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. Joel: the other Joel says:

      But…but…but what about the children?!!
      I thought the “war on cannabis” was to protect the children, and have them become future prohibitionist.

    2. RMJ says:

      We must fight to make cannabis legal!

    3. Don Berry says:

      Much of the recent talk generated by the 10-year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq focused on how so many in politics and the news media had been so wrong, so unwilling to question the rationale for that war and jump on the bandwagon. To me, the elephant in the room has always been the drug war, and especially the war on all things cannabis. The same denial dynamic is at work there as was with Iraq. Kevin Gray’s story shows one big reason, maybe the primary reason, why this insanity has become so entrenched with regard to marijuana, the most popular illegal substance and primary focus of the drug war.

    4. Ben says:

      Cannabis prohibition has always been a scheme:
      – to profit, to control, and to inflict

      EVEN if we assumed, (however incorrectly), that the supposed potential issues regarding the impact of cannabis WERE true-
      -none of them are reasons it should remain illegal.

      Cigarettes, due almost exclusively to the additives, are among the absolute most addictive elements for consumption found on the planet.

      Alcohol causes almost as much physical, psychological, and societal harm as even the nastiest of abused pharmaceuticals and underworld chemicals. – YET it has had its prohibition REPEALED because leadership saw that its prohibition was far more costly than even its impact.

      Cannabis is almost completely risk-free:
      physical and physiological addiction are almost nil, if at all possible.

      (‘habit-forming’ is more of a Pavlovian response, where even getting dressed in a certain order can be deemed ‘habit forming’)

      Again and again -> thanks NORML
      for leading the way.

      Back NORML and we will finally win this fight, and NORML will stay with us and help lay the foundation of liberty in a well-reasoned structure.

    5. Mark says:

      They’re not called PIGs for no reason.

    6. Cat Cassie says:

      You would expect such things as this happening in other countries but not in America. Not in the land of the free. How do those people sleep at night doing what they do? They don’t want it legalized and you can just bet they don’t EVER want it completely stopped. Either way would end their cash cow. Unreal!!

    7. Jeedi says:

      This conflict of interest is rampant in the drug war. And, so many young people’s lives are ruined with a marijuana conviction. It is clear to me, this is the new slavery. Corporations and banks are hiding behind a thin veil of morality when it comes to marijuana and marijuana use, that is crumbling. Eventually, these “drug warriors” are going to be seen for what they are: senseless exploiters of selective human beings for their own financial gain. How barbaric that this still goes on.

    8. bummer Oklajoma says:

      2 yea 2 years ago I told you to follow the money

    9. muggles says:

      Bob DuPont once said that marijuana is “10,000 times more likely to produce mild intoxication than alcohol”…..this found it’s way into a Jehovah Witness book called Reason….I have confronted several witnesses about this reefer mad statement that they they have been reprinting now for 30 years!

    10. chris says:

      I love it……this is one serious problem our society faces everyday, and that is how are we going to pay our bills, where is our next meal going to come from. I tell my wife everyday, where we need to cut spending to adjust our budget, but we cant do anything about it but hold our breath and see what happends on the other side. Greed of the war on drugs is still in conflict that those who have proffited from its establishment are now becomming closer and closer to the spot light, and in my opinion , some are trying to hold on to the ” pay no attention to the mad behind the curtain” while others are thinking ” ok, first things first lets start a new agency thats almost like our old one with a bigger smile”kinda like petting a barking dog for the first time.

      I wish federal government would see that just because cannabis is off of the 1970 CSA, that there is still plenty of monies to be made from controling contraban from hitting our public , like the new waves of synthetic drugs, that will harm our future , that is still in place because its more less untraceable in the human system, this stuff was bought legal right in front of the cops in my area because there was no harm in it. as a matter of fact the cops told me and my friend to have a nice day after i held the package of it in public walking past him. After using this new wave of legal cannabis the only question i could find myself asking over and over and over was , why is cannabis illegal? I not ashammed to talk about something that was once legal and now is not, um kinda like cannabis, I stick to my decission that the synthetic drug market will hurt our future and should be on the CSA list , um but isnt? Now I dont believe that all our un registered grow site should be allowed,like those close to schools and those un gaurded where children can access , because just like sex and national security it has a place and out in the public view for all , is not it. The world is filled with people who think what they do and how they act is only a problem for those around them, when the rule of society clearly states people can only function as a whole when we accept the actions of those around us, meaning you cant be drunk in public, we should use foul language a church…ect…
      We are regulated in a sence by moral value, and those who arent will be the first ones in line to be arrested even with cannabis legal , because they are the first ones while its not legal.

      In the end my main purpose of this post is that if we cant win a war on drugs , and we see how much it cost….then maybe its time to regroup and get the ducks in a row. Cannabis prohibition needs to be ended , but war on drugs will never die, because of all the bureaucracies that feed off of it, and the fact remains , somethings we need to be protected from….because of the destruction they cause…….and will.

      as always
      thanks for reading