2012-01-05 "Allen St. Pierre on Medical Marijuana"
Allen St. Pierre is the executive director of NORML
Defending the "medical" cannabis industry is so yesterday. Why not acknowledge the political and legal farce it is and focus on the real problem at hand: ending cannabis prohibition?
The law and court precedents are fairly clear here. Self-preservation (yes), large-scale cultivation and sales (no). It's just this simple. The numerous actions by the Feds and state governments over the last few months make this abundantly clear:
• ATF memo (no Second Amendment rights for patients) [http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2011/sep/28/atf_says_no_guns_medical_marijua]
• Feds crackdown on banks doing business with CBCs (cannabis buyers' clubs) [http://abcnews.go.com/Business/justice-department-targets-banks-medical-marijuana-crackdown/story?id=14811540]
• Feds send forfeiture notices to CBC landlords [http://www.safeaccessnow.org/article.php?id=4876]
• Feds send warnings to local CBCs that they must move or shut because they’re within 1,000 feet of a federally subsidized school
• IRS 280E decision against Harborside Health Center [http://www.celebstoner.com/201110228784/news/marijuana-news/feds-target-oaksterdam.html]
• Feds send shutdown notices to 25% of the CBCs in San Diego [http://www.celebstoner.com/201110078609/news/marijuana-news/gary-johnson-opposes-dispensary-crackdown.html]
And what more re-assertion of primacy will we get from the Feds today?
If this were the 1920s, advocacy of today's "medical" cannabis industry would sound like a lawyer back then fronting for the legal sellers of "prescription" alcohol during Prohibition. The med-pot industry, of course, opposes actual legalization, such as last year’s Prop 19, which was also opposed by the profiteering communities in the state’s northern "grow" counties.
Prescriptive alcohol was a sham then, and the "medical" cannabis industry (not medical cannabis itself) is largely a sham now. Is this news? NORML, and lawyers like Bill Panzer, have been warning ganjapreneurs and their legal counsel at our seminars and conferences about this political and legal box canyon since at least 2002.
Cannabis consumers, who NORML represents, want good, affordable cannabis products without having to go through the insult and expense of "qualifying" as a "medical" patient by paying physicians and/or the state for some kind of get-out-of-jail-free card. How intellectually honest is all of this?
NORML prefers to take a more transparent approach, advocating that cannabis should be legal for all adult consumers, including healthy ones.