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A Perfect Exhibit in the Inevitable Collapse of the War on Marijuana

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In case you missed it, PBS’s recent program Pot Republic has some of the best footage of the various marijuana specials that have been popping up on TV.  It provides a poignant look at the evolving relationship between marijuana professionals and local law enforcement, juxtaposed against the cynical efforts of federal officials to destroy those collaborations in a desperate quest to delegitimize the industry and maintain their draconian drug war powers. In other words, it’s interesting stuff.

This face-off between state and federal laws has been in effect for fifteen years, but following the issue has never been more frustrating than it became after Obama pretended to fix it and failed.  We’ve got this huge, profitable marijuana economy in America that’s expanded dramatically in response to Obama’s own comments, yet they’re still being threatened with arrest by the same administration that said it wasn’t going to get too involved.

As absurd as the situation continues to be, it ought to be obvious to anyone paying attention that this is all part of the somewhat painstaking process we must endure on the road to reform. We aren’t all going to agree at once on where to go from here, and you can bet that any federal withdrawal from the war on marijuana is destined to take shape at a pace so slow as to be invisible to the naked eye.

What really matters in the end, no matter how hard anyone tries to obscure it, is the fact that states can ultimately decide for themselves what types of marijuana activity will and will not be tolerated.  There are now large parts of the country where federal policy has become a total joke, and if you think about it, that’s how America was supposed to work in the first place. 

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Pot Republic

Yes, Frontline's Pot Republic portrays marijuana in a positive light. The public needs to see that we are in a life, and death struggle with a federal government willing to kill the chronically ill. I'm hoping the Barney Frank, Ron Paul bill HR 2306 gets passed into law allowing the states to decide whether to allow it's use. Federal prohibition is a total failure handing windfall profits to murderous drug cartels killing thousands.

Prison is no joke

 Your claim that the Feds are considered a "Joke" does not stand up to the light of day. Since Pres. Obama promised to leave the States to deal with Medical Cannabis hundreds if not a few thousand have gone to jail and/or prison. Let me remind people that when the Feds bust you there is a 10 yr min prison time and NO parole, No "Good Time" off, no breaks at all thanks to the "Law or Order" crew still wrapped up in Reefer Madness. They still make sure the Drug Czar follows the law that says it is illegal for him to say the Cannabis has any "medical value".

 The author did get it exactly right when he wrote " Obama pretended to fix it and failed"
Since the day Obama claimed he would leave it to the States it seems as if the entire DOJ just gave him the finger then not only was it business as usual but they even ramped up their efforts in Ca.

 The Economy may be the only way Cannabis becomes legal. If things continue downhill the States will not only need the taxes, they will demand them, not to mention the hundred of thousands of jobs. The Unions are already organizing the Budtenders, trimmers and growers, that means not just a wage,but a good living wage. This works for everyone but the cops and those in the Private Prison business. I continue to be baffled by the numerous jobs that continue to be killed off instead of being given SBA loans to jumpstart the jobs.

I wouldn't say it's just cops and private prisons that benefit

from cannabis prohibition. Alcohol and tobacco don't want free market competition on a level playing with recreational weed. Big $ pharma doesn't want free market competition (including research) on a level playing field with inexpensive MMJ. Cotton and oil based synthetic fibers don't want free market competition on a level playing field with industrial hemp.

Cops and private prisons are part of a whole industrial complex that prospers from the war on selected drug users. It includes the courts with their supervision of parole/probation, and court ordered drug rehab, drug testing, and everyone who builds, supplies and services war on drug user related facilities.

I agree that the terrible economy and even worse state of public finances may well be the biggest factor in fixing this piece of junk law

I disagree, slightly

I don't think the tobacco industry cares about keeping cannabis prohibition.  I think the tobacco companies are aware that cannabis can offset some of the damage tobacco does to people's mouths, throats and lungs, and that such offsetting can be a boon to them, allowing tobacco users to justify keeping their habit/addiction.  

You are correct, however, about the alcohol, pharmaceutical, cotton/synthetic fibers, and enforcement/treatment/prison industries each having a dog in this fight.

Think again

Big Tobbacco, Big Pharma and the Alcohol industries are the 3 largest contributors to the Partnership for a Drug Free America...

Corporate takeover

Corporations that have traditionally been at the forefront of such things as mandatory drug testing and firing for drug use are now trying to usurp the "business" of supplying cannabis to the marketplace.This is the antipathy of what the cannabis liberation movement stands for.In Canada,anti drug PM Stephen Harper has proposed a change to the medical marijuana law that would disallow patients to grow their own and to supply others with their medicine.He wants this handed over to the "private sector".In Harperspeak,that means major corporations who supply him with all that cash he uses to buy elections.It is no coincidence that his government has ended public funding for political parties.It's all part of the neocon philosophy and the corporate takeover of society.It runs contrary to the supreme court's ruling that a monopoly on the supplying of cannabis is against the charter of rights and freedoms.

I have no doubts that

I have no doubts that corporations already have a plan to get into the marijuana industry as soon as they can legally by the feds. I also believe the quality that they will produce will be similar to Mexican Brick. Basically the corporations will become the Anheiser-Busch's and Miller-Coors of the marijuana industry. Their stuff will be ok quality, and exactly the same without any variation. What they won't be able to do is produce in the niche market like a Bell's Brewery or other small time regional brewer. These will still be in business catering to connoisseurs and those who seek quality. Still others will still grow their own for shear love of growing, much like the home brewer in his basement for his personal enjoyment.

The point is that legalization leading into privatization is nothing to be afraid of.


Did I give someone the idea that Mr.Harper had legalization on his mind?Quite the contrary.When your door gets kicked in and they seize everything of value and send you to prison for a few (or a lot)of years,talk to me about nothing to worry about.They bust another compassion center every time Harper visits BC.They bust people for growing poppies for crissakes.There is so much evidence that the law and not the drugs are the problem.Why are we still having to even discuss this?If you think for one second that a corporate cannabis industry would allow competition you haven't been reading anything in the last 50 years.Getting busted for illegal competition or patent violation would be a whole new nightmare and nobody fights for the dollar like corporate power brokers.Just sayin.

We the People...

I'm sad to say that the Petition to Grant a Full Pardon to all those arrested for marijuana only related offenses isn't getting the attention it deserves.  While I've seen a dramatic flux of people rushing to sign the Regulate and Tax in a Manner similar to Alcohol petition (and am very happy to see the number rise greatly every time I look in on it), I'd like to see more people standing up for the folks who have put there lives and liberty on the line for the cause. After all, SOMEONE HAD TO GROW THAT BEAUTIFUL HERB YOU'RE ENJOYING AND NOW THEY NEED US.  To those of you who have taken the time to add your name, I'm very grateful.  Thank you for understanding you have a civic duty and doing that duty in true patriotic fashion.  For those of you still sitting on your hands I'd like to remind you that NEVER in the history of our nation has it been so SIMPLE and EASY to make your voice heard.  So stand up and take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity.


Please take a moment to follow this link and sign the petition which requests that all those arrested for marijuana only related offenses to be granted a full pardon. In addition to releasing those currently incarcerated, this would also reinstate the rights lost by those with previous convictions, such as the right to vote. Here's the link:  Thanks for your support.


In addition, there is also a petition on the site which calls to Allow Industrial Hemp to AGAIN be grown in the U.S.  This, too, is a very important issue within the legalization movement and approaches the subject from a perspective entirely separate from the medical/recreational aspect.  Please also take a moment to add your name to show your support.


Again, thank you for standing up and doing your part.  After all, a government of the people, for the people, and by the people only works if the people work it.  Signing a petition is a dramatic far cry from the long marches and bloody battles our ancestors had to endure to gain the freedoms we (used to) enjoy.  If you're too lazy to exert such little effort for liberty then you don't deserve it!

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