The Prohibition Industrial Complex


Our nation’s marijuana laws are being held hostage by a prohibition industrial complex.  

The latest Wall St. Journal/NBC poll shows, yet again, that the majority of Americans support legalizing the recreational use of marijuana for adults age 21 and over.  But despite this surge in support (several other national polls have seen similar results), there are a few well financed, politically powerful groups that remain staunchly against reform – and will likely serve as the biggest hinderance to widespread change.  These folks have made a lot of money off of marijuana’s current legal status, and those individuals (as well as their businesses/shareholders) are deeply invested in making sure things stay the way they are.  The wide range of direct and auxiliary enforcement mechanisms, as well as the increase in drug testing laws are driven by companies and businesses who provide the services necessary to support this disastrous and wasteful policy.

One such industry that has a financial interest in maintaining the status quo is law enforcement, especially drug officers and private prisons.  Drug officers benefit from forfeiture and federal grants.  Private prisons keep their jails full and multi-million dollar state contracts in place.  The Office of National Drug Control Policy requested $9.4 billion in funding for 2013, the majority of which went to enforcement and incarceration.   More specifically, California police – one of the most vocal opponents to legalization in the state made $181.4 million by seizing and selling the homes and cars of Californians involved in marijuana cases from 2002 to 2012.  Police in Washington are already taking budget hits as a result of the passage of I-502, the state’s marijuana legalization initiative that passed in 2012. It was reported that some police drug task forces lost 15 percent of funding due to decreased revenue from marijuana forfeiture cases.  On a national level, marijuana cases netted $1 billion in assets forfeited between 2002 and 2012.  Assets can be seized under federal or state law, depending on the situation.  The Wall St. Journal recently reported that marijuana law reform would cut into a significant percentage of drug task forces’ revenue.   Most cash generated from drug-related property forfeitures goes to the law enforcement agency that made the bust.  The Journal reports that “Nationally, assets forfeited in marijuana cases from 2002 through 2012 accounted for $1 billion of the $6.5 billion from all drug busts.”  Task forces also rely heavily on federal grants.

One example of a federal grant relied heavily upon by drug task forces is Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program.  The amount of money distributed is based on the number of drug arrests made for that year, among other components.  The more drug arrests made, the more grant money provided, and 50% of all drug arrests are marijuana related.   No drug will be able to fill the void of marijuana arrests.  Marijuana is easier to spot and smell, and is consumed by more people than any other illegal drug, making marijuana arrest rates a significant percentage of overall revenue.  Then you have state contracts with private prisons, which mandate that facilities be filled at 90% capacity at all times.  If 50% inmates are there as a result of drug-related crimes, and half of that is for marijuana – legalization would be a serious threat to new contracts and increased profits.

Another industry tied into the prohibition industrial complex is the drug testing market. It’s a multi-billion dollar a year industry with its own, built in legislative advocacy machine.   Take DATIA , the Drug & Alcohol Testing Industry Association for example.  This industry organization represents more than 1,200 companies and employs a DC-based lobbying firm, Washington Policy Associates.   Their mission statement includes, among other things, creating “new opportunities for the drug testing industry.”

In 2002, a representative from the influential drug-testing management firm Besinger, DuPont & Associates (Robert DuPont, Nixon’s first drug czar is a high profile opponent to legalization) heralded schools as “potentially a much bigger market than the workplace.”  Workplace drug testing is a declining market due to the fact that employees see minimal return on investment.  In fact, a DATIA newsletter dubbed school children “the next frontier.”  Unsurprisingly, this industry advocates testing in all grades and for all extracurricular activities.  It should be noted that several reports have concluded that drug testing minors is not only ineffective but can be emotionally and psychologically damaging.  Lucky, many schools have been reluctant to embrace testing.

Year after year, the drug testing industry gears up for another legislative push, ghostwriting bills for local and national lawmakers demanding testing for people who receive public assistance.  Many of these elected officials are either financially investment in these companies, or received significant financial contributions from industry organizations.  For example, in February 2012, Congress amended federal rules to allow states to drug-test select unemployment applicants.  Among the lawmakers advocating for the change was Congressman Dave Camp, who owns at least $81,000 in assets in companies that are major players in the drug-testing industry, such as LabCorp and Abbott Laboratories. He has also received $5,000 in federal campaign contributions from LabCorp over the past three years.  Abbott Laboratories spent $133,500 on campaign donations to Ohio and Texas state politician promoting drug testing to welfare recipients, in the lead-up to the 2010 and 2012 elections, in addition to more than $500,000 spent by the company on state lobbying contracts since 2010.

The industry is once again flexing its political arm pushing for policies that mandate drug testing for welfare recipients.  Legislation has already been introduced in Virginia, New York, Arizona, Ohio, Iowa, Illinois and Mississippi, for the 2014 legislative session.

Two of the most outspoken opponents of marijuana legalization are David Evans and Robert DuPont.  DuPont, Founder of Besinger, DuPont & Associates served as the nation’s first drug policy director under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.  During that time he had advocated decriminalizing marijuana and its use a “minor problem.”  Once he left public office however, he became a “drug-testing management” consultant.  David Evans worked for Hoffmann-La Roche, a multi-billion dollar drug testing group encouraging workplace drug testing policies.  He now runs his own lobby firm and has ghostwritten several state laws to expand drug testing.   Drug testing overall detects marijuana more than any other drug, which stays in the body for up to a month — as opposed to other harder drugs like cocaine and heroin, which are metabolized within one to three days. That is why they have such significant stake in keeping the plant illegal.

The total income for all of these industries combined adds up to hundreds of billions of dollars annually, a significant amount derived from taxpayer dollars.  An industrial complex is when there is a policy and monetary relationship between legislators, the public sector and an industrial base that supports them.  Just like the military industrial complex, the prohibition industrial complex, and its cycle of laws, enforcement and contracts will pose a major challenge to reform efforts.  This will be especially true in states that don’t have ballot initiatives, which is why it is so important for everyone to get active on a local level, and hold lawmakers accountable.  Though difficult, this will not be an impossible challenge to overcome, as long as we remain diligent and active in the political process.

Please take a minute of your time today to utilize NORML’s Take Action Center to contact your representatives and urge them to support or sponsor marijuana law reform legislation.  Click here to see if there is a bill pending in your state, and here to find contact information for your elected officials. 


80 thoughts

  1. It’s the new Jim Crow in the age of shareholder capitalism, which looks somewhat like a new kind of marketplace passive-aggressive neonationalsocialism because government coercion, the law, is used to marginalize large groups of people, of whom many are poor people of color or free thinkers. Unequal application, enforcement, of the law ensures that the preferred type of people get the advantage of not having competition for jobs and social status from the marginalized and disenfranchised people busted and ruined for pot.

    Legal cannabis banking + keep running the economy into the ground for the everyman=more states jumping on the cannabis money train.

    If the feds do not interfere, no busts, no IRS shit, states are free to set up soil to store taxable brick and mortar systems. Cash strapped states will be like, hey, these other states are milking this cash cow, feds are letting them, so why are we (Pennsylvania) being so stupid and not going for the money grab, too?

    Pennsylvania is all fucked up, and the sooner Governor Corbett is out of office the better. Governor Christie can come over to campaign for his re-election to help drive home the point that bullies, birds of a feather flock together. Some big shindig at the Hershey Hotel with all you can eat chocolate ought to ensure Christie will be there. Hell, Governor “My Mom’s Sicilian” Christie can take a shitload of chocolate back to Jersey with him, runs the damn state like a mobster, just that Corbett’s a tad bit sneakier.

    MMJ hearings today at the Pennsylvania capital, predictably going nowhwere. That could all fall in line with the 80 some percent of the public who want MMJ legal if the politicians can stuff some of the cannabis cash in their own pockets somehow.

  2. this proves the main thing that holds legalization back…..MONEY! its all about money. not that their is anything wrong with cannabis,its just about the money. how shitty does that REALLY look? this article needs to get out in msm! I mean ,they all do but this tells the REAL story…sickening!

  3. Know thy enemies. Only then can you defeat them. Keep shining the sunlight on that scum and eventually they will be sanitized. Great job Sabrina.

  4. The billion dollar profits mentioned by Sabrina are impressive, but consider this figure from the new Surgeon General Report: $igarette $moking costs the US economy $289-billion a year and almost half of that is for medical care– i.e. a big percent of the money made by doctors, hospitals, drug companies is for “managing” avoidable $moking-related diseases which will be drastically cut back by cannabis legalization because (A) millions of kids will experiment with cannabis instead of tobacco and NOT get hooked on something that causes high profit di$ea$es; (B) once cannabis is legalized, “paraphernalia laws” will fall away and no one will be afraid to own or carry a vaporizer or a 25-mg -Long-Drawtube One-Hitter (safer alternatives to the 500-mg joint or the 700-mg H-ot B-urning O-verdose M-onoxide high-profit $igarette).

  5. Corruption in the form of an “Industrial Complex” has been an evolving parasite on this country since the day we dropped anchor on the shores of America. Accountability will always rein supreme in the fight for keeping legislators within their roles as stewards of democracy. When we speak of any problem and cite its unjust attributes without citing the core cause we waste valuable time and do nothing to solve the problem. And citing the CSA as core cause to the longevity of cannabis prohibition is precisely marking the ground where the fight centers itself.
    @Sabrina Fendrick- You are the sharp voice that I always look for in this ongoing discussion of truth for change. When you say,”This will be especially true in states that don’t have ballot initiatives, which is why it is so important for everyone to get active on a local level, and hold lawmakers accountable. Though difficult, this will not be an impossible challenge to overcome, as long as we remain diligent and active in the political process.”,.. THAT is cutting to the chase and marking the ground where the fight centers itself. Having an indirect democracy just removes the power of “by the people” from the voting hands of many states, and is an injustice that has kept these industrial complexes alive for so long. If our legislators could be held more accountable, they would think long and hard about their choices. Us being active is the way, just as our founding father advised that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. In those states that don’t have ballot initiatives, the fight will be long and hard.
    It took me some time to find a way to voice myself as I do now. I also had to wait until my situation allowed me the safe conditions to do so. Being retired, and not having to worry about losing a job is huge in terms of freedom to speak freely. Living in Mississippi doesn’t give me all the freedom I want, but that will change soon. Moving to California will allow me greater freedom to be more active in this fight. My point for now is we should all find whatever thing it is that we can do and just do it. If you can see a way to do something great, then by all means do that also. It brings more and more purpose to my life the more I become involved. Fight the good fight.

  6. Let’s not forget to include the counseling industry who always produce inflated figures of teens who “need” help with their “addictions.” Though not all are there through some judges decree, the rest have been “encouraged” by concerned parents.

  7. Why don’t they apply those grants to the hungry, schools or to solve robbery, attempted murder, murder and rape cases? That way those could start getting solved! Giving rewards for drug busts creates a huge problem. The problem is dirty law enforcement has and will continue to violate our GUARENTEED RIGHTS and or plant evidence for those extra funds. I’m sure the DEA and other law enforcement stage grow bust. Build them and say they are doing steak outs for a long time and come in and have no suspects! When I say violate rights I mean just that! Them being able to search a vehicle on smell? I’ve actually witnessed this bullshit personally when there wasn’t any smell at all. In sealed bag. On vacation get pulled over for doing 5mph over in a 75mph. I was doing 75mph w/ cruise control on. Went to jail. Paid over 100,000 after all said and done. Who needs the mafia when you have the police? Who ever enacted that law is as unamerican as North Korea. So was Harry j. Turdeater.

  8. Also if traveling through utah especially I80 or I15 do not have California tags and do not travel at night alone without a camera! They will pull you over for nothing. Mud flap violation? 5mph over in 75mph when your doing 75mph. Watch out for the laser pointers and or laser dazzlers while you’re driving normally. I’m for real on this. I hope who ever reads this has no worries and has a great life. –
    God even said cannabis is good in genesis! How are you gonna argue with that? Lmao

  9. Well-researched and well-argued, Sabrina. Well done.

    You here disseminate some very relevant yet not very known facts about several of the monied interested supporting the present status quo. There are myriad industries which rely upon keeping our freedoms at bay so they can keep their shareholders in the black.

    We have so many forward-thinking, logic-based and fact-filled arguments on our side, it can sometimes be difficult to keep them all straight, or to stay focused on thoroughly destroying one of the prohibitionists’ conjectures without needlessly tangenting to another of our points.

    But this, Sabrina, is an essay which makes its point succinctly, while shedding light on a very real prohibition-industrial complex which is not widely known to the populace, but would be decidedly in our favor if it were.

    Good job.

  10. Well thank God for NORML, votehemp and non for profit advocacy for keeping piss tests out of food stamps and the hemp research amendment in the Farm Bill.
    DuPont sold their timber and petrochemical patents to Koch Industries in 2006, the same Koch brothers who funded the State Policy Network, who funds the Tea Party that shut the government down the same day the old Farm Bill expired. The Koch brothers, with patents for synthetics like stainmaster carpets and own Georgia Pacific dont want to compete with a domestic hemp market. But for all their delay tactics, or cover ups by donating to “think tanks” like the CATO institute that pays for summer internships at the Drug Policy Alliance, the hemp research amendment picked up support from the conservative Farm Bureau Federation and is geared to pass anyway!
    Have no fear of the prohibition complex. What Americans need is simple: to grow our own medicine. We need to grow our own sustainable celulosic hemp ethanol, our own building materials, our own organic vegetables…( Or as our Grandparents called them; vegetables). As more and more Americans open their eyes to what we can achieve with cannabis cultivation, the intimidating walls of submissive urinals, disproportionate incarcerations and wars for profit will continue to diminish from society. Make no mistake; ending cannabis prohibition is the greatest civil rights battle of our time. We must remain confident in the victory of Good over Evil. Above all, we must remain educated and call our local Congressman regularly. If we don’t know the difference between grape juice and wine, there are those who would dare to return alcohol prohibition if we let them.
    Legalize and educate. Soon we will celebrate.

  11. Wow, that guy David Evans is like the Energier Bunny of Marijuana Lies. What is with these freaks?

  12. It is called a “Conflict of Interest”, why can’t we get these asshole prohibitionists a prison cell already?

  13. The military industrial complex is also dependant on the drug war to a large degree. The entire security industry is involved. The CIA runs coke to pay for covert operations which are of the worst order of violation of laws and rights. That is they use the money to destabilize nations. The drug war of its own destabilizes nations and has funded to power numerous regimes. The drug war has made the world far more violent than it would other wise be so it helps make the argument for massive military expenditure. We could save a lot of money by ending the drug war.

  14. the government is to greedy for this leagalization to not happen. they will see a huge increase in taxes in WA, and CO. after they see that and then do the math they will relize that, unlike big pharma and private prisons and drug testing companies, we the people will give them money in tax dollars and not expect any thing other than not to be criminals in return. the gravy train is getting ready to leave the station. 1 story covering cannabis every day for the last 6 days on yahoo. no matter how minor this is fast becoming main stream info, Thank you norml for all your hard work, keep it up!

  15. Wait! This can’t be true! After all, I’m assured by some that legalization of MJ and exclusion of MJ as a drug testing target won’t affect drug testing one iota, because catching cokeheads and other hard drug users will be more than enough to keep DT a lucrative and profitable field! And since legalizing MJ and removing MJ from drug testing results won’t hurt the drug testing industry at all, it’s impossible that the drug testing industry could really be a major enemy of legalization! /SNARK

    Of course, snark. I love to ask people “if drug testing won’t be harmed by MJ legalization and if hard drugs will be more than enough reason to keep it going and keep it profitable, then why are they trying to hard to forcibly prevent legalization from happening?” There’s no way the drug testing industry will survive without marijuana padding it’s numbers and creating its illusion of efficacy.

    Hmm, drug testing is on the decline? I have a question for NORML regarding this–where is it in the decline? I’m in Ohio and it’s getting damn near impossible to find anyone who doesn’t hold out a piss cup for a job, including the lowest of McJobs. But then, Ohio is a decriminalized state, but not a MMJ state and, of course, not legalized like CO and WA too. Is this a reason we’re not seeing such a trend here, and the decline is more in states that have more reform than we do? Does drug testing in the workplace decrease in a particular state when that state adopts legalized MJ, perhaps because companies fear the lawsuits and resulting bad PR that comes from punishing sick people for taking their medicine? That would explain why over the last year or so there has been an upsurge in workplace drug testing programs where none existed before: drug testing industry efforts to recoup losses from MMJ and legalized states by preying even more on the states that lag behind on MJ and drug law reform.

    Maybe at some point we can compile a list, state by state, of companies that do or don’t drug test, for purposes of application, boycott, and public pressure campaigns. That kind of thing might hurt the DT companies and their business, giving them less money with which to thwart the will of the people (much like StopRush has been stripping Limbaugh of all his sponsors). (Yes, I know testclear has something like that, but it’s not very well organized and is kind of unclear and incomplete in many ways, and I can’t even find the form to report a company anymore, as I was planning to report my company for its new drug testing program, which is a bummer as I’d love to throw a wrench in their piss-sniffing agenda).

  16. BTW, also, thank you for this awesome article! For some reason, the drug testing industry always seems to get overlooked entirely when tallies of powerful and affluent Drug War supporters/Prohibitionists are made, yet the drug testing industry is definitely in the elite levels of Drug War/Prohibition support and is possibly the most influential industry regarding the prevention of marijuana legalization. I’m glad to see that this truth is getting noticed more and more!

  17. A $100 says they have chapo Guzman locked up in Guantanamo bay or has been killed and they are using him as the boogie monster. Don’t forget about the CIA plane with 4 tons of cocaine crashing in the yucatan peninsula! They have to make it look like there is a problem to have one. Prohibition should be banned. Logic and prohibition dictates that education and regulation work. The grows in the national forest wouldn’t be a so called hazard if cannabis was legal.
    -May your jar be filled to the brim with that super good always.

  18. Also The police should start arresting themselves for impaired driving. Those laptops that they live on in their squad cars. They cause impairment worse than a drunk would have. I could never understand how I was supposed to respect someone who has robbed me. Thieves usually wear a mask or own a bank. All the police have to wear is a badge. They are supposed to uphold the law not violate it!
    -May your jar overfloweth with that super good, always.

  19. If anyone really WANTS a pee-cup job paying 7.25 an hour then feel FREE to come to Idaho.

  20. Sabrina,
    Great job on this one, our prohibition on marijuana only creates a revolving door for our for profit prison system. The DEA makes sure enough drugs get through the system to create a new generation of users which creates continued employment.

    If they did their job right nothing would get through the system, and we know this is not even remotely possible.

    Your next article should talk about the dangers of total eradication of hemp which has such a larger impact on our environment.

    Eradication of hemp has links to the following
    Decrease in song bird population
    Poisoning of honeybee and bumblebee population
    Increase in destructive logging
    Extinction of animal species
    Increase in CO2 levels
    Increase in petroleum use
    Increase in non-recyclable fiber products
    Importing of hemp products from other countries
    And so much more.

    I believe this lack of hemp is a major cause of our environmental problems. I know this is a marijuana site but this is to big to ignore.

    Keep up the great work,

  21. Demonhype, even as the country moves to normalize marijuana, drug testing and drug punishments are rising, which goes to show how not intouch Rebublicans are. Christie vetoes a Hemp Bill for no reason, saying he will not support marijuana, which hemp isn’t. Is he confused and stupid, or is he being paid to act that way?

  22. I’d like to thank Sabrina Fendrick for this great information.

    Not only is the Emperor naked, his entire system of justice and legislative and judicial arms are spread out in a give-me-a-hug to AUTHORITARIAN POLICE STATE TACTICS embrace.

    History will NOT BE KIND to any society, nation, or civilization that chose to ignore the ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM.

    Let me explain this clearly: Talking about medical cannabis or legalized cannabis is ALWAYS a discussion of Schedule I status at the root.

    The role of private prisons and law enforcement ONLY exist due to Schedule I status.

    So, what’s the solution?

    TEACHING THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM. Teaching it at medical schools, writing letters-to-the-editor, e-mails and letters to congress, spreading the word about this system which is the MASTER CONTROL PANEL FOR HOMEOSTASIS is critical.

    How critical? Imagine trying to talk about religion without the concept of a deity. Now, that is EXACTLY where the movement places itself when the endocannabinoid system isn’t mentioned at every possible chance and opportunity.

    HOMEOSTASIS is about as medical as you can get. Cannabis and cannabinoids assist human health because they work to improve homeostasis.

  23. Excellent article. Should “Workplace drug testing is a declining market due to the fact that employees see minimal return on investment.” read “…employers…”? Isn’t Kevin Sabet invested in the drug test industry? I thought I had read an article with that information, but cannot currently find it.

  24. in florida EVERY Job drug tests. Even the 9 year old paperboy gets randoms. Our governor RICK SCOTT owns a chain of drug testing clinics. When they called it a conflict of interest he signed them over to his wife which apparently is fine.

  25. It is real hard to believe that this money these drug gestapo’s are making is ours. After years of this sham they think it is their money and are entitled to continue receiving it.. It is hard to see these people as working for us and protecting and serving our citizens. Our government is our adversary not a working partner. The UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT IS CORRUPT ! POT WILL BE LEGAL WHEN THE GREAT POWERS THAT BE FIND THAT THEY WILL MAKE MORE MONEY WITH IT LEGAL. AMERICANS WOKE UP AND FOUND PRISONS FOR PROFIT ON THEIR DOOR STEP. A sign that incompetent government can not efficiently run the prisons we already have. Americans have taken the steps to lose the freedom we once knew! Some shining city on a hill..

  26. Just got time to pick up one of the local small town papers after reading this story on these Industrial Complexes a second time and there it is. The prohibition industrial complex falling apart right on the front page of the SunHerald, our Southern Mississippi News Leader. Sheriff Mike Byrd stands now with almost 3 dozen charges of federal and state crimes.

    “The state of Mississippi has charged Byrd on 10 counts of embezzlement, 10 counts of fraud, two counts of hindering prosecution in the second degree, two counts of tampering with a witness, one count of perjury, two counts of attempt subornation of perjury, two counts of intimidating an officer in the discharge of his duties and two counts of extortion.” The Jackson County Narcotics Task Force has been disbanded. They’re still trying to figure out whats going on with the money, cars, atvs, trucks, military APCs, helicopters, cell phones and other equipment.
    Searches on for Sheriff Mike Byrd will get you 182 hits and some of the reading is just beyond belief.

    There’s just too many links to put in here so please read some of them.

    John Mark Stahl steals a police car, runs 17 miles and into Alabama before being caught. Then later while in handcuffs and being held by officers Sheriff Byrd kicks and beats this guy. He’s got three years to do in prison and the prosecutor is agreeing to 6 month of house arrest for the Sheriff for the assault. (Sheriff Byrd is still to answer for the other charges) This is the injustice that the war on drugs is producing. Mr. Stahl, most importantly, is the the victim and also a criminal here. Sheriff Byrd and his officers being worst criminals demonstrate the level of disrespect that the war on drugs breeds into the minds of our authorities.
    The laws that shield corporate leaders, police officers, or even presidents from accountability violate us all.

  27. The drug testers cost me a job.

    The federal drug warriors cost me a job.

    These last few years of my life could have been as a productive, tax paying citizen. But, No. The Drug Warriors know better.

  28. I know of an acquaintance that grew in a greenhouse in California, and shipped 375 pounds of marijuana and shipped it to the east coast. It was intercepted on the east coast by the police. The next day there was a news article in the paper, quoted the police that they discovered 75 lbs of pot! I wonder what happened to the other 300 pounds……
    What a great police system we have! Thank you for protecting us from this harmful stuff!

  29. The anti-pot billboards for the upcoming Super Bowl are put there by the Industrial Complex. Not their best move considering someone might see one.

  30. Last nite, I was scanning the radio, and came in on some guy on a church radio station saying something about do not do drugs, really, I believe his kind probably believes Jesus’ last name was Christ, he must not even know what
    Christ means, and he probably does not know that CANNABIS used to be in the Bible either, before either ignorance, or hate for the nifty plant, or who knows, maybe feeble minded dotes removed it, but it originaly was in the bible, and JESUS used pounds of the stuff to heal people…and as technically, Cannabis is a drug, how dare HIM of all people come on a radio show touting CHRIST-ianity, and be against CHRIST, it is telling of how dumbed down this society is, and it is all due I believe to the prohibition of all of our constitutional rights, including US in the cannabis community, however lol, DO NOT BE FAINT HEARTED!

    Chris Bennett has compiled some interesting nuggets of niftiness about the bible, and the meaning of Christ, and no, Christ is not Jesus’ last name…

    And no, I do not go around using that name, as doing so would be not only arrogant but just wrong, back then the name took on a much more spiritual meaning, to where the deciples actually were on entheogens as they were learning all they could about life, they used entheogens, I believe, not for partying as the heathen do today, as the COMMON types endulge in stupifying drunkenness and unrullyness, I believe the biblical folk used entheogens for real enlightenment, oh, I suppose they used it for lots of things too, but and the deciples, I believe, back in the biblical days were rumored to have seen due to their entheogenical imbibation of Cannabis, and who knows what else, perhaps mushrooms, and who knows what else to get the effects they achieved, they were believe it or not, they it is written believed Jesus looked like he was standing on water, but I believe that they’re vision’s accuity was hightened to the point that they could see a few inches into everything, making it look like the floor was water, that is my belief, and I have the right to interpret the Bible as I please, just as any one else should have, and yet the anti-chist lovers, the haters of what Jesus used, which was CANNABIS, the haters of our constitution, the idiots who would have Jesus in a prison, if he were here today, the treasonous scum, but I believe Jesus used Cannabis, and God to heal the sick, and I believe that the treasonous hate that the prohibs have for what Jesus used should NOT rule over every one elses beliefs, because we are all supposed to have freedom to believe in our religion any way we want, I tell you the prohibs of the USA are the DESTROYERS of the USA’s souls, and perhaps our bodies as well, as it is also written in the Bible that back then people lived a thousand years, one person is rumored to secretly be living accoridng to a google search

    Pleasant toking;-)

    I say to the mean people on that church radio, that their mean words of filthy war loving hate means “Pachalafaka”, which I heard a long time ago on the Dr Demento show, which means NOTHING, they are nothing but irratants, like a bur in ones side, an annoyance, and soon they will stop their slander, we are all on this globe together, let us all get along and toke our bongs if we want

  31. @Galileo Galilei – Seriously!

    Many many thousands of people who would have otherwise been good productive members of our society have had their lives wasted because of being caught up in this immoral war on drugs (marijuana in particular of course). Prohibition has harmed this country greatly and most members of Congress don’t seem to give a damn as long as they have their cigarettes and booze.

  32. Cannabis is a Trillion dollar crop. Industrial use will dwarf recreational and medical use combined. Marijuana is a smoke screen to hide the hemp fields.

  33. @Dave Evans: At this point, I do think that most of them are paid off. Perhaps there are a few who are just still buying into that Reefer Madness BS, but the vast majority of such people are over 70 and I have a hard time believing that so many people under that age who are supposed to be serving the will of the people and concern themselves with what benefits society are honestly ignoring both public will and scientific fact. At this point, I do think that money is what is hampering the legalization movement, and I think most of that is coming from companies that profiteer off of the Drug War and especially marijuana (which the lynchpin of the Drug War, the very thing that keeps everything in place working for the corporate and DEA profit and without which the entire fraudulent profiteering system would finally fall).

    I don’t know if they’re all taking payouts from such companies though, as many people here have mentioned that some of them, like Rick Scott in Florida, OWN their own drug testing companies (and no, signing it over to your wife doesn’t make it not yours anymore, and just see how far that kind of scam would fly if one of us low-income peons tried that). Many others have personal stock in these industries, especially drug testing companies and have a vested interest in creating legislation to expand such profits and protecting legislation (like Prohibition and the Drug War) that protect their profit margin.

    IMO, this is why states with no initiative process are going to have the hardest time legalizing, and why it’s still going to be hard in states that do have an initiative process (why else do you think the initiative process failed to make the ballot in Maine recently? the profiteers want to isolate the voting public from this issue because they know they’ll lose at this point). IMO, as long as any of this is in the hands of Drug War zealots or politicians paid off by the Drug War profiteers or politicians who have some kind of investment in a Drug War profiteering company.

    In fact, I almost feel that the real battleground might even be in the initiative states, because that is where the first legalization is almost guaranteed to happen and that is possibly the only thing that might cause the politicians in the non-initiative states to finally spurn their Drug War profiteer payouts in the face of overwhelming anger from their citizens. In non-initiative states, all they have to do is keep the payouts coming and the politicians will avoid displeasing their true masters, especially as long as what their masters want continues to be the unchallenged status quo.

    Which is why I think if you live in an initiative state and your politicians vote against the right of the people to vote on this issue, you especially need to vote out their jobs in the next election. Initiative states are where the weak point exists in prohibition, and I suspect that is where the prohibitionists are going to focus. They’ve lost the war of the facts, they’ve lost the will of the people, and now their last hope, legislatively, is going to be to keep the people from voting their will on the issue in states where the will of the people is still respected in any way. If all the initiative states legalize, it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the states are forced to follow suit, and only a matter of time before the federal law goes bye bye.

    And I do think that drug testing is going to be their non-legislative last stand, to try and force prohibition by de facto means. And as long as the federal law continues to exist and companies continue to get tax breaks and payouts for accepting taxpayer-funded drug testing services from Uncle Sam, we will never have true legalization. For legalization to really happen, we have to eliminate the Drug War apparatus entirely and start an entirely new system for drug control, one based on compassion, scientific fact, and personal rights as well. This will never happen with the DEA or any other Drug War-based organization, because the rot and corruption run too deep to fix and those who work in those organizations, when not too irredeemably corrupted with power and money, have drunk far to much of the Kool-aid to ever come back.

  34. I also think that anyone involved in working with the Drug War should be prohibited from investing in or owning any such company. If I can be prohibited from various acts in my employment that might constitute a conflict of interests, then so should people with far more power to abuse than I have. And that prohibition from such investment includes your wife and close relatives.

    I also think that everyone involved in the DEA and Drug War, and everyone who supports the Drug War (specifically powerful public figures and speakers like Scott or Sabet) should be thoroughly investigated for such personal conflict of interests.

    I mean, why is it that people like on this site, people who use marijuana, are so routinely dismissed as “junkies trying to protect their habit”, who have a fatal conflict of interests, but a DEA agent or outspoken Drug Warrior governor who own DW profiteering companies and/or own stock in such companies and/or have close friends and loved ones who own or own stock in such companies are considered to have completely pure interests in continuing the failed Drug War and lying about the facts and abuses to keep it going?

  35. “Abbott Laboratories spent $133,500 on campaign donations to Ohio and Texas state politician promoting drug testing to welfare recipients,” This make me SICK! Those people are trying to make an end meet…

  36. @Demonhype
    The referendum and initiative processes are the true strategic batleground weapons we have in the states that have direct democracy. And yes, the states that have an indirect democracy have been betrayed be their legislators along time ago by placing themselves between the voters and ballots. As I’ve said before, the reasons our elected elite don’t always listen to us is some of them have more power than us and they know it. Americans aren’t equal when it comes to the referendum and initiative processes. Early on Democracy in its many butchered forms was a work in progress from state to state moving from east to west mostly. As the country grew so did the forms of Democracy. After the Civil War and the rich had time to grow its industrial complex the people fought back and managed to form what we have today with the referendum and initiative processes across the US. But it didn’t happen equally as it was formed. The eastern industrial complex was well rooted and voters rights suffered the most. As the adoption of these laws migrated to the west it improve for the people. To illustrate this just do an image search on a map of initiative and referendum types in the US. Then do a image search on a map of medicinal marijuana. You will see the two maps that have very much in common. While polls show the majority of american want marijuana legalized the enacted laws paint the true picture of where the peoples power resides.

    Ballot Measures that are of the Direct Democracy type are the easy keys for the west mostly and Indirect Democracy types are the coveted tools of the Industrial Complexes because they keep the legislators in between citizens and the voting ballot. The good news is there are enough states that have Direct Democracy systems to vote a majority of states into legal medical cannabis. A majority is what needs to be in place so as to declare medical cannabis access a “fundamental right” under federal law, and could supersede any other federal law. This what is what is being heard in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The brief has already been presented.

    We are close.

  37. Why do we keep going back to the very criminal illegitimate ‘government’ and beg for our basic right? There are enough of us disenfranchised to have our own enconomy, social structures, government and military to defend. The description of the corruption is endless. These people have only the authority we give them. Turn away from all that. They have no right to tax medicine and food. The human species has a symbiotic relationship with the cannabis plant. Not only is it the most basic industrial raw material known, the seed is the only grain on this planet which is a complete protien for human life.

    The entire Celtic civilization from what today is Russia to Ireland was based on and built with the cannabis plant. One reason there are not a lot of ruins of ancient cities is the people lived more in harmony with the natural environment and built homes from natural materials.

    A perfectly preserved body was found in the Apls between Italy and Austria some years back. His clothes were made from hemp, had a bag of seeds for food, had a pipe and bud to smoke even dried psilicybin mushrooms. The body was dated to 5,000 years ago.

    There are many books and articles to explain the many uses of cannabis and hemp which are genetic twins. We need to form our own society and recognize the enemy for who and what they are. The attack on cannabis is an attack on our lives, cost of living, health, environment, energy, everthing. I can determine good vs evil like a razor by support for or against cannabis. There is nothing in any major holy belief system which condems cannabis.

    When are we going to stop pleading for our basic rights and turn away from all that to form our own society?

  38. Military Industrial Complex is competing for available public funding. National security personnel are now performing training of police departments everywhere.

  39. Great article, thank you.

    I am working on the theory that the drug war has been a form of ethnic cleansing. Here in my hometown of Franklin, Tennessee census figures show the black population is declining. One way we got there I believe is by arresting 3.8 black people – particularly young men – for every white person in the war on marijuana. Take away a huge percentage of the young men from a minority population and guess who will no longer be reproducing? Yep, the same population many southerners have been wanting to be rid of since the end of chattel. The Klan itself could not devise a better means of eliminating the black population, than setting police to work arresting 3.8 blacks for every white arrested for the same crime. Now, this wasn’t written policy – it didn’t have to be. Southern whites have a long history of oppressing and eliminating blacks. In the drug war, we just fell to it naturally. I say call in the airstrikes! Where is President Clinton when you need him? Where is the Regime Change Chorus, when the Balkans are our back yard?

  40. this is what ive been trying to tell everybody all along ..the size and the power of the drug war industry (this is a $1 trillion lobby) makes prohibition a law of nature like gravity.. and even more difficult to overturn…

    dont waste your time trying to get permission to light your spliff…ill just lite mines up without permission instead…

  41. Bill Clinton is a very good point. Specifically, what more can he do to nudge legalization along in New York?

    Right now, all eyes are on the Super Bowl to see if Christie is going to sick his dawgz on the fans coming in from the cannabis states, you know; I don’t want to see any busts for folks who have cannabis on them in the security searches to get in to the stadium. Be seated 2 hours before game time, sounds like a lot of fans will have frigid asses. I don’t want to see any negative fire-up celebratory cannabis footage in the news after the big game, only positive. The NFL should see to it that their fans in the nation and watching overseas (military, expats) get put off by possible cannabis busts. Watch that profit margin.

    Once we get legal cannabis banking in the U.S. can we get legal cannabis banking in Mexico, Netherlands, Morocco, Denmark, Jamaica, etc. too? Seems like it would save a lot of lives in Mexico and create instant tax and revenue generating jobs in Mexico and elsewhere. How do you do immigration reform right before cannabis is legalized? I mean, I hear the dog whistle and occasionally hear the Republican talking point on immigration framed such that they complain about the illegal (Mexicans) immigrants being here and some (how many remains a blur) are selling marijuana either to supplement their non-living wages or are living solely off selling cannabis basically for the Mexican cartels. Let them keep their jobs and legitimize them once there is legal cannabis banking at the earliest, at latest once cannabis is legal. Business wants the cheap labor from illegals because it likes its workers cowering and not demanding more, but rather willing to take pay and benefit shavings and even disband unions and collective bargaining organizations. Problem is both not paying a living wage and illegal residency status trading in cannabis to supplement income or as a sole income brings violence.

    Getting back to Bill Clinton, the white guy who was sometimes referred to as America’s first black president, he must be weighing how what he does is going to affect Hilliary if she decides to make a presidential run. I don’t recall her having said a peep of a newsbyte pro-cannabis. I can’t recall anything she ever said about cannabis. Must be footage or transcripts somewhere. My concern here is legalization of cannabis, not getting Hillary elected or not elected. How can the Republicans link Hillary and marijuana and Benghazi together? Sounds like a job for Fox News.

    The Farm Bill needs to address the drought in California as well as hemp cultivation, because California is in line to legalize recreational cannabis. They need water for reservoirs for the new reality, the new drastic weather situations that arguably are resulting because of climate change. Cannabis can help pay for the construction and maintenance of new and existing reservoirs that store water brought in by pipeline from elsewhere in the U.S. and Canada. How do you pay for that? Have a damn good look at get funding for it from the Farm Bill, if not that then having money from this controversial Keystone XL Pipeline. If anybody has got a hell of a lot of money, it’s definitely Big Oil. You want your dirty oil pipeline? Well, it’s got to be clean enough and maintained enough to have clean fresh water pipelines (pipelines, plural) running alongside some of the way. You guys are going to construct the necessary massive water pipeline to supply both communities and agricultural irrigation. You plan in oxygen parks, irrigated to create oxygen producing plants, parks, green areas out of desert areas to offset some of the pollution you, Big Oil, will be putting into the atmosphere of this planet–indirectly but still through your profit. You will develop and modernize the Mexican water management system. Mexico desperately needs water, too. U.S. as the wealthier nation will benefit from footing the lion’s share of the bill by creating cheap food from more areas in Mexico and California with the abundance, plus instant jobs building the pipelines, reservoirs, and in agribusiness and the cannabis sector. U.S. gets a traceable money trail and intelligence gathering from visible cannabis networks, enterprises, individuals to see who the money goes back to in order to make damn sure they don’t use the money to try to attack us. Like all that money the U.S. sends to Afghanistan that ends up unaccounted for, well you got to bring things above ground and trace all that shit back to whomever. Give them modern creature comforts and education. That’s what they should be spending all that money on and not weapons.

    Clarence Page was on McLaughlin’s show, and he said something about education reform ought to switch to some kind of merit public school system like they have in Germany to make the best competitive use of the brainpower of the youth, so when you get this cannabis money stop pissing it away on charter shit, cyber shit, voucher shit, and more tax cuts and incentives to attract business while continuing to underfund education, like Corbett in Pennsylvania cutting education by $1 billion and giving $1 billion in tax breaks and incentives. He enjoys giving it to the public sector unions and their members. Shell got this tax break out by Pittsburgh, and he won’t tax Marcellus Shale, and is driving the economy into the ground with his austerity. Apropos, he is still against medical marijuana even in the face over overwhelming evidence of its efficacy in treating Dravet’s. I haven’t heard shit on it either from Attorney General Kane since she last state she was against it because of the usual prohibitionist arguments: needs more research stalling tactic and sends the wrong message to children.

    Wrong message?! Hey Kathleen, how about if you have Dravet’s you don’t give a shit about them?!

    They got their sights set on their Voter ID law (Turzai) to try to suppress the Democratic vote, looks like.

    My concern is getting people the medicine they need, and getting government out of the way of adults having the freedom they deserve to make the Safer Choice and to relax recreational and socially with cannabis rather than alcohol.

    I want to see more positive progress on legalization ready to go after the Super Bowl and Olympics are over. Enjoy the sporting events, but it’s something to try to get the public to focus on afterward, something other than the seemingly never-ending scandals.

  42. i dont mean to be a wet blanket..but the prohibition industrial complex seems quite invincible from where im sitting.. not the least because they have $1 trillion to buy out congressional elections…

    if anybody has any suggestions..pls share them with us…

  43. @ Brent, it isn’t the reason for the War On Drugs. Locking up Black People, is what I’m referring to here. It isn’t the “purpose” of the War on Drugs, but it is a form of payment to the Folks the Do Hate Blacks. It really is a tit for tat kind of situation. “We’ll let you lock as many black/spanish/brown people as you like, just keep letting us (the feds) lock up as many people as you like. Please don’t invoke your state’s rights.” It is the same thing as the fortiture laws–it condones and teaches the police corruption.

  44. Sorry, was a bit drunk last night. I meant to say is that the Federal Government had learned the lesson of racism and passed the Civil Rights Acts. But there was a push back. There are way too many people in this country that see success as failure–they think wealth comes from taking it from their neighbors; which is exactly what the Republican Party has become. A haven for fake conservatives that don’t believe in anything Jesus taught, they just believe their greed leads to making the “right decisions”. Taking from the weak and poor is their Right so they can feel better about themselves. Paying you a non-living wage is their Right; having all the money isn’t enough you shouldn’t even be allowed to form unions according to these evil people.

    Allowing the picking on of minorities is just a form a payment to the police in more racist areas of the country. But the War on Drugs supports all kinds of corruption! Not just institutional racism, but it teaches the police to be thieves, it teaches them to selectively blame people for health conditions. We have had white police attack white people for being diabetic!!! Actually beat them up and charge them with drunk driving while they are dieing from a sugar problem and still being ignored. Because all these dicks know what to do and attack and cast blame.

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