comsc US Politics | AMERICAblog News: Lobbyists are getting rich off the war on pot (Why you can't have nice things)
Join Email List | About us | AMERICAblog Gay
Elections | Economic Crisis | Jobs | TSA | Limbaugh | Fun Stuff

Lobbyists are getting rich off the war on pot (Why you can't have nice things)

| Reddit | Tumblr | Digg | FARK

I suggest you take a quick stroll over to Republic Report, where Lee Fang is hitting them out of the park. (We featured Fang's reporting in one of our drone & U.S. airspace stories. He found a congressman that the drone lobby had handsomely bought, Rep. Buck McKeon, and laid out the quid and the quo. Nice work.)

Here's Fang's investigative piece on where much of the money to fight California Prop 19, the Pro-Marijuana proposition, came from (as usual, my emphasis):

John Lovell is a lobbyist who makes a lot of money from making sure you can’t smoke a joint. That’s his job. He’s a lobbyist for the police unions in Sacramento, and he is a driving force behind grabbing Federal dollars to shut down the California marijuana industry. I’ll get to the evidence on this important story in a bit, but first, some context.

At some point in the distant past, the war on drugs might have been popular. But not anymore — the polling is clear[.] ... So why do we still put hundreds of thousands of people in steel cages for pot-related offenses? Well, there are many reasons, but one of them is, of course, money in politics.
About that money:
In 2010, California considered Prop 19, a measure to legalize marijuana and tax it as alcohol. The proposition gained more votes than Meg Whitman, the former eBay executive and Republican gubernatorial nominee that year, but failed to pass. ...

Lovell managed the opposition campaign against Prop 19. ... Republic Report reviewed lobbying contracts during the Prop 19 fight, and found that Lovell’s firm was paid over $386,350 from a wide array of police unions, including the California Police Chiefs Association. ...

There is big money in marijuana prohibition.
The rest of Fang's story details where that money comes from and just how much is available for lobbyists like Lovell and their clients. (Hint: Millions. Source: Barack Obama's need to appear "tough on crime" — my comment, not Fang's).

And unless you think it's just cops opposed to drugs (because they can get Federal grants to do so, among other reasons), Fang's research uncovers the obvious:
The beer industry, alcohol corporations, and prison guard unions also contributed money to help Lovell stop Prop 19.
The stars — and the incentives, and the beer and alcohol companies — are aligned against you, folks. It's why you can't smoke nice things.


(To follow on Twitter: @Gaius_Publius)

blog comments powered by Disqus