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Chronicle AM: NAACP & NOW Support DC Init, Pot Shop ATM Problems, Mexico Impunity, More (10/23/14):

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #858)
Consequences of Prohibition

Marijuana retailers face ATM problems, Seattle dispensaries get a heads up, the DC initiative wins a pair of endorsements, California's Prop 47 is drawing big bucks support, the Mexico missing student teacher story gets uglier, and more. Let's get to it:

You may need cash at your local marijuana retailer after a banking network pulled the plug. (Sonya Yruel/DPA)
Marijuana Policy

Pew Poll: Latinos Are Even Split on Marijuana Legalization. A new Pew Research Center survey finds that Latino voters are slightly less likely than the population as a whole to favor marijuana legalization, but are almost evenly divided in their opinions. Some 49% said marijuana should be legal, while 48% said it shouldn't. A Pew poll earlier this year found support for marijuana legalization among the general population at 53%.

Banking Network Pulls the Plug on Pot Shop ATMs. Hundreds of recreational and medical marijuana retail outlets in Colorado and Washington have had their ATMs shut down after the South Dakota-based MetaBank pulled the plug on them. MetaBank had warned ATM providers in January that the presence of such machines in marijuana retail outlets violated federal rules, but shops had remained unaffected until this week. Other retail outlets using different bank networks were still able to process transactions.

DC Initiative Wins Endorsement from NAACP, NOW Branches. The DC marijuana possession and cultivation legalization initiative, Measure 71, has picked up the endorsements of the local chapters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the National Organization for Women (NOW). "The NAACP DC Branch strongly advocates to end the war on drugs, which has caused significant damage in our communities. Endorsement of Initiative 71 does not mean that the NAACP is pro marijuana, however, we view Initiative 71 as a step towards ending discriminatory drug policies." said Akosua Ali, President of the NAACP DC Branch. "Criminalization of marijuana has played a major role in the racial disparities and injustice in the criminal justice system," said Susan Mottet, president of DC NOW. "DC NOW works to end all discrimination in DC and urges the voters to pass Initiative 71 to help put an end to this tool for discrimination."

Medical Marijuana

Seattle Warns Dispensaries They Will Need Licenses, But… The city of Seattle has sent letters to 330 dispensaries operating there that they will need to be licensed by the state. The only problem is there is no such license for medical marijuana businesses. The city council had placed the requirement on hold until the state legislature decides whether and how to license dispensaries, but the letter warns that as of January 1, 2015 (or January 1, 2016 if the legislature doesn't act before then), dispensaries must have state licenses or close their doors. Click on the title link to see the letter.


California Defelonization Initiative Picking Up Big Bucks Support. Proposition 47, he initiative that would defelonize drug possession and some other offenses, is getting generous contributions from California-based technology mavens and other business figures, but those donations are being dwarfed by the ACLU, which has contributed more than $3 million. Some of the big names include Netflix CEO Reed Hastings ($246,000); Cari Tuna, the wife of Facebook billionaire Dustin Moskovitz ($150,000), Democratic Party funder Quinn Delaney ($100,000), Hyatt Development Corporation CEO Nick Pritzer ($250,000), and app maker Sean Parker ($100,000).


OAS Drug Commission Meets in Colombia. The Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) of the Organization of American States (OAS) met in Cartagena, Colombia, yesterday and today, and addressed the consensus among countries that prison overcrowding in the Americas is a real problem, with more than 1.5 million people detained for drug offenses. The results of this initiative will be presented at the upcoming biannual meeting of CICAD that will take place in Guatemala during the third week of November.

Canadian House of Commons Report on Cannabis Harms. The Conservative-dominated House of Commons has issued a report on the harms of marijuana. It recommends raising "public awareness and knowledge of the risks and harms associated with marijuana use." Click on the link to read the report.

NACLA on Race, Class, and Cannabis in the Caribbean. The venerable North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) has published a thoughtful piece about marijuana reform in the Caribbean, The Other Side of Paradise. In in, author Kevin Edmonds cites Caribbean activists to the effect that the region must act effectively on reforms or risk losing its lucrative, but currently illicit, pot crops to imported marijuana from places where it's already legal. An interesting read.

Case of Missing Mexican Student Teachers Unveils Tight Ties Between Local Officials, Drug Gang. Mexico's top prosecutor said Wednesday that the mayor of Iguala and his wife ordered the attack on 43 radical student teachers who have been missing for a month now, and that the wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda, was the "principal operator" of the Guerreros Unidos drug gang, which is being blamed for disappearing the students. Jesus Murillo Karam said the mayoral couple ran the group's illegal activities out of Iguala's city hall. City hall was attacked again Wednesday by protestors demanding the return of the students, and thousands marched in Mexico City to demand justice in the case, which is turning into a national scandal epitomizing the breadth of corruption and impunity in the country. Several mass graves have been found in the area, but the bodies in them haven't been identified as those of the missing students. That raises another touchy question: Whose bodies are in the mass graves?

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.


Anonymous510000 (not verified)

     I would have liked to celebrate when WA state passed the legal pot laws a while back. But, you know, I have been watching how the state of WA does things in connection with drugs for almost four decades. Perhaps this has made me cynical. Still, it is is a reminder, validating my post earlier this year (May 8th), to the effect that: "Those same regulatory agencies can close up the pot shop just as quickly as they are opened.  Just watch...  after the illegal growers have been conveniently put out of business, don't be surprised when you read the headlines:"

     Now we see the shadows of things to come: "... the letter warns that as of January 1, 2015 (or January 1, 2016 if the legislature doesn't act before then), dispensaries must have state licenses or close their doors."
     HAVE POT SMOKERS---READ THE LEGISLATION that was passed, where it talks about the potential for the 'CREATION OF A ZERO MARKET'? Have they read the legislation? All of it?  IF THEY HAVE, THEY WILL REALIZE HOW STUPID IT WOULD BE TO GIVE BUSINESS TO 'LEGAL DISPENSARIES'.  Yes, indeed.  
     Why do I say this?  Because 'pulling the rug'.is a standard tactic utilized by drug regulatory agencies---very much so in WA state, at least. They do this with doctors writing Rx for narcotics, as well as illegal operations.
     The roots of this practice goes back many decades. If you study the history of the water trade (drugs and prostitution) in Seattle, you get a good look at it. They developed what are called 'open' and 'closed' towns for narcotics traffic (and prostitution).  This is/was ostensibly designed to funnel business so law enforcement can watch it more closely. If you are thinking "Oh, yeah, so they could enforce the laws better" ----you only get part of the picture.  Don't let this 'policy' fool you. It was more about EFFECTIVELY COLLECTING THE LUCRATIVE PAYOLA FROM PEOPLE ENGAGED IN THE TRADE which was nudged and winked at. This was brought out in a book published in 2010 revealing the corruption of law enforcement in Seattle (can't remember title, but it is at public library). A by-product of this greed-driven maneuver was that they learned about how advantageous it is to keep addicts/users guessing and wondering about where their next bag of dope is coming from. Every time you do this, you create more revenue for the distribution chain BOTH LEGAL AND ILLEGAL. Plus, you get to ROLL UP (identify) more people, as said addict/user goes through his or her connections again looking to score.

     Think about this carefully. Once the current UNFRANCHISED illegal growing operations are put out of business by the new legal ones, then they will likely 'pull the rug'. This allows crooked law enforcement and BLACK OPS to regain the upper hand in the control of a given high demand substance by creating newly secretly state-franchised ILLEGAL growing & distribution networks WHICH THEY CONTROL EXCLUSIVELY. It will take time for unfranchised illegal growers and distributors to step in; they will be waiting there to fill the void with there own networks. They stand to make so much money by this policy that it is NOT a question of WHETHER they will try to do this, rather it is one of WHEN.
     Keep your eyes and ears open. YOU WILL NEED TO when dealing with this very deceptive and poorly written piece of legislation if you want to smoke 'legal' weed in WA state. Expect to get f_____ with consistently.

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 9:16pm Permalink
kickback (not verified)

Who in their right mind would oppose a plant ? Your " friend/family " in your hometown , put`s a seed into some soil . Run for your live`s ! Wanna grow some okra do `ya ? Spaghettios anyone ? Little bit of meth on the spoon ? Texas Pete on the face ? Oh , that`s meth ! Get on the ground ! Put your hands up ! K9! Get up , get down , hands up , get down............ the circus goes round and round & rou....

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 4:25am Permalink

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