Friday, March 9, 2012

Oh, Really?

Here's something that won't surprise you even if all you have going for you is a smidgen over basic motor functions: people are making money, lots of it, opposing relaxation of marijuana laws. Oh, really? It is positively insane that 1 of every 8 people in US prisons is there for pot-related offenses. That's 800,000 and about $1 billion in costs to keep them there. (Source) And this isn't because the people of this country are clamoring to keep these dangerous potheads off the streets. No. Fact is half of the people in the US favor outright legalization of the weed, a record number, and the first time this many people have expressed this opinion. Many, many more favor decriminalization measures of some sort. But, as in so many other areas--gun laws and withdrawal from foreign wars come to mind--what the people want and what they get are two entirely different matters.

So I'll give you some guesses as to who is behind these efforts to keep the ridiculous pot prohibition on the books. Bingo! If you guessed police, you get a gold star. The simple fact of the matter is the police unions prosper with greater numbers if you're out there chasing pot offenders. This article focuses on California, but surely what's true there is true across the county. Several counties in the state, it should be noted, collected handsomely for anti-marijuana initiatives from stimulus money early in the recession.

But guess who else is against any change in the marijuana laws? Who would you think? Beer companies, alcohol corporations . . . and are you ready for this? Prison guard unions. And less not forget our favorite friends, Big Pharma, who fear a low-cost form of competition.

Money talks. Weed just smokes.
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