botched Fast and Furious Scandal where the ATF sold guns to the Mexican cartel while the DEA supplied the Mexican armies. Are we no better than Russia selling to both sides in Syria?
      I watched my family sleeping in the car in silent thought. I watched the still blue mountains in the distance while the large saguaro cactus flew by like telephone poles on the highway. Maybe it’s all just a matter of perspective, I thought. Like the fact I was going 100 miles an hour where it said 100 kilometers per hour. There are no cops to enforce me here, I thought. Through the desert mountains before the red and white soil converted into the dark green and brown Jaliscan tropics that opened up the earth with sights and smells we saw an SUV overturned in the median with a whole family hanging dead from the flattened windows. A single teenaged soldier held a gun from outside a lonely little red pick up truck. No ambulance in sight. I slowed down quickly when I saw the soldier which woke my wife who inhaled loudly and quickly. The kids shot up out of sleep and I told them to “look at the bird!” pointing the other way. As we cruised at a lower speed my wife and I crossed ourselves and prayed for the family. We talked about how greatful we were for air life support and cops who were paid a decent wage in the States. But as the flat desert ended and the warm jungle greeted our long ascent up the cliffs of Juentitan, I couldn’t help but appreciate the bitter irony of the situation. My kids have a more dangerous

    3. jerry owens says:

      As a young man of eighteen years in 1970 , i joined a group calling itself the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. I donated twenty five dollars , a tidy sum considering I only made $150.00 a month back then. Guess I would be considered a founding member these days. I am glad to see my money was well spent and the struggle has made slow but true progress. Back in 1970 , backing an organization like NORML was dangerous and considered treasonous. I did it solely because I believed it was the right thing to do. Glad to see I was not wrong. Keep up the good work, It has been forty three years and I am still hopeful that I will see marijuana totally decriminalized in my life time.

    4. Evening Bud says:

      @ BobKat,

      Very interesting, that Shafer report. I was completely unaware of it. Shafer seemed like a fairly level-headed sort. As for the Tricky One, well . . . like you said . . .

      That old phrase, I hated it–”America, Love it or leave it.” But it does seem to ring true once again. This patriot stuff is already getting old. All this chest thumping. Look what it got us in Iraq–a near Depression.

      And the powers that be have used that zeal and nationalism to shove the crap down our throats, like you said. Can’t believe we still have such strict airport regulations, because of that one shoe bomber. What would’ve happened if he’d actually been successful? No more flights, period? Armed guard on every aisle? Full cavity searches for everyone? Very weird times we’re living in. Talk about the fall of the Roman Empire. We had to endure our own Caligula, and Praetorian Guard, just a few years ago.

      BTW, regarding your research of the end of the draft, it appears maybe we were both right after all. I remember looking up at the TV–same thing, it seems indelibly burned into my mind, seeing my birthday listed there, so high on the list. And I was sure it was 1973, the year I graduated. I was already 18 because I’d started first grade in Texas, and you had to be 6 years old at that time to start first grade there; I was an October baby, so that meant I had to wait a whole year to start school, when I was almost 7 y.o.! But, maybe that was my saving grace, what kept me from getting drafted one year earlier.

      Take care.

    5. Evening Bud says:

      Jerry, my friend, thanks for your contributions. You were one of the pioneers.

    6. Evening Bud says:

      Chris, everything you say is true. I think those bad days are slowly changing! I would say I will “hit” one for you tonight, but, alas, have to go “cold turkey” for about a month! Lol.

    7. Evening Bud says:

      @ Chris,

      Hey pal, just read your earlier post about the pot and beer commercials. Totally agree. I honestly do think some people’s minds are changing about pot. My mom, who’s over 80 y.o. now, used to fall for all the crap about it. But, she’s seen personally the destructive effects of alcohol on her family–nephews, etc–compared to the effects of pot, and now understands alcohol is far more destructive. My mother-in-law, a staunch conservative, also seems to understand that.

      So, minds are indeed slowly changing for the better. Take care, buddy.

    8. Evening Bud says:

      @Julian,

      That’s a very funny idea for a commercial, LOL. One I know I’d very much enjoy!

      You’ll have to excuse me for the moment, till later, Julian, I have to get going now, but will return and finish your comment; looks very interesting. I’ll be back.

    9. Evening Bud says:

      Hey, Julian, made it back.

      Re Sexpionage and the political bullet, I saw a snippet of that on the news–probably MSNBC. And I was of course very disappointed with Obama’s response–felt it was a total cop out. I suspected he must’ve discussed the matter more comprehensively with those other state officials once the cameras were gone; but wish he’d been a bit more revealing to us (his own citizens). BTW, that’s funny, your comment on NPR, wish I’d been tuned in.

      Regarding your friend, Al, that’s a tragic story. After seeing on the news all the stories about our CIA’s practices on detainees, I’m not surprised at all what they did to Al. Hope his life can have a semblance of normalcy. Hope he can finally get freed of their clutches.

      Re the American occupations of Viet Nam, Afghan, etc., I agree. Seems we’re always sticking our noses around the world. Our sticky fingers in those places reminds me of Britain’s “Opium War” in China in the 1800s. Slimy stuff. We got bloodied in Afghan, like Viet Nam, for no useful purpose, and caused total misery to the citizens of those countries in the process. It only took one generation, or slightly more, for Americans to forget the lessons of Viet Nam; hopefully we’ll recall Afghan and Iraq before desiring to rush into the next occupation. I have a good friend, btw, whose son is over there now, in Afghan, with one of the Ranger outfits, hope he can return safely.

      Regarding your trip to Mexico, very interesting stuff as well. I’ve also noticed the big decrease in immigration, and figured our poor economy had something to do with it. Your experience in Mexico is very revealing. I live in the Southwest, and my wife and I used to go to Juarez now and then. You couldn’t pay me to go there now, it’s so dangerous. But, as you’ve eloquently described, it’s a problem that we–the USA–have helped create. Very sad and troubling. Hopefully, Mexico can keep getting it together; seems they can’t rely much on us for real help.

      As an aside, I was always against States rights, because of all the racial connotations. Now, I’ve come to believe it’s the only way we’re gonna get MJ legalized in this country.

      Take care, friend.

    10. BobKat says:

      @Evening Bud…

      It became obvious 20 years ago that the only way to remedy change in Washington was via State’s Rights. As can be seen by Nixon’s body-slam to the original intent of the CSA with the law to be based on the findings of the Shafer committee, and his total defiance in the face of the law, States were the only solution. NH has an interesting article of it’s Constitution, #83 which in my opinion legalizes cannabis and makes it off-hands for the state of NH to interfere with personal use of cannabis, although they do – but in my opinion it violates our Constitutional Rights. If only I was or had an attorney!

      The federal gov’t likes to quote the federal commerce clause to prohibit cannabis. This is totally an overreach of what was conceived of in the commerce act. To say that an individual growing their own cannabis is in violation of the Commerce clause is like saying prostitution in NV does the same thing. Or gambling in Las Vegas or Atlantic City does the same thing.

      Fact is… as another commenter posted some beer ads go way overboard suggesting public fountains of beer… bad enough alcohol ads suggest happy go lucky people when so many people suffer health problems. How about ads for mountains of sugar or salt that people flock to for divine intervention and energy?

      What people chose to do cannabis wise in the privacy of their home is not criminal… don’t care what the laws say, and ironically for every dollar spent pushing the fact that government has a right to tell you “NO”, the Constitution speaks a lot louder.

      In God We Trust needs to be followed up by what God gave humans in Genesis. Anything less is totally unacceptable. It’s ironic once again that any mention that the US doesn’t deserve the right to print “In God We Trust” on money is attacked by Christians that atheists are attacking our Christian heritage. Yet, all we’re saying is put your money where your mouth is… if you’re going to condemn people using a plant that requires no manufacturing except by God’s hands, then take the fucking motto off US currency, because it’s obvious if you trust in alcohol, sugar, salt and tobacco, then you sure as shit ought to trust in cannabis.

      Have you noticed, btw, the federal gov’t/Obama has yet to make a statement about legalization of cannabis in WA and CO? The reason why is they think they have the best hand… as cannabis was illicitly placed into Schedule One by Nixon in violation of the intent of the CSA, they think the two states will never be able to make a profit due to federal banking regulations. So they play the three monkeys… totally abandoning working with those states, as well as 18 others with medical cannabis laws.

      Yeah Obama has bigger fish to fry… after spending over a trillion dollars aggressively attacking cannabis they do nothing???

      Think about it?

    11. Evening Bud says:

      @ BobKat,

      Many interesting points here. That commerce clause, I have to admit, still confuses the heck outta me. Seems almost like a catch-22 sort of thing, where the govt can impose sanctions almost arbitrarily. Am I completely wrong on that?

      As regards Obama and Holder, et al, I am still a bit worried. I’m definitely glad Obama didn’t come out directly against Colo and Wash on their legalization votes; but he does seem to be playing coy. (Perhaps he is focused for the time being on other issues.) Or, like you intimated, waiting/hoping perhaps for the illegality of it to play out–citing the Schedule One conflict and so forth–so they don’t have to take direct action themselves.

      It’ll be interesting to see how the Feds/Obama react once Colo and Wash send in their recommendations or procedures to the Feds, and actually begin to implement their new laws. Also, it’ll be interesting to see how they react if (read, when) other states begin legalizing. They can resist the wishes of two states much easier than they can a dozen.

      PS–I have mixed feelings on the issue of taxing a natural plant. While I definitely understand your point about it being a product of nature/God, I also know that that’s never stopped most govts from taxing many other natural or God-given plants or resources–tobacco, corn, even water . . .

    12. BobKat says:

      @ Evening Bud…

      The federal commerce act or clause is sound in principal and necessary for a safe country, however, it’s easily corrupted by politicians with bigger or smaller fish on their minds, especially fish in a particular state that may not like what the federal gov’t wants. It’s not a catch-22 at all… a catch-22 is a situation of two opposing forces of which there is no possibility of mediation or compromise. In this case the federal gov’t uses the commerce clause as a weapon or tool to bully a state into getting what it wants.

      Yes, I’m also concerned about Holder/Obama… it would have been considerate and polite to make an immediate statement about CO and WA. The federal gov’t has spent over a trillion $$$ on cannabis eradication and prohibition in the past 43 years… the fact that two states legalize it? And they do nothing? Imagine a psychotic kid who’s suddenly been threatened to have his favorite toy taken away… how do you think that kid feels – well he doesn’t feel, he’s psychotic. At first he doesn’t say a thing. He pretends he doesn’t care. Then in the dark of night… well you get the idea.

      CO and WA don’t have to submit anything to the Federal gov’t. The state is not breaking any state laws and states have a right to sovereign governance. Yes, if legalizing cannabis violated any federal laws they would be wise to work with the feds, but as long as they don’t conduct interstate commerce they are antonymous. In this case however, the feds were clever in that since the 1920′s-30′s they gained a monopoly on banking regulations. It’s an interesting history as prior to that states and even businesses controlled their own banking… but due to a few very large corporations secret meeting were held on Jekyll Island in with the federal reserve was hatch to protect large corporations. Look it up.

      The feds can no more dismiss the laws of one or two states than they can many. True, if only one or the other had passed legalization laws, they might, like they did CA, bully them. But two states… ? Plus CA, plus 18 with medical cannabis laws… the feds are facing the ultimate… “you all took my favorite toy away from me”.

      What will they do? I pray they do the right thing and get out of the cannabis control as it’s obvious most tax-payers, over 50% of us don’t like their involvement.

      Alcohol was decriminalized when the federal gov’t was broke in the 1930′s… so if they want to tax cannabis fine by me. But it’s not a manufactured product as alcohol and tobacco are (yes, tobacco is highly subject to manufacturing and adulteration processes, where few would stand for adulterated cannabis which is why the tobacco industry is venomously opposed to legalization, although they claim they aren’t. American’s don’t want manufactured cannabis, they want the plant God produces.

      Even God is on trial here… God is the only manufacturer of pure cannabis. Even the idea that the cannabis of today is not the cannabis of the 70′s is flawed, as no genetic manipulations of cannabis are responsible if in fact it is more potent now. If so, it is because of natural marriages of different strains and breeding practices. Unlike alcohol, what thy blatantly ignore and disregard is that more potent cannabis only means one needs less to achieve the high, whereas with alcohol, more alcohol is always required.

      A fallacy pushed by the feds and NIH is that the stronger the cannabis the more dangerous it is. That is true when comparing beer to whiskey, but quite untrue when comparing the cannabis of the 70′s to the cannabis of today.

      Yet ignorant people believe it because most of the time “stronger” is more of a threat… but with cannabis, it only means if you smoke it or eat it you need less. More does nothing… and if the concern is mental illness the cannabis of yesteryear is no more less harmful than the cannabis today, but fortunately, or tragically, alcohol still will cause more mental illness than the most potent cannabis. That’s science. That’s what Obama/Holder/ the NIH don’t want to admit because corporations that currently exist have a lot of power when it comes to political decisions and law.

      Cannabis is technically simply a herb, and nontaxable. But WE are saying if collecting taxes on cannabis will allow you to accept it as a part of a persons right to be free than by all means tax it – simply stop making criminals out of US! Stop The Hurt!

    13. Evening Bud says:

      @ BobKat,

      Thanks for the enlightenment on the commerce clause. It’s somewhat as I suspected, given your explanation, that it’s a tool used by the feds . . .

      As regards the taxing of natural plants, what I consider gifts of nature, you consider gifts of God, but for our purposes, that’s semantics–differing opinions. Concerning the issue of taxing altered plants like tobacco, compared to “non-altered” plants, like MJ, again I’m wondering if this is your opinion. I personally don’t believe one is necessarily right and the other wrong, don’t see a real difference; when you make that case that there is, are you giving your opinion? Or are you citing actual laws?

      Govt’s throughout history have taxed natural resources, pure or not, including plants, salt, water and even land. How does MJ differ?

      Also, when you write that CO and WA don’t have to “submit anything” to the Feds, again I ask, is that your opinion, or a fact? You mention that those states aren’t breaking any state laws, which of course, is true, but they are running counter to Fed law in regards to legalized MJ. You seem to be saying that it’s solely an interstate transport issue . . . enlighten me, brother. I would actually like to know.

      I’m not saying I agree with the Feds on these issues, or that you’re wrong, just playing the devil’s advocate here. I guess I’m wondering if some of these issues are more your opinion or are in fact based on legislation. They may be issues that come up.

      Take care, E. Bud.

      PS–I wholeheartedly agree on the issue of stronger strains, and such. I stopped messing with swag years ago, for those very reasons.

    14. BobKat says:

      @ Evening Bud

      Well are you a devil or an advocate? LOL

      Consider everything I say my “Educated opinion”, and I say that as (disclaimer)I am not in any way, shape or form a legal eagle.

      I am not an attorney, nor in law enforcement or gov’t. I have a BA in English and have studied cannabis and prohibition of said plant since around 1975 – I say studied cannabis as I had jobs at schools and colleges that gave me access to material previously only available at libraries, when there wasn’t an internet advantage.

      #1: I was raised “devout” Protestant… I am not a Bible trumpeter. To me “natural plant is obvious, but it’s also true that being a Christian nation (or at least in theory) it’s also true God gave all the plants of the world to humankind, and long before Jesus sacrificed himself, Adam and Eve were cursed (Eve especially) but, God forgave them while he/she were exiled from the Garden of Eden because now they had knowledge, something God apparently didn’t wish them to have. Frankly, the story speaks only to me that the “truth will set you free”, and freedom in a sense and knowledge is a curse of sorts. Conclusion – for a Country that prints “In God We Trust” on all it’s currency, ignoring the lesson of the Book of Genesis is unacceptable. A gov’t can’t Trust in God and not trust in God both at the same time. It’s one or the other.

      RE: Taxation… the feds tax gasoline, income, and who knows what else. The states tax their specialties. In my state, sugar, salt, spices, meats, bread, rice, etc. are not taxed. But if you make a sandwich with those ingredients, they tax the sandwich. They tax alcohol and tobacco, partly as a sin tax, but also as they are processed, manufactured. Tax law is obviously complicated, and I really don’t know what laws govern what the feds and states must do to tax one something while not taxing another something. The “Marijuana Tax Act” was a reach by the federal gov’t back in 1937 because there was only one precedent to allowing such taxation, and that was to prohibit possession of machine guns by the average citizen. Prior to passage of prohibitive tax on machine guns there was no president to taxation of a plant like cannabis. And in fact, in the 1960′s (I don’t have the case ingrained in my mind) the MJ Tax act was found to be Unconstitutional as it required that you present your cannabis product to a federal tax agent to pay the tax, but since you hadn’t paid the tax you possessed it illegally. That was a Catch-22!!!.

      RE: State’s Rights and states being subservient to the Federal gov’t… that is the battle our Founding Fathers fought, establishing the US Constitution and our Bill of Rights. Federalists believe the states have the right to govern themselves, and some other such term says the federal gov’t has the right to control the states. The fact is a balance of sorts was achieved, and as such, although gambling and prostitution is illegal under federal law, in principal, there are states that have laws legalizing those things. Now CO and WA have laws legalizing cannabis, and no, NV and NJ don’t have to submit anything to the federal gov’t, as far as I understand it so they can have legalized gambling and prostitution.

      The case with cannabis is, on a federal level an issue of interstate commerce and banking regulations. Like a states refusal to enforce federal seat-belt laws or highway speed limits, the federal gov’t can without money as punishment to a state, but a state can pretty much do anything it chooses if it’s willing to suffer the wrath of federal authorities.

      RE: Stronger strains… happy we agree on one front… like duh… the more cannabis I smoke the more dangerous I get, ahh, not quite… maybe for real the more I want to take a nap, lol. That is a real public safety issue, eh, hombre? – home alone, stoned and wanting to sleep. Or not wanting to drive. Quite different than getting drunk and wanting to scream down the road at 90 miles per hour to vent.

      Hope I clarified my myself.

    15. Evening Bud says:

      @ BobKat–

      Thanks, you did clarify yourself adroitly (as you usually do). And no, BobKat, we actually agree on most fronts, I’m positive. I do have a tendency to get a bit stubborn–read contentious–on the issue of religion, but try to show respect. My wife is devout, a Catholic, and she and I occasionally cross swords on the subject, particularly organized religion, but always with healthy respect on both our parts, I’m happy to say.

      Concerning your points about taxation, and the interaction between the Fed and states, I found the information very enlightening, as I’d hoped–and anticipated. Your knowledge of those subjects shows, and is quite helpful to those like me who are striving to sort out the often complex information.

      Didn’t mean to seem contentious in my last post. Oftentimes, on message boards such as this, people give their opinions far more so than they do facts; and I’m certainly as guilty as anyone on that score. I thought I had detected opinion in your last post more so than I usually do in your posts, and so was, indeed, trying for clarifications. (You’ve spoiled me, BobKat, I’m used to getting the straight dope from you, lol!) But, I’m happy to say that you clarified your points with flying colors–as expected.

      Take care, pal, E. Bud

    16. BobKat says:

      @ Evening Bud

      Who says on “message boards” individuals can’t have meaningful discussions?

      For the record, although I was raised “devout Protestant”, I gave that up many years ago. But the lessons learned are still there. I consider myself a spiritualist now, not an atheist. I am saddened by conflict between organized religious groups, such as those who resist being a part of solutions together. I believe organized religion needs to grow up a lot and Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists need to learn to be more tolerate of each other and cooperate with each other. I believe those who feel spiritual outside of organized religions deserve to be accepted. I believe the federal government wears it’s religion like a pin, without significant reverence, and that’s troubling to me.

      I forgot to mention that pharmaceuticals/medicine in my state is not taxed. Yet if cannabis were legalized as medicine it would be taxed, as it is in CA and other states with medical cannabis laws. This treats medicine as a commodity, which it’s not, and to me that’s wrong. Even taxing cannabis for “recreational use”, in quotes as it’s simply a plant, seems wrong, but I’d accept that for the betterment of society, but other simple (as in unadulterated plants) aren’t taxed so unless cannabis is sold as brownies, ice-cream, gourmet foods I really don’t see why it should be taxed or even regulated. I can’t think of any other natural plant that is taxed. So it’d be a “sin-tax”, but again, In God We Trust, so how can a plant that is unprocessed be a sin?

      As to my opinions, educated ones, sure, I have obvious opinions sometimes. When my opinions are based on facts or legal precedents I try to make that clear. Not being an attorney, I don’t always use the best phrases however.

      Detecting more opinion than I previously may have used is interesting to me. I appreciate I’ve spoiled you, but don’t know how that is so. I’m simply sincere and dedicated to stopping the hurt the War on Drugs has created. It is so blatantly obvious to me that the War on Drugs is not only perhaps the worse failure the USA has ever pursued, but also the most harmful war upon it’s citizens never recognized as such. Politicians have been so blindsided by the war that they fail to have seen how whole generations have been seriously injured – either by preventing cannabis minded couples from ever finding each other (where alcohol minded couples could) to prohibiting cannabis inspired art, literature, peace initiatives, medical research, therapies; as well as wrongful imprisonment, loss of life, loss of jobs and promising careers and an overall suffocation of anyone into cannabis while encouraging alcohol art, and proliferation. Every time I watch a movie or TV show where tow or more people enjoy alcohol I cringe. That is not reality. That is not my opinion. That is segregation and favoritism – perhaps not the correct terms, but an example of what’s wrong in the society I grew up in and will die in.

      I have known a lot of violence within the alcohol community and actually none within the cannabis community. Except when it comes to being busted!!!

      One last thing… although NORML is the National Organization for Marijuana Reform, it’s name is derived from the fact that government insists on calling cannabis marijuana, which a racial prejudice. Cannabis is cannabis, or if you prefer, we called it ganja prior to the 1930′s.

      Time to end the War, and Stop the Hurt.

    17. tom says:

      @BobCat: you make good points on the religions…all that you mentioned, save the Jewish faith, are the making of mankind. Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship. See II Cor 5:18 “And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;” and let the spirit lead you from there. Just like he said in Gen 1:11-12: if God saw that the herb yielding seed was good, who dares say otherwise? Hopefully soon we can overcome the preponderance of lies and simply let the plant grow freely, and use it the same. May peace and grace be with us all.

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