- The Weed Blog https://www.theweedblog.com

Marijuana Law Reform Opponents Are Dwindling


marijuana prohibitionIt wasn’t that long ago that cannabis opponents seemed to be everywhere. I grew up in the 1980-s when ‘Just Say No’ and D.A.R.E. were mandatory programs at my school. Anyone contemplating legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana was seen as radical and fringe. Those days seem like a lifetime ago now as cannabis reform has gone mainstream and is supported by a majority of Americans.

It is still amazing to think that there were absolutely zero medical cannabis states in 1995 and now we have 23 states and counting. On top of that, Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., may just join Colorado and Washington in ending thousands of harmful arrests and prosecutions for cannabis and replace prohibition with sensible rules and regulations. Oregonians, we can do our part by supporting Measure 91 and helping continue the momentum for sensible cannabis regulations that we are seeing all across the country.

Public support for cannabis reform is at an all time high. More and more people are going public with their support to end the failed war against cannabis. Per a recent article from the Washington Post:

“It’s unbelievable what’s happened,” says Robert DuPont, a psychiatrist who was the first director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse in the 1970s. “You can’t find anybody to speak on the other side. . . . The leaders in both parties have completely abandoned the issue.”

“These guys are in a full-court press coming at you from every angle,” says DuPont, 78, who runs the small, Rockville-based Institute for Behavior and Health. He sounds exasperated. “They have a bench 1,000 people deep. . . . We’ve got Kevin Sabet.”

The people leading the opposition to cannabis reform these days usually come from three places. The first is law enforcement, which doesn’t want to see their budgets dwindle from less asset forfeiture. They also don’t want to lose the ability to claim they ‘smell cannabis’ and use that ‘probable cause’ to do just about whatever they want. I would include corrections in this category too, which of course wants to keep locking up cannabis offenders so they can keep getting grants and other funding.

The second group leading the opposition is from the drug rehab industry, which profits greatly from people who are forced to go to rehab for cannabis, even though they don’t want rehab and don’t need rehab. The third group is the pharmaceutical industry, which doesn’t want to lose customers to medical cannabis. They would rather keep people addicted to harmful pills in order to boost profits.

If you were to take away these three groups, and the advocates they fund, there wouldn’t be very many people left fighting against cannabis reform. While these three groups claim to be doing noble work, they are really just trying to protect their bottom lines, which is painfully obvious when you look at the money they will lose if/when cannabis becomes legal across the country. Public policy should be set up to help America, and not to help select industries and groups profit from ruining people’s lives because of a harmless plant. I hope that Kevin Sabet will be the last of a long line of reefer madness propagandist leaders that have spread their message of injustice for so many decades.

Source: Oregon Cannabis Industry Association


About Author

Anthony Johnson is the director of New Approach Oregon, the PAC responsible for Measure 91, that ended cannabis prohibition for all Oregon adults in 2014. In addition to helping organize the International Cannabis Business Conference & the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference, he also serves as a Board Member of the National Cannabis Coalition, working to legalize cannabis across the country and Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, an organization specifically working to end cannabis prohibition in Missouri. As President of the University of Missouri Law School ACLU Chapter, Anthony co-authored the measures that legalized medical cannabis possession and decriminalized personal possession for all adults within the city limits of Columbia, Missouri, in 2004. Following law school, Anthony practiced criminal defense for two years before working full time in the political field to help improve and protect civil liberties. You can follow Anthony on Twitter and also friend him on Facebook by following the links below as he posts mostly about civil liberties and politics with dashes of sports, music, movies and whatnot.


  1. Uh, this is sorta off post but you did ask: “what do you mean by a bench 1000 people deep?”
    How old are you?

  2. My breasts did get larger though but I was to stoned to care but I don’t need a braw yet.

  3. 8-14-2014 On the today show this morning there was a young man in a coma, brain dead. Because of a MAN MADE SYNTHETIC marijuana. The parents being interviewed stated that ” it was synthetic so we thought it was safe” this is the kind of ignorance that is caused by prohibition laws. Why because all of the reasons for prohibition are untrue, unproven by unbiased people in the medical community. But according to morning show any one can take a spice mix some man made chemicals in it call it safe and all natural synthetic marijuana. The kicker is these synthetic marijuana and products like bath salts are sold in stores they for the most part are not illegal. But time and time again people die from the use of this garbage. To these parents I am sorry and WTF. How can you or any other person ever think these synthectics can be safe. The only marijuana that is safe, non toxic is marijuana in its god given all natural form. Grown.

  4. “The leaders in both parties have completely abandoned the issue.”

    Well hell yes they are noticing the polling numbers so maybe they are not stupid as we thought.

  5. “They have a bench 1,000 people deep. . . . We’ve got Kevin Sabet.” For DuPont, himself, to express *this* sentiment and do so with *THIS* specific phrasing… I’ll be smiling for the rest of the evening.

    I’d like to officially declare victory for the cannabis law reform movement. The end is nigh.

    Also, I agree with the summary of the three main prongs of cannabis prohibition. However, the ONDCP could be considered a 4th prong, or perhaps it deserves its own classification as the invisible hand at the federal level, seamlessly interweaved with the other three. Perhaps we should consider the ONDCP as the actor within the public sector moved by the will of the private sector (prohibitionists who make a lot of money from the status-quo). DuPont is now a private sector drug war profiteer, but he was the Director of the NIDA, funded by the ONDCP. The lines between the private sector and the public sector get blurred when we see how often they swap personnel, and how our tax dollars are allocated.

    Approximately $9 billion of the $25 billion annual ONDCP budget goes directly to law enforcement in the form of grants and other financial incentives, including the whole of the DEA’s $2.4 billion budget. The DEA is technically part of the Department of Justice, but their entire budget comes from the ONDCP. That finer detail probably gets glossed over because both DoJ and ONDCP are supposedly overseen by the White House (though sometimes I wonder who controls who, over there).

    Large chunks of the remaining $16 billion ends up going directly back into the private sector. Most private drug warriors have been on the profitable end of an ONDCP grant to fight the “scourge” of cannabis, at some point. Here in Georgia, we’re home to one of history’s most famous private sector drug war profiteers, Sue Rusche, head of National Families In Action. Sue Rusche “came to fame” in the 1970s and 1980s at the forefront of the modern drug war, popularizing wild fabrications about the negative effects of cannabis, such as the fiction that cannabis causes men to grow breasts. According to their public tax records, National Families In Action was getting a seven figure annual grant from Uncle Sam (ONDCP). Those same tax records indicate Sue Rusche paid herself a six-figure salary from that grant.

    Always follow the money. Paid liars on the public dole make a very comfortable living off the tax payer. We have the ONDCP to thank for that, and only ourselves to blame. Our taxes FUND these liars… Again, where are the so-called “budget hawks” when we need them, most?

Leave A Reply