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The Top Five Special Interest Groups Lobbying To Keep Marijuana Illegal

Republic Report – by Lee Fang

Last year, over 850,000 people in America were arrested for marijuana-related crimes. Despite public opinion, the medical community, and human rights experts all moving in favor of relaxing marijuana prohibition laws, little has changed in terms of policy.

There have been many great books and articles detailing the history of the drug war. Part of America’s fixation with keeping the leafy green plant illegal is rooted in cultural and political clashes from the past.

However, we at Republic Report think it’s worth showing that there are entrenched interest groups that are spending large sums of money to keep our broken drug laws on the books:

1.) Police Unions: Police departments across the country have become dependent on federal drug war grants to finance their budget. In March, we published a story revealing that a police union lobbyist in California coordinated the effort to defeat Prop 19, a ballot measure in 2010 to legalize marijuana, while helping his police department clients collect tens of millions in federal marijuana-eradication grants. And it’s not just in California. Federal lobbying disclosures show that other police union lobbyists have pushed for stiffer penalties for marijuana-related crimes nationwide.

2.) Private Prisons Corporations: Private prison corporations make millions by incarcerating people who have been imprisoned for drug crimes, including marijuana. As Republic Report’s Matt Stoller noted last year, Corrections Corporation of America, one of the largest for-profit prison companies, revealed in a regulatory filing that continuing the drug war is part in parcel to their business strategy. Prison companies have spent millions bankrolling pro-drug war politicians and have used secretive front groups, like the American Legislative Exchange Council, to pass harsh sentencing requirements for drug crimes.

3.) Alcohol and Beer Companies: Fearing competition for the dollars Americans spend on leisure, alcohol and tobacco interests have lobbied to keep marijuana out of reach. For instance, the California Beer & Beverage Distributors contributed campaign contributions to a committee set up to prevent marijuana from being legalized and taxed.

4.) Pharmaceutical Corporations: Like the sin industries listed above, pharmaceutical interests would like to keep marijuana illegal so American don’t have the option of cheap medical alternatives to their products. Howard Wooldridge, a retired police officer who now lobbies the government to relax marijuana prohibition laws, told Republic Report that next to police unions, the “second biggest opponent on Capitol Hill is big PhRMA” because marijuana can replace “everything from Advil to Vicodin and other expensive pills.”

5.) Prison Guard Unions: Prison guard unions have a vested interest in keeping people behind bars just like for-profit prison companies. In 2008, the California Correctional Peace Officers Association spent a whopping $1 millionto defeat a measure that would have “reduced sentences and parole times for nonviolent drug offenders while emphasizing drug treatment over prison.”

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5 Responses to The Top Five Special Interest Groups Lobbying To Keep Marijuana Illegal

  1. # 1 NWO Hatr says:

    “However, we at Republic Report think it’s worth showing that there are entrenched interest groups that are spending large sums of money to keep our broken drug laws on the books:”

    And there you have it folks.
    It’s NEVER been about people getting high, or using pot for medical purposes, it’s ALWAYS been about the scumbag SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS making money off of those unfortunate enough to get caught breaking their BULLSH#T LAWS!!!

    And the ONLY reason the so-called ‘government’ doesn’t care about legalizing pot and making money from taxing the snot out of it, is because of all the billions they make from importing heroin and cocaine and selling it to the unfortunate addicts they’ve created just for that very purpose!


    p.s.(I beat you to this one, digger, but only because I sent it in, and commented just a few minutes after it showed up. LOL

    • diggerdan says:

      Yes Sir #1 ya got me there ROFLMAO !!!!!!!!! NAW, I just got the trenches another faithful follower. And she will give FTTWR to 5 or 6 others. She loves Your comments and TranceAm`s comments. Great article there #1. We all got another fan !

  2. TranceAm says:

    So all them companies/unions/corps are bribing politicians, to get/keep laws on the books, that milk the tax revenue, generated over the backs of the tax payers to imprison al them (Other taxpayers.) criminals behind bars.

    And the same tax payers that are rolled over the barrel to finance it all, fill them juries, that have to convict them victimless crime committing criminals by their verdict.

    I think it is easier to get the population up to date on Jury Nullification, and what that will save the American Tax Payers or god forbid Benefit them.

    After All 1 Less Prisoner in Prison, is one more student getting an education.

    And a dirty politician or Corporation Owner…. Well, THAT is why prisons were invented.

  3. Pat says:

    Don’t forget about the timber and oil companies. There are literally a thousand uses for the plant. Read “The Emperor Wears No Clothes” by the late great Jack Herer, then you will finally see the man behind the curtain.

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