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Pot Apocalypse Looms, Marijuana Foes Warn

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #799)
Consequences of Prohibition
Politics & Advocacy

Not everybody is happy with Thursday's Justice Department announcement that it would not interfere with taxed, regulated, and legalized marijuana in Colorado and Washington. While the announcement was greeted with accolades (and some questions) by the drug policy reform community, opponents of marijuana law reform were up in arms and prophesying hellfire and damnation.

It's Reefer Sadness for prohibitonists today.
"Decades from now, the Obama administration will be remembered for undoing years of progress in reducing youth drug use in America," Dr. Paul Chabot of the Coalition for a Drug Free California said in a statement. "This president will be remembered for many failures, but none as large as this one, which will lead to massive youth drug use, destruction of community values, increased addiction and crime rates."

Chabot is also the the coauthor, along with Richard Morgan, of "The Eternal Battle Against Evil: A Comprehensive Strategy to Fight Terrorists, Drug Cartels, Pirates, Gangs, and Organized Crime," and the coalition web site also hawks Morgan's "Soros: The Drug Lord. Pricking the Bubble of American Supremacy."

While Chabot, with his Anslingerian fulminations and Manichean thinking, represents old school Reefer Madness-style prohibitionism, the new school prohibitionists aren't too pleased either.

"We can look forward to more drugged driving accidents, more school drop-outs, and poorer health outcomes as a new Big Marijuana industry targeting kids and minorities emerges to fuel the flames," warned former US Rep. Patrick Kennedy in a statement issued by Project SAM (Smart About Marijuana), a neo-prohibitionist organization that couches its policy aims amid public health concerns.

"This is disappointing, but it is only the first chapter in the long story about marijuana legalization in the US. In many ways, this will quicken the realization among people that more marijuana is never good for any community," said Project SAM cofounder and director Kevin Sabet.

Project SAM warned that after the Obama administration instructed prosecutors to go easy on medical marijuana in 2009, "public health consequences soared" and called on the federal government to fund "robust data monitoring systems" to track those alleged consequences.

"In Colorado, we've seen an explosion of consequences among kids as a result of the new industry that emerged around so-called medical marijuana after 2009," remarked Christian Thurstone, SAM Board Member and Denver Health treatment provider. "We now have to prepare the floodgates."

Just what will come through those floodgates, though, is unclear. Reform advocates point to 2011 data showing that youth marijuana use declined in Colorado since the state adopted its system of regulated dispensaries in 2009.

CADCA conference (
The taxpayer-funded Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) also weighed in with disappointment, doom, and gloom.

"The Department of Justice announced that it will not sue to block the implementation of laws in Colorado and Washington that legalize marijuana, despite the fact that these laws are in conflict with federal law," said CADCA head Gen. Arthur Dean in a statement. "CADCA and its more than 5,000 community coalitions across the country have been anticipating a response from the administration that would reaffirm the federal law and slow down this freight train. Instead, this decision sends a message to our citizens, youth, communities, states, and the international community at large that the enforcement of federal law related to marijuana is not a priority."

"The fact remains that smoked marijuana is not medicine, it has damaging effects on the developing adolescent brain, and can be addictive, as evidenced by the fact that 1 in 6 youth who use it will become addicted," Dean claimed, adding that the country is in "a growing crisis" as marijuana law reforms take hold. "The nation looks to our Justice Department to uphold and enforce federal laws. CADCA is disappointed in the Justice Department's decision to abdicate its legal right in this instance. We remain gravely concerned that we as a nation are turning a blind eye to the serious public health and public safety threats associated with widespread marijuana use."

Despite the bitter disappointment of the prohibitionists, marijuana law reform is moving forward, and the momentum is only likely to accelerate in the years to come. We may see in a few years if their dire warnings are correct -- if the country is still standing, that is.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Paul Pot (not verified)

Thank goodness we have SAM to remind us how dumb prohibition and its supporters are.

Fri, 08/30/2013 - 9:41pm Permalink
Chris3145 (not verified)

Hahahaha love reading these a hole authoritarians and their chicken little non sense.......i can laugh in their faces now.......because the majority no longer believes them.......
Sat, 08/31/2013 - 6:51am Permalink
DdC (not verified)

Obama's Perplexing Potpocalypse

Me thinks too damn many people confuse right and wrong with legal and illegal. Humans can not be trusted. We know that. They'd be happy to just kill each other over dirt and they outlaw plants. For money they can't eat. Wingnuts. They have to have checks and balances and accountability for what they say to legislate what will effect us all. When lies are used as a means to an end it is built on air and gossip. Not strong foundations to hold up truth down the line. Perpetuate the profits of prohibition and keep renewable competition off the shelves. That is their only point in existing. Even debating them is bartering with insanity.

Ideals and morals are words the same as "guvmint" or Hemp censorship to saved the kids nonsense. The majority of cannabis eradications are wild ditchweed. Saveding the kids from burlap and canvas and nutritional seeds, can't have that. The dung worriers sell pisstastes and rent tax paid cages and rehabilitation asylums. Some let you out as soon as you find Jesus. Or keep you til ya do. All for the kids they just orphaned or placed with the foster care racketeers, forfeit their homes and confiscate their car. Out of work and closed down mills and outlawed plants to fill the mills and employ the unemployed. Hungry kids and illegal food. Affordable health care grown in the herb garden, oh heavens can't have that. What would the message be to the hungry kids and unemployed and sick parents?

DARE and SWAT come from the LAPD's Gates. Nancy didn't think that a little #%*+# or funny to her ear? A little jumbled and maybe even jivey? SWAT teaching kids about drugs didn't bat a bitty eyelash.  The humans filling the slots are employees of Wall St who run the wars. Those who sell the war toys, and NRA guns and more uniforms. More cops protecting us from a police state should have been a clue. Until we cut the cord we have to remove it from the CSA and grow and produce locally. Bypassing Walmartians sweatshop undercutting and cheap crap. Especially the Iraqi crude oil plastic flags kids make in Chinese sweatshops pseudo patriots jerk and spasm at the out of work kids signing up for a paycheck. Going to fight Iraqi's who they just bought bullets for buying crappy flags at Walmart. ~ DdC


"The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents.

Narcotics police are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy ...  and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with 'scientific support' ... fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others."
~ William F. Buckley, Jr. Requiescat In Pace
Commentary in The National Review, April 29, 1983, p. 495

How dare we take this away from them? dwr

Delightful article from Ryan Grim on the reaction from some police groups… Police Groups Furiously Protest Eric Holder’s Marijuana Policy Announcement

WASHINGTON — A broad coalition of law enforcement officers who have spent the past three decades waging an increasingly militarized drug war that has failed to reduce drug use doesn’t want to give up the fight.

Organizations that include sheriffs, narcotics officers and big-city police chiefs slammed Attorney General Eric Holder in a joint letter Friday, expressing “extreme disappointment” at his announcement that the Department of Justice would allow Colorado and Washington to implement state laws that legalized recreational marijuana for adults. [...]

    Local law enforcement agencies rely heavily on the drug war for funding. Police departments are often able to keep a large portion of the assets they seize during drug raids, even if charges are never brought. And federal grants for drug war operations make up a sizable portion of local law enforcement funding.

    The letter warns that marijuana can cause suicidal thoughts, impairs driving and is a “gateway drug.” The missive does not, however, address the failure of law enforcement generally to reduce drug use, even while tripling the number of people behind bars.

The vast majority of prohibitionists
still profit on the drug war,...
… and that is still their only motive.

Policing for Profit

Got SqWAT?

Forfeiture $quads

"We have spent over a trillion dollars trying to eradicate the world's most beneficial plant off the face of the earth. Imagine what a better world this would be if that money had been spent on treatment, education and studying the medical benefits of marijuana."
-- Steve Hager - High Times Editor (1988 - 2003)

Drug Czar linked to deception
- Drug Czar is Required by Law to Lie
- UK’s Drugs Czar Fired For Marijuana Truths
- Cover-Ups, Prevarications, Subversions & Sabotage
- Anti-Drug Campaigns Dumb Down Vital Message
- Calvina Fay Prohibition Inc.
- GOP Mogul Behind Drug Rehab 'Torture' Centers

Catch 22²

They can do anything we can't stop them from doing.
-- Joseph Heller, "Catch-22"

Shame on the Drug Worrier Profiteers
Nonsensical Harbingers of Idiocracy
Misinformation S.A.M.
If the Roots are Poison, So be the Fruit.
Mooching Off Medicaid
More DEA and UN Overreaching Arguments Against Legalization
Won’t say why?
The U.N.’s complicity in international human rights abuses
The Many Different Faces Of Cannabis In America
Lobbyists Are Getting Rich Off of WoD

Jails and prisons are the complement of schools; so many less as you have of the latter, so many more you must have of the former. --
Horace Mann

and more prohibition profiteers

NeoConflicts of Interest
MJ Research Cut as Support Grows
Bush Barthwell & Drugs

Religious drug treatment in Texas

Kochroach & Aleech
* Drug Detention Centers

Slavery: Another Fine Product Still Made in the USA

I welcome the emphasis that is now being put on the drug problem. The efforts - to get to the people who are addicted, try to rehabilitate them; if they cannot be rehabilitated, at least to contain them; to educate people, to strongly discourage use of drugs by people who are casual users and first users, to stop this process among the young - all of these things are extremely important.

But, I have to tell you that it seems to me that the conceptual basis of the current program is flawed and the program is not likely to work. The conceptual base - a criminal-justice approach - is the same that I have worked through before, in the Nixon administration when I was Budget Director and Secretary of the Treasury with jurisdiction over the  Customs. We designed a comprehensive program, and we worked hard on it.

In the Reagan administration we designed a comprehensive program; we worked very hard on it. Our international efforts were far greater than ever before. You're looking at a guy whose motorcade was attacked in Bolivia by the drug terrorists, so I'm personally a veteran of this war. What we have before us now is essentially the same program but with more resources ploughed into all of the efforts to enforce and control. These efforts wind up creating a market where the price vastly exceeds the cost,

With these incentives, demand creates its own supply and a criminal network along with it. It seems to me we're not really going to get anywhere until we can take the criminality out of the drug business and the incentives for criminality out of it. Frankly, the only way I can think of to accomplish this is to make it possible for addicts to buy drugs at some regulated place at a price that approximates their cost. When you do that you wipe out the criminal incentive, including, I might say, the incentive that the the drug pushers have to go around and get kids addicted, so that they create a market for themselves.

They won't have that incentive because they won't have that market. So I think the conceptual base needs to be thought out in a different way. We need at least to consider and examine forms of controlled legalisation of drugs. I find it very difficult to say that. Sometimes at a reception or cocktail party I advance these views and people head for somebody else. They don't even want to talk to you. I know that I'm shouting into the breeze here as far as what we're doing now.

But I feel that if somebody doesn't get up and start talking about this now, the next time around, when we have the next iteration of these programs, it will still be true that everyone is scared to talk about it. No politician wants to say what I have just said, not for a minute.
-- former Secretary of State George P. Shultz,
Oct. 7, 1990, addressing an alumni gathering
at the Stanford Business School
where he had returned to the faculty.

Should it be legalized? Soon we will know.
Marijuana: the law vs. 12 million people
Life magazine Oct 31, 1969. 25-35

Sat, 08/31/2013 - 7:06pm Permalink
Anonymously un… (not verified)

      I first smoked pot in 1967. I continued to smoke it on a regular basis until about 1975 when my first son was born. I didn't quit because his birth set me on a higher moral plane, its just because I could no longer afford to spend the money on pot when he needed other things that were more important. That's why I don't understand these peoples talking about pot's addiction. I smoked it for about 8 years and had no problems with quitting. None,nada, zero, zilch, not even a little craving. Now I will admit that the marijuana that I was smoking back in the 60's and early 70's was not anything like they have now. However we were always looking for that, "1-toke shit"! Apparently they have that now. What we had was,"colors" you know-"Panama Red", Acapulco-Gold","Columbian-Brown"  When we did score some good stuff we would play games or listen to great music or eat great food and if your were high and happy just about all music was great, and all food was to die for.Maybe go for a walk if you lived in a great area. Didn't want to drive because cars went to fast, you missed to much.              Marijuana should be legalized with controls like liquor laws placed on it. Taxed like alcohol, with a lot of the tax revenue,( 25%)given to schools and scholarships for our best students in math and science.                                                                                                                                       All students should have a number which is determined by the number of students in the USA that year divided by amount of money available from the 25% of the tax revenue generated by amount of Marijuana sold. Each school would receive depending on the number of students they had in their enrollment. That way, no "prestigious" schools would get more money over a little unknown school to keep it fair.

Sun, 09/01/2013 - 9:32am Permalink
David McDonough (not verified)

I had my first taste in ninth grade 1966. I didn't get another or go looking for another. I just ran in to it again in 67. Smoked only on week ends. Finished High School in 69 Smoked more in collage. Smoked continusly durring my working carrier. Drove high continusly. Never been cited for an accadent. could not avoid being struck in the rear three times and t-boneing some tourest. He got one. I have avoided at least 5 maybe 6 major crashes with the truly stupid, or blind, or drunk, or all three. There some of us that have no problem driving High. I dair any nay sayers to test me!

Mon, 09/02/2013 - 12:37am Permalink
Uncle Bob (not verified)

The difference between then, and now, is that 50% of Americans (roughly speaking) no longer agree with the prohibitionists.  The Information Age of technology, the wide dissemination of information across the Internet, and the wide-spread sharing of our thoughts and experiences thanks to social media means that the majority of people can no longer be fooled by baseless propaganda.  

It was this propaganda that terrified the masses into submission decades ago, and sustained prohibition all these years.  Now it is losing steam, and so too will the prohibitionists.  They will fight to the bitter end, of course, because they literally make their living on this "war," and they can see the house of lies they built shattering down around them.  

I don't feel bad for them, even if entire industries crash if cannabis goes legal.  They have no pity, because they profit off the misery of others.

Good riddance!!

Mon, 09/02/2013 - 3:17am Permalink
sandorszabo (not verified)

"Project SAM warned that after the Obama administration instructed prosecutors to go easy on medical marijuana in 2009, "public health consequences soared" and called on the federal government to fund "robust data monitoring systems" to track those alleged consequences."


I'd vote for that. Bring it on.

Thu, 09/05/2013 - 12:35pm Permalink
Delmar (not verified)

This apocalypse is to the liquor, paper manufacturing, criminal justice interests, prisons for profit and least of all Big Pharma.  These groups claim to be saving families from the drug scourge (with the exception for Big Pharma products) and giving their kids lifelong criminal records to violators.  Saving children doesn't include jailing them.  The police and DEA ramp up statistics to maintain their budgets, keep minorities in check etc.  Politicians are on the donor dole, so they want to keep things as they are (money rolling in to their coffers).  There may be a few members of these groups that truly believe they are making a difference, but they are mistaken.  

Fri, 09/06/2013 - 2:52pm Permalink
Jane Adams (not verified)

I hope there are enough other folks like you in your state so the seriously ill can get the relief they deserve without fearing the state or worrying their illegal mmj is adulterated, moldy or otherwise contaminated and so unfit for their use. It boggles my mind that so many still oppose MMJ considering the addictive and toxic medications that are legal. It is cruel to deny those who are at risk of death or are dying from an illness relief even if MJ was as bad as portrayed. Since it is NOT as toxic and addictive as portrayed it is immoral to deny them effective medication that gives them symptom relief with fewer side effects than conventional medications.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 6:53am Permalink

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