The Marijuana war is slowly grinding to anend. Even political law enforcementtypes can see the end is coming and the science has also been emerging in useableform that contradicts the lies told to suppress the product for decades.
I am certainly no fan of recreational use, butthen I am no fan of recreational drinking either and for that I have an evenbetter case. Opinion has never stoppedeither however and the abuse must be managed in order for society to functionoptimally. Prohibition has only allowed organizedcrime to profit immensely on the backs of unsupported victims.
Here we see the emergence of a legal lobbinggroup that will be able to organize political support and provide cover so politiciansare able to finally do the right thing. Halfa century of failed prohibition is quite enough.
Big Marijuana is here
Sunday, December 12th, 2010 -- 4:19 pm
Legalization 'lookinginevitable,' spokesman says
Ifthere's one group of people who get their way in
, it's lobbyists. Washington
Now,advocates of marijuana legalization may have a reason to cheer that politicalreality: They're getting their own marijuana lobby group.
And justBig Pharma and Big Oil lobby for greater leeway for their businesses, so toowill Big Marijuana push for their industry to be given the freedom to succeed.
AaronSmith, executive director of the newly formed National Cannabis IndustryAssociation, says that marijuana legalization is "lookinginevitable."
Smith told McClatchy news service: "It's prettyclear that the medical marijuana industry is becoming recognized more and moreby the mainstream as a fully legitimate part of the economy."
Legalization"didn't happen in 2010, but it's likely to happen in 2012," he added."It's going to be relatively soon we're going to see states move frommedical marijuana into broader legal markets. And the federal government needsto catch up. Frequently the American people are ahead of the Congress."
The NCIA notes that 15 states have now legalizedmedical marijuana, providing the lobby group with a legal base from which tooperate and collect funding. And just as Big Pharma and Big Oil frame theirdemands through the prism of American jobs, so too will the National CannabisIndustry Association argue that legalizing marijuana will put thousands ofAmericans to work.
“Theever-expanding list of state-sanctioned medical cannabis providers andancillary businesses have easily become a multi-billion dollar industry in theUnited States, generating thousands of good jobs and paying tens – if nothundreds – of millions in taxes,” Smith said in a statement last month. “Thesebusinesses have clearly earned the right to strong representation on thenational stage and recognition as a true force for economic growth.”
Accordingto McClatchy, the lobby group's first target will be a federal law that upholdsmarijuana prohibition in states that have legalized it. But the news servicenotes it could be an uphill battle: By a margin of 400 to 4, Houserepresentatives recently voted in favor of a resolution calling for tougherlaws against those who grow pot on federal land.
And theUS's most high-profile political battle for marijuana legalization --
's Proposition19 -- lost by a margin of 57 to 43 in lastmonth's vote. The defeat for pot activists came after US Attorney General EricHolder said he would continue enforcing federalmarijuana laws in the state regardless of how Californians voted. California
Smithsounded an ambivalent note about his lobby group's prospects in the comingRepublican-dominated House, suggesting that framing the argument as a states'rights issue -- each state should decide its own pot policies -- should appealto federalist Republicans.
"Ican't say that I'm super optimistic, but we'll definitely be pushing themessage of federalism, which the Republicans should listen to," he toldMcClatchy. "All we're really asking for is to allow the states toessentially make up their own minds on marijuana policy."