A war is breaking out between the Cannabusiness Community, that hopes to profit from draconian regulation of Marijuana, and the pillars of the drug reform movement that insist that the self cultivation of Marijuana become an untaxed, unregulated sacred right. The second part of this series looks at how Ethan Nadleman and the Drug Policy Alliance are standing in the way of our inalienable right to "grow our own" Marijuana.
Note: For a enhanced version of this article:
In the first part of this series I described a evolving "war" within the Marijuana Re-Legalization movement. The battle lines have been drawn. On one side is the Cannabusiness community that hopes to solidify policies that would allow them to monopolize the market through the establishment of "dispensaries" as the only means for American Citizens to obtain their Marijuana. Under this model Americans would be forced to pay "black market" prices, of between $300 to $500 dollars an ounce, as is currently the case at California dispensaries. The Cannabusiness Community is represented by pseudo drug reform organizations (e.g., NORML, DPA and MPP) as well as by dispensaries (e.g., Richard Lee, owner of Oaksterdam) that stand to profit from the imposition of a this highly regulated and taxed model.
On the other side are the true activists that believe we should be able to grow unlimited amounts of "self cultivated" Marijuana without any taxation, regulation or other forms of government interference. Under this model, represented by the MERP Model, Americans would be able to grow their own Marijuana for free in their gardens or at about $20 an ounce if they elected to grow inside under new energy efficient LED light arrays.
One useful way to compare these two models is to think of the way we treat beer and wine in contrast to the way we treat hard liquor. In most states the home production of both beer and wine is not taxed or regulated. So American Citizens have the choice as to whether they want to produce their own beer and wine or just buy it from a local store. Hard liquor is quite a different story. While you are free to purchase it from a store you will most certainly be fined or jailed if you attempt to produce it yourself by setting up a home "still."
Obviously the true activists prefer the "beer and wine" model, whereas the Cannabusiness community prefers the "hard liquor" model. So while the greedy Cannabusiness community often labels "self cultivation" as too radical it is nothing of the sort. It is almost exactly the same model that we have allowed for the home production of beer and wine for decades.
There is also an important advantage to society, as a whole, that can only be realized by allowing "self cultivation" by adult Americans. Only by destroying the "black market" value of Marijuana -- by allowing untaxed, unregulated "self cultivation" -- can we achieve 3 very important objectives:
* The Mexican Drug Cartels would go out of business in a matter of weeks.
* The sick and the poor would instantly have access to free, or at least cheap, medicine.
* The police would no longer have an excuse to invade you home in hopes of discovering a few Marijuana plants.
Once this is understood the Cannabusiness community begins to look like a bunch of greedy opportunists. Perhaps that is because they are a bunch of greedy opportunists. And it hard to argue that not to be the case. It also begins to expose them to some very tough questions, which include:
* Why should we be forced to pay $300 to $500 an ounce for my Marijuana when we could grow it ourselves for free in our garden or for about $20 an ounce under LED light arrays within my own home?
* Why would we ever allow the government to become my new Marijuana Drug Dealer when they have arrested 20 million Americans, since 1965, because they insisted it was too dangerous?
This second part of the series will be focusing on one specific Cannabusiness organization: the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) headed by Ethan Nadleman. The DPA was originally established as the Drug Policy Foundation in the mid-90's through the funding of multi-billionaire George Soros. And one reason for addressing the DPA is that their National Convention is coming up in about a month and I am hoping that what I write here is duly addressed at the convention.
Primary Financier of "bogus" Marijuana Reform Ethan Nadleman
Drug Policy Alliance
2001 was a pivotal year for Marijuana reform in Michigan. It was the second consecutive year that Michigan Marijuana activists were to launch a statewide initiative to legalize the possession of up to 3 Marijuana plants, for all adults over the age of 21. It also allowed the possession of up to 3 ounces of Marijuana for each adult. The first attempt occurred in 2000 but only 151,000 of the required 302,000 signatures were collected. We had brushed ourselves off from the first defeat in 2000 and were "locked and loaded" to push this over the top in 2001.
Had it succeeded we would have been the first state, in the nation, to get beyond the Medical Marijuana Initiatives and allow legal "self cultivation" for all adult Americans in the state of Michigan. Had it succeeded it would have been up for vote on the ballot in November 2002. What made this effort even more daunting was the fact that we had no money to pay for the signatures. Soros had funded all of the Medical Marijuana Initiatives by hiring a professional canvassing firm and paying at least one dollar for each signature. Our activists were doing this grunt work for free.
The initiative was drafted by attorney Gregg Schmidt and was called the Personal Responsibility Act, or PRA for short. Here are some of the important logistical challenges we faced in order to get PRA onto the 2002 state ballot: