Dec 7, 2013
Obama Administration’s War on Pot in California
Posted on Nov 13, 2011
But there’s money in the marijuana business and it is drawing entrepreneurs and investors. Recently, I saw evidence of that when I attended the International Drug Policy Reform Conference in Los Angeles.
I went to a panel discussion there on how to become a marijuana entrepreneur. The panelists talked of the business opportunities in “a new and emerging industry”; cultivating marijuana and selling it in dispensaries; “ancillary businesses”; market research; hard-to-find investors, including hedge funds; packaging; and the difficulty of raising money for political action committees.
It was as boring as an investment seminar. But as I listened, I could see this was the way the business could eventually go, despite the efforts of federal prosecutors. The marijuana entrepreneurs will throw their money around, the public will demand a change and the politicians will fold. The U.S. attorneys remind me of the prohibition agents in the HBO show “Boardwalk Empire,” swamped by the tide of booze flowing through Atlantic City and the rest of the United States.
This isn’t an easy issue for me as a parent and grandparent. I don’t want to encourage marijuana use. I don’t want to see giant conglomerates go into the pot business with the same kind ads used to sell alcohol and cigarettes. Imagine the commercials on television with the so-called guys’ guys pitching for pot “Lite.”
That is not the immediate question, however. What’s important now is that presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008 endorsed the idea of physicians prescribing medical marijuana.
After Obama’s election, the bureaucrats reversed him. Now he should reverse them. Nine members of Congress, including conservative Republican Dana Rohrabacher, put it this way in a letter to the president: “By pursuing the same harsh policies that have been in place for years, we fear that the federal government will push legitimate patients back into the uncertainty and danger of the illicit market.”
Obama should immediately order the DEA to make marijuana a Schedule 2 drug, available at a pharmacy or a retail store with prescribing doctors regulated and marijuana quality assured. There are a lot of sick people needing help.
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