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Weed, Blood, and Money - June 2019

    Well, hello there! Starting this month, I’ll be writing a series of articles on a personal favorite topic: the assholes who would like to stop you and I from enjoying legal cannabis. Many of us have wondered exactly who the political opponents of cannabis are and what their problem is, but not all of us enjoy the readership or the editorial leeway to get profanity-laced answers out to the people. Or an attention span that keeps 140 browser tabs open at any given moment. But never fear, reader, for I have two thumbs and all of the above, and I truly despise these people. I can also write at or above an eighth-grade level, often in the style of an unfrozen caveman or a very bad dog. And I hate their guts. So that’s who the frick I am.

The drug war has been an insane, expensive disaster from the jump-off. The evidence for the health and wellness benefits of cannabis, in particular, is clear as day for anyone with the eyes to see it. It has never been easier to talk to someone whose life has been improved by cannabis, or to someone whose life was ruined by cannabis prohibition. And who even cares enough to try to stop cannabis legalization? What kind of pathology is at work here? Some people just aren’t gonna get into it, and nobody else wants to waste their cannabis on you if you won’t appreciate it. Thank you for minding my beeswax for me, but your beeswax appears to be all melty now. Settle down and act like you’re a human being, please.

It’s never been difficult to identify the people who didn’t want me, personally, to use cannabis. It was always the same guys trotting out the same talking points every time they got half a chance: police, politicians, principals, parents. Popes, priests, and pastors. Nobody ever wanted to see any of these alliterators show up at their house party. People plan their lives around ideas, and ideas need people to propagate them to ensure their continued success. But some ideas are good, and some are bad. It’s easiest to implant a bad idea in someone’s head when their defenses are down, when they lack the faculty to apply some basic critical thinking to the issue. People who aren’t going to ask too many questions. That’s why all of these “P” groups like to get at you when you’re a child. Your brain is still developing. “Because I said so” is still a perfectly acceptable answer, and your follow-up question is “Can I go play Fortnite now?” Please keep your “P”-ness away from my child.

But even though these people disapproved of cannabis, it used to be none of them were particularly inclined to pony up their own money in order to stop me from enjoying it. Like really, all you had to do was give me $40 for that eighth I just got. And $5 for these wraps? Now you got nine Hot-N-Readies standing between me and my next trip to the guy’s house for more weed. Problem solved for two hours. But times have changed. Cannabis is winning the war. Cannabis opponents are in full retreat nationwide after a series of crippling strategic defeats. Friendly legislators in the hold-out states who still wield enough power to kill legislation are being cut off, surrounded, and overrun. You can’t filibuster a voter referendum. Rules committees can’t toss ballots in the garbage. Sit down, fuckos, you’re done. Instead, cannabis opponents are looking to settle in for a long war. They’ve cliqued up and re-aligned under shadowy soft-money organizations to oppose ballot measures, spitting in the face of democracy in its purest form. They’re furiously cranking out garbage science and paying to get it published anywhere they can. They’re directing and funding stay-behind operations to terrorize citizens in States where cannabis use is legal, often as they slink out of office themselves. My heart goes out to the dozens of people who were hoping to buy cannabis in any of the boring little towns passing municipal bans right now. Except for Howell. Have you ever been to Howell? Cody, just move, dude.

The opposition to cannabis is all about money. That’s why mercenaries do anything. I’ve written about this previously, but let’s shame our way through the money list again quick. The five major industries paying to oppose cannabis are all doing so for no nobler reason than bare-ass greed. These industry groups can be divided into two categories. The Police-Industrial Complex is represented by police unions, prison guard unions, and private prison corporations. The second category is reserved for the real scumbags. They’re drug-pushers, made bloated and wealthy by muscling alcohol and pharmaceuticals onto the legal market.

It’s not hard to see what motivates either group. For law enforcement, prohibition means more federal and state money for enforcement. More cops putting more people in more prisons. For rival drug-makers, legalization would mean more consumers spending more money on cannabis products, instead of on pissy yellow lagers or whatever the sexy new high copay “-azepam” is. For both groups, investing in prohibition now is an obvious way to ensure profitability and job security in the future.

Totally unrelated. The nicest thing it’s possible to say about an India Pale Ale is that it smells like weed farted in it. Nobody really likes IPAs. Hops isn’t a flavor. Did you ever ask grandma for a hops birthday cake? Do you want some hops-flavored gum? Hops edibles? You’re goddamn right you don’t.

And that’s a whole lot of money. But you can have all the pig feed in the world, if you don’t have hogs you ain’t makin no bacon. Jim Beam could write a check out tomorrow to my old Pastor McHaircut with the used Cadillac and the used Cadillac salesman patter, but he can’t stop a ballot initiative getting passed. I’ve been to that church. These days he’s reaching 40 people a week, and not a one with fleece less white than snow. That’s not muscle. Now please excuse, reader, a brief shortcut through the weeds.

Libel /ˈlaɪbəl/

  1. Law .
    a.  defamation by written or printed words, 
        pictures, or in any form other than by
        spoken words or gestures.
    b.  the act or crime of publishing it.
    c.  a formal written declaration or   
        statement, as one containing the  
        allegations of a plaintiff or the grounds of
        a charge.

(Libel. Unabridged, 2019)

The Supreme Court has also come up with a test for “actual malice”, which is required for an award of damages in an action for libel involving public officials, public figures, or matters of public concern. In America, truth is an absolute defense to libel proceedings.

Pig /pɪɡ/

a person who is financially wealthy and does not share his wealth. 
a police officer.
one who eats to excess.
a chauvinistic male.
a slob.
an overweight person.
a lecherous male.

(Pig. The Online Slang Dictionary)

“The problem with the police is not that they are fascist pigs but that our country is ruled by majoritarian pigs.” 

- Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me

Be sure to tune in next month for my senseless assault on Mel Sembler and wife Betty, and for the sick, sad, and ultimately unbelievable story of Straight, Inc.

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