One thing is a certainty in America, millions of Americans love to smoke weed (marijuana). For scores of citizens, firing up a bowl after a long day’s work around 4:20 or so is not only enjoyable and therapeutic, it’s healing as well. However, there is one huge problem. You can go to jail for it, and if five special interest groups have their way, it will remain illegal.
In 2010, 850,000 people in this country were arrested for weed-related crimes.?Even though, a consensus of both the public, ?medical community and human interest professionals favor its legalization.?America’s mania for keeping weed illegal is entrenched in cultural and political confrontation from the past. There are powerful special interest groups dug into spending large amounts of money to keep these archaic drug laws associated with the failed “War on Drugs” on the books.
Who Are These Groups?
Police forces across America have become reliant on federal Drug War funds to balance their department ledgers. There is example after example of this dependence. 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.?Federal lobbying leaks show that police unions all across our great land have advocated for rigid amercement for weed-related crimes.
2.) Private Prison Corporations
Private prisons make their money locking people up. Millions of people have been incarcerated for drug offenses. Corrections Corporation of America, the largest prison for-profit company in America, in a required regulatory filing, reported that the ongoing “Drug War” was part of their business strategy plan. These types of naked capitalist companies have greased the palms of pro-drug war politicians to the tune of untold billions. Moreover, they have used covert front groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council [ALEC] — the same one responsible for writing the present controversial TPP trade deal — to enact strident sentencing provisions for drug crimes.?
3.)?Alcohol, Tobacco and Beer Companies
For anyone who smokes weed, it’s common knowledge you can jump in your car and drive to the store to get some “chips and dip” and be back watching your favorite show before the commercial break is over.?Moreover, you can smoke pot all day long, put it down and not smoke again and never have any physical withdrawal. Firstly, you can get a DUI driving to the store for “chips and dip” after about two beers and if you had about six beers you may not make it to the store and back. Secondly, have you ever been around a cigarette smoker who was out of cigs and not able to get any? If you have, nothing more is needed here to explain the effects of nicotine withdrawal. These companies fear the competition that legalization of weed would have on their bottom lines.?For example, the California Beer & Beverage Distributors bequeath thousands?in campaign contributions to a committee set up to prevent marijuana from being legalized and taxed.
People today are popping pills like they were a bag of M&M’s. Like the so-called immoral industries already mentioned, “Big Pharma” would like to keep weed illegal, so “We The People” don’t have a cheaper, safer (with no side-effects) alternative to their costly, riddled with side-effects products. “Big Pharma,” next to police unions, are the most significant contributors to keeping weed illegal. Why? Weed can replace everything from Advil to Vicodin, and other expensive pills.
5.)?Prison Guard Unions
Prison Guard Unions have an interest in keeping weed illegal. Locking people up for smoking weed equals job security. In 2008, prison guard unions in California spent over $1 million to defeat a bill in that state that would have reduced sentences and parole times for nonviolent drug offenses that also recommended drug treatment over prison.
There Is A Reefer Madness Alright, But It’s Not The People Who Are Smoking It That’s Mad!