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, Former 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. Somedood says:

      Money is corrupting America??? Who knew? Ahhhhhhh!!!!!!!

    2. Cat Cassie says:

      It seems that more people have opened their eyes to the “Money Paid and Made” for ruining peoples lives scheme that has been going on in our country for decades. Thats a good thing but what can we do about it?

    3. True American says:

      It goes alot deeper than the lobistist…alot.

    4. America says:

      Somebody needs to put together a detail video that explains everything! Spready that thing like wildfire over the internet. Call it Weed & Truth.

    5. Galileo Galilei says:

      The phrase “we were just following orders, just doing our jobs” springs to mind. I wonder why?

    6. Owen says:

      Where’s the gambino family when you really need them?

    7. The Oracle says:

      See to it that federal sequestration (the automatic budget cuts) disproportionately and drastically slash the budgets people like him and other prohibitionists such as the DEA rely on. Let their money dry up! They’ve squandered enough of the people’s money. They should have to dig deep into their own personal pockets to continue their dastardly war on the American people!

      Spend your own money, bitches!

    8. dave says:

      its not just a democratic issue im a libertarian mostly with conservative views but i believe in legalizing all drugs and treating the problems as a medical disease….this is the only SANE but pot isnt really a harmful drug as the propagands classifies street “drugs” such as meth crack and heroin….there is a stigma that spills over into pot…that somehow the people who use “drugs” are somehow mentally/morally deficient or “burnt out” so they have no cohesive thoughts..addiction hits all kinds of people including Rush Limbaugh..who has is a conservative …so conservatives do have some knowledge of what i call the WAR ON STONERS i feel like pot should be legal and i think that legalizing pot will take away the taboo of pot and will actually make use decline when u take away the taboo of somehow doing something wrong or bad to be more correct…then much funds would be available to treat substance abuse which may include a marijuana maintenance program for drug addicts who want to live as natural as possible without chemical treatments such as amphetamine or methadone treatment…just a thought let alone the 54% of Americans who believe that legal pot pays our bills…

    9. David762 says:

      So, does NORML subscribe to this theory — that the only reason that cannabis is still illegal is because of LEO lobbyists? This is simplistic at best. 75 years plus of cannabis prohibition has allowed a whole cabal of different special interests to align against re-legalization.
      The Wall Street Banksters launder many tens of Billions USD in illicit drug money yearly, comprising a significant portion of their liquid fungible assets.
      The Military Industrial Complex has entered a new era of magnificent prosperity, thanks in no small part to the War OF Terror, the War OF Drugs, and the War On The American People, the Police State.
      The Medical Industrial Complex, including Big Pharma and their drug pushers, could not exist in an alternate paradigm in which homeopathic & preventive health services based upon natural medicines has an equal voice.
      Elements of the USA government itself are and historically have been directly involved in the global illicit drugs enterprise, as a matter of both state-craft and off-budget funding of “black projects” that would not otherwise survive Congressional oversight.

      Please, NORML, let’s not minimize the array of forces aligned against cannabis re-legalization. It does help to focus on specific opposition, but not in isolation from the larger problem.

      [Editor’s note: Minimized? Rather, law enforcement’s historic opposition to changing cannabis laws is but one of five pillars of modern cannabis prohibition.]

    10. Anonymous says:

      You can’t smoke pot because there is absolutly NO political gain and a ton of pain for any would be politician.
      Obama was afraid to alienate the Reptile Handlers of America when stories of 16 foot carniverous snakies getting loose in Florida backyards story comes around every few months or so. Let’s see People who want to keep 16 snakes in their house. I’m gonna guess that’s about,, oh just a guess mind you, something like .00003 % of the vote.
      On the other hand you claim 50% support for legalization yet 99 percent of politicos would rather be eaten by said 16 foot snake than get your endorsement.
      I know I’m not a smart man but…….