Could cannabis revitalize the economy?

(RPN) In 1971 President Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs, and U.S. taxpayers have been funding the campaign for more than 40 years. According to the Associated Press, spending for the Drug War in 2010 was $15.5 billion at the federal level.

Today the U.S. is the most highly incarcerated society in the world with 2.3 million Americans behind bars. About one-quarter of them are there for drug-related offenses…

Award winning journalist and author Doug Fine had the same opinion in his latest book, “Too High to Fail.” Fine makes an argument for the removal of cannabis from the banned federal substances list. Fine traveled to Mendocino County, Calif., to monitor, what he calls, “lucrative civil disobedience.”

In 2011, the county approved an ordinance that allowed farmers to grow and sell marijuana.

Each farmer paid $8,500 to grow 99 plants, one plant below the federal limit for conspiracy, and the county made $602,000 and saved the jobs of seven deputies.

Q&A with “Too High to Fail” author Doug Fine

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The Ugly Truth About Obama's War on Medical Marijuana


As the media turns up the heat on Obama’s medical marijuana crackdown, one of the excuses he’s giving is that they’re just going after businesses that are violating state laws. In the President’s own words:

The only tension that’s come up – and this gets hyped up a lot – is a murky area where you have large-scale, commercial operations that may supply medical marijuana users, but in some cases may also be supplying recreational users. [Rolling Stone]

And again from someone at the Dept. of Justice

After Kimmel’s speech, a Holder deputy told HuffPost that there was no coordinated war on medical marijuana, but that some individual clinics were breaking both state and federal laws. [Huffington Post]

Andrew Sullivan even gives a nod to this notion:

To be fair to Obama, he specifically said the policy was against those abusing the medical marijuana law to sell illegally. And some blame can be attached to the disorderly way in which medical marijuana laws have been enforced.

This excuse fails on like five different levels. The escalating assault on medical marijuana that’s been ramped up over the past year is far from focused on forcing out bad businesses. If it were that simple, there wouldn’t be much to argue about. States could simply clarify their policies where necessary, medical marijuana providers could maintain scrupulous compliance, and only the crooks and bums in the industry would have anything to worry about, right? Wrong.

Read more: http://stopthedrugwar.org/speakeasy/2012/apr/30/ugly_truth_about_obamas_war_medi

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