Reality Check For Anti-Marijuana Group: Legalization’s Coming

  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director July 16, 2013

    The so-called Partnership for a Drug-Free [sic] America (PDFA) has been a prolific, yet impotent, anti-marijuana propaganda machine since its inception in the mid 1980’s under President Ronald ‘Just Say No’ Reagan. No other quasi governmental or private entity spent more money or had greater access to mainstream media to try to perpetuate the federal government’s failed cannabis prohibition. Only the now unpopular and underfunded DARE program rivaled PDFA in it’s high visibility efforts to maintain support among the American populace for cannabis prohibition–but was equally feckless–wasting billions in taxpayer dollars and not impacting youth drug use rates.

    norml_remember_prohibition_Both DARE and PDFA were largely ignored and underfunded by the George W. Bush Administration from 2000-2008, with the current administration continuing to follow suit by diminishing the size and scope of both’s finances and public reach.

    After the PDFA released a new survey today, with media outlets starting to contact NORML for commentary, only then did it become clear to me that the beginning of the end is die in the cast for PDFA when they chose to put out a survey that in effect says ‘marijuana legalization is coming, but only for adults’.

    Really?! PDFA needed to waste even more funding and bandwidth informing the public that support for cannabis legalization for adults is at an all time high, but that parents surveyed don’t think the herbal drug should be legalized for youth or marketed to children.

    Gee. Was there anybody in America advocating that children should be able to legally buy and use cannabis products?

    While the PFDA’s most recent survey seeks to create a political red herring about children and cannabis, the survey affirms the now obvious in American life: public support for continuing cannabis prohibition is at an all time low and tax-n-regulating cannabis is an alternative public policy that now enjoys majority support.

    After watching and archiving hundreds of anti-cannabis propaganda commercials from the PDFA going back to the late 1980s, reading this new survey acknowledging 1) Legalization is quickly picking up public and political support in America, 2) Americans want a sensible cannabis policy, where, like with alcohol products, only adults have legal and controlled access and 3) Parents have concerns about potential cannabis advertisements in mass media demonstrates to me that another major socio-political ‘tea leaf” has revealed itself with the PDFA now left to propagandize about if and how legal cannabis will marketed, not whether cannabis is an inherently ‘evil’ drug that will forever be prohibited.

    With even the hardcore anti-cannabis folks at PDFA now recognizing the changing attitudes about cannabis in favor of legalization, when will Congress and the White House finally embrace this political reality too?


    46 responses to “Reality Check For Anti-Marijuana Group: Legalization’s Coming”

    1. Anonymous says:

      Congress and the White House will embrace this when there is some reason for them to. All those anti-legalization interests donate big bucks, all those anti drug groups deliver big votes.

    2. TheOracle says:

      Even PDFA acknowledges the need for proper regulation! It’s about damn time.

      Yes, the question in the last sentence of the article, that is the question. “[W]hen will Congress and the White House finally embrace this political reality too?”

      Below, the conclusions from the Report Summary:

      Conclusions and Implications:

      1. Support for medicalization and – to a lesser extent – for decriminalization and legalization of marijuana is widespread. The challenge now is:

      a. to determine how each of these scenarios will be implemented and regulated in the affected states, and

      b. how children can be most effectively protected in these states and throughout the rest of the country as further relaxation of marijuana laws is considered.

      2. Parents, including parents who have smoked marijuana themselves, believe that marijuana can be harmful to the developing brains and futures of their children.

      3. Parents – indeed adults in general – expect strict regulation of the consumption, sale and marketing of marijuana, even if they are in favor of legalization.

      4. Parents have a critical role to play – the critical role, they believe – in the education of their children on the risks of marijuana use.

      5. Medical professionals also have a critical role to play as the most trusted source of information for parents about the health risks to children of marijuana use.

      A majority of Americans want the feds to stop meddling and busting people in states that have legalized in some way, shape or form. The sooner the feds comply and stop, the sooner more states can jump on the cannabis money train. Pennsylvania is hurting for cash and jobs, yet the governor is taking an austerity approach and slashing this and that, and wants to privatize the state lottery (to some British outfit), wants to privatize the state-controlled state store liquor system (LCB), wants to reform (destroy) the state pension system, cut funding for health care for poor children, cut funding for the mentally ill and homeless, cut funding for public education K-12, and cut funding for the State System of Higher Education which is sending in-state tuition at state universities and colleges skyrocketing upward. It’s no wonder graduates have so much student loan debt and can’t pay it off. Pennsylvania is lagging in jobs production. Governor Corbett went to Western Europe to try to get foreign investors to built plants and make jobs here, but alas, all he came back with was basically the billion dollar tax break for Royal Dutch Shell in exchange for an ethane cracker plant out by Pittsburgh and the offer from Camelot, the British outfit that wants the state’s lottery and casino contract. Somewhere in there is a yet undisclosed gentleman’s agreement for when he’s out of office, you know, the revolving door that will net him lots and lots of money. Time will tell once, and once he’s out of office we’ll find out when he takes advantage of the revolving door.

      Meanwhile, cannabis money from tax-paying jobs and excise tax on cannabis products is The Solution to Pennsylvania’s money woes. No other sector wants to pay taxes but the cannabis community. All these mostly Republican prohibitionists in the state will do is run the state’s economy even further into the ground to kiss the asses of the federal prohibitionist Republicans, but as soon as the feds get out of the way of the states Pennsylvania will jump right on that cannabis money train.

    3. Dave Evans says:

      “Gee. Was there anybody in America advocating that children should be able to legally buy and use cannabis products?”
      Considering there are child rapist supporters, anything is possible. But it is still a waste of money.

    4. phrtao says:

      The politicians have lied for years – they cannot suddenly start telling the truth – they need an excuse. I think the politicians know what is happening they are simply waiting until just about everyone wants legalisation and then they can say they have changed their minds due to overwhelming public opinion. It’s way for them to avoid accusations of wasting time, money and lives and save face.

    5. Julian Olinick says:

      Congradulations to Norml.org, votehemp.com, leap.cc and mpp.org for all the hard work all these years that has overshadowed the propoganda machines and lead to the hemp amendment to the Farm Bill that passed the impossible Congress last week. Now it’s off to the Senate, and wow… even as we are witnessing the likely passing of Rep. Jared Polis’ hemp research amendment through the Senate can ANYone figure out what our victory strategy will be?

      I can only inhale slowly and try:

      An Analysis of the Hemp Research Amendment and Zombies on Food Stamps,
      By Julian Olinick

      This Farm Bill is the political catharsis of the American Tragic Irony our food and drug policy has become. These politicians even have a laid-back pro-cannabis activist like myself distracted by the politics, looking over my shoulder for the Food Stamp zombies. It’s like Marijuana Madness! I mean, what happens when these SCAVENGERS run out of Food Stamps!? Riddle me THAT! What’s next? Feed the alligator and all their little GATOR children and …Oh the HUMANITY! We’re ALL NEXT!!!! HIDE YOUR STASH!

      Or… maybe all the food went to those big farm subsidies for rich corporations like Monsantos?… … …NAAAGH! It’s the food stamp zombies. GOTTA be.

      First, Republicans took an about face when they noticed that, due to changing demographics, as it turns out, “whoops” there are now more voters on food stamps in the districts of the Republicans that voted to CUT food stamps than the Democrats who voted to stop them from being cut. (LOO-zerrrs…) So the Farm Bill was shot down and the Food Stamp Zombies stole our hemp victory!

      Next thing you know, the Farm Bill gets up again… just like a zombie on food stamps. Paul Ryan is floundering in a double-take when so many Congressman like him realize they stood up to big farm subsidies that turn around and put lots of money back into their own wallets. So “about face! –maybe those nasty farm subsidies that pay out farm insurance –even when big farm corporations have a good year– aren’t so bad after all.” (sigh) Ryan, you fool. THAT will come back to bite you in elections. (I meant the voters, not the food-stamp zombies. Well, then again, I don’t know, do zombies vote? Oh who cares).

      Finally, while Congress is going back and forth over subsidies and food stamps, no one paid too much attention to the DEA who made a last minute effort to block the hemp research amendment from passing through Congress for the first time in more than 50 years. The irony here gets deep:
      How ironic allowing the mere research into industrial hemp will be on the U.S. economy and politics at large compared to separating hemp first from the definintion of marijuana.
      The key to unlocking all varieties of cannabis prohibition is the C.S.Act that prohibits it denies there’s any difference between hemp and marijuana; So legally if the hemp research amendment passes and hemp is certified as medicine and fuel then so is marijuana.
      Write your Congressman. Go to hempcar.org and get educated.
      If the House version of this bill passes to allow research of hemp in states that have legalized it –without the Senate amendment version that tried to remove hemp from the definition of marijuana– then all it will take to end cannabis prohibition is for the University of Kentucky or Boulder Colorado to publish the medicinal use of hemp. In effect, to tear down cannabis as a schedule 1 drug classification under the Controlled Substance Act, one only has to google the University of Meir, Isreal to see how hemp increases nutritional absorption and decreseases bowel inflammation in patients with Chrone’s Disease. Publish locally, then file in court. Light it up then smoke it.
      Now how’s this for tragic irony? Now that minorities who are impovrished are classified more as “white,” (for whatever that means), and on food stamps, just how quickly can the U.S. government shut down a 40 year drug war campaign that was supposed to only incarcerate, take asset forfeitures and persecute black and latino minorities? What? You mean whites are minorities now? THAT was quick. Almost as quick as Paul Ryan turning food stamp cuts. Ha! (Get it? Cuz changing demograph.. oh whatever).

      In defense of some of the Senate Tea Party Republicans, specifically our Kentucky Senators, they did try to legalize hemp but never got a vote. (Ted Cruz doesn’t count. I havn’t decided what kind of zombie he is yet).
      But as for the House Tea Party Republicans, better check your demographics. Your dying, aging “white base” has been replaced by a whole new generation of poor white people… poor white voters, I may add, who are becoming just as victimized by the drug war as any other minority. Should never have named yourselves after a tea-party vandalism that dressed up in charcoal –failing to fool ANYone that they were Indians– when all that was accomplished was that the Boston tea party revealed rebel positions to the enemy. By the way, Thanks, tea party. The British just seized Boston harbor. You nearly cost us the revolution.

      You see, back then the “enemy” was the British crown and fledgling corporations known as joint-stock companies that wanted to monopolize hemp in the U.S. (not tea– the U.S. didn’t have the right climate for tea). The hemp trade war between the British and Americans continued into the war of 1812.
      Today corporations like Monsantos create patents on plants and have no sovereignty. They can foil taxes in multiple countries and use “Tea party” spies to flush out anyone against their subsidies. The Tea Party House Republicans have been reduced to money-laundering corporate spies. Even the tea party slogan is turned into a hoax if they don’t support hemp; how else do you “create jobs without spending a dime?”

      And we as spectating voters have only grass-roots non-for-profits such as votehemp.com and norml.org to battle the super paks and big oil lobbies such as the American Chemistry Council that purchase our own “freely” elected officials for the profit of price-controlled commodities by making sure plastics are made from crude oil. (!Lightbulb!)

      “But wait Mr. Olinick, are you saying we could make cleaner cheaper plastic if only hemp were legal and the American Chemstry Council were outlobbied by a burgeoning hemp industry?” Why yes I am, Mr. ficticious figment of my imagination! Can we say “biodegradable cellulose plastic made from renewable hemp oil?” Exxon -Mobile would NEVER allow it! But hey, the world is changing. Corn failed us for ethanol in the drought. Fresh water is now a finite commodity and hemp uses less water than corn. (BING!)
      “In other words, Mr. Olinick, you’re saying we have NO choice: We HAVE to legalize cannabis because twinkies were taken off the shelves when corn syrup and ethanol ran out during the last drought, were running out of irrigation water, and some Congressman was caught smoking POT?” YES! That’s EXACTLY what I’m saying…

      Soooo… just how important IS a hemp amendment that only allows research anyway? Let’s see.. “google, google…” (That’s me googling…) What the HELL!, You mean Henry Ford’s first model T off the world’s first assembly line was a hemp car with an engine calibrated for hemp ethanol fuel and no one TOLD me? (hempcar.org) Who told the EPA? Oh yeah, they’re the government. They own the patent on cannabis. (yawn).

      WHOOOA, bear, just BACK up a minute… So let me get this straight; the government owns the patent on cannabis; the government prohibits the sale and use of cannabis; and the only defense the DEA has for unconstitutionally legislating cannabis as a schedule 1 drug is because they say it has NO medicinal value?!! … Wait for it… …”BING!” THERE went one of my neurons. The Hypocrisy of our federal drug policy is officially unfathomable. Like a zombie on food stamps…

      Thanks to bad laws such as the Controlled Substances Act, our justice is sold for profit on a daily basis, victimizing the sick and the impoverished with profit-motivated law enforcement and overprescribed pharamcueticals; Prioritizing enforcement and asset forfeitures over treatment and prevention in a drug war that prohibits a non violent cannabis plant that only the government owns the patent for…

      And to think… the unraveling of all this injustice and political hubris could happen with such a small hemp research amendment… Good work Rep. Jared Polis. Good work everyone at votehemp.com norml.org and leap.cc

      I believe we can sleep easily now. Don’t let the food-stamp zombies bite. They’ll smoke you out of your stash!

    6. Gene says:

      The only problem is our leaders only care about the money in their pockets and not the voice of the people. The only way to hurt these people is to vote them out. Let them no its WE THE PEOPLE.

    7. Adam says:

      Norml needs to get people in California to believe in legalization just a little more. That state has the highest amount of people living in it. And if you read this comment Allen St. Pierre. There’s not just celebrities, famous people and the public that would help spread the word out to end this prohibition. But plenty of ex judges, ex DEA and ex police and ex police chefs. You gotta help to organize most of these important people in the public eye to go around and help get California to legalize cannabis in its state. Because once that state is legal, the country will soon follow very fast. You probably already know that California should of been the first state to make cannabis legal like alcohol. But unfortunately prop 19 got beat out because of too many absentee votes because those absentee votes were scared of Obama. But sense he’s not saying anything about Washington and Colorado. More and more other states will lose there fear. But please try your hardest to try and help California. It will definitely be a big help to you and the world win on this costly and dangerous war. And bring more peace to this planet earth.

    8. Adam says:

      Help the states with the most population to become legal. I’m just one person out of millions. But this idea seems the most logical. Because we obviously know if we rush this to much. it’ll most likely back fire like it did with prop 19 in California for being rushed. But nows the time to start getting a few things going to rally up people’s opinions and concrete there choose making on the truth about what cannabis is all about by using celebrities and famous people in favor of legalization and not just ex cops and judges. There all important but the celebrities and famous people can spread the word out in states with a very high population. And Media can be a good thing if its honest in the public eye. So If your a celebrity and you read this please contact Allen St. Pierre and ask him or tell him what your going to do or what you can do to help make this country a little more free and debt.

    9. Dodo Lurker says:

      After reading this latest blog from NORML,(About opiate withdrawal) I cant help but crack wise.Seems our sacred COWS are starving to death.(no Buddist disrespect intended)

    10. Cleveland Green says:

      The only thing evil about cannabis is all the lies and fear of it put out by those that can profit from it’s prohibition.
      Once it’s legal it will soon become a favorite of many
      Keep up the heat my NORML friends
      NORML is truly fighting for a cause that is worth a fight!!