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Who Are The Biggest Opponents Of Marijuana Legalization?


Marijuana opponents are becoming less and less influential by the day. They still have deep pockets, so they will continue to fight against reform, but they are less successful at doing so as momentum continues to build for the pro-legalization side. Below is an infographic that was sent to me by the nice people at Whaxy. The only people I’d add to their list is the Oregon Sheriffs Association, who has constantly bent the rules (putting it nicely!) to try to derail marijuana reform in Oregon for several elections:

marijuana opponents infographic


About Author

Johnny Green


  1. “Out of all the religions, it seems like the Jewish one respects science the most. Gotta like that.”

    Funny enough Einstein said roughly the same thing. He liked the intellectual aspiration and social justice aspects of the religion.

  2. Worked at a topless club once, and yeah, it was interesting. I’m sure working at a casino is like working at a really big club… lots of alcohol, partying, and naked people… Fun to visit when you’re young, I guess, but wouldn’t want to live/work there for too long. (Cleaning up after drunks is exhausting.)

    I’m sure pot clubs would be a lot more fun.

  3. Yeah. Still awake. I work nights – designing electronics and software – mostly sleep days. And I agree with you totally. Gambling – i.e. games of mostly or totally chance – have zero social value in my estimation. But some people like them. The few times I went to Vegas for the “entertainment” my preference was watching naked women. I got offered a job in a casino once – a friend of my Dad’s. Unfortunately I was in the Navy at the time. Might have been interesting.

  4. Out of all the religions, it seems like the Jewish one respects science the most. Gotta like that. :)

    I wonder if Jesus’ followers made him special desserts, like brownies. I also wonder what brownies tasted like back in his time… And now it’s time for my own version of chocolate brownies, which just came out of the oven and includes a little bit of coconut oil, peanut butter, and a hint of coffee extract.

    And if you or Jesus were here with me now, I’d offer you one, you’d forget all about your worries, become carefree, and maybe even start working for the sugar industry…

  5. I don’t consider gambling to be a “sin.” But it doesn’t seem to provide much benefit to society, either. Sure, jobs, and… profit. (Well, not in Atlantic City.) Sin taxes for governments. But I usually look at the comparison between the good and the bad, and if the bad outweighs the good, well…

    I just think the gambling industry takes advantage of a lot of people. Massachusetts just upheld its gambling laws, so maybe my opinion is in the minority. I can’t help but think that if everyone in the U.S. who played the lotto would take that money and invest in, I dunno, people instead of a game… well, we might make some progress.

    And I feel bad for Native Americans… thrust into the gambling industry, just like black people were thrust into the underground drug industry. I think both of these populations may be fighting gambling and drug addiction for decades to come. (Not that white people are any better, they just do it with “legal” drugs, and the local police don’t… police them. But now white people have to put up with the DEA, too.)

    When I think of the odds in Las Vegas, and how casinos are allowed to make the odds so freaking astronomical that it’s just… well, stupid… to actually bet your own money… Oh, sure, bet Robert Redford’s money, but your own? I have friends who love to gamble, and I guess I’ll never understand it. Went to a casino last year and all I saw were hundreds of people, sitting and staring unhappily at computer screens, spending money they didn’t really have.

    Of course, every time I purchased bud at a dispensary, I was making a gamble… turns out, I’m not very good at gambling.

    Sorry so long… Hey, Mr. Simon, you still awake? :D

  6. What is also “funny” is that Jesus placed such emphasis on healing. Which makes the Catholics and other denominations that oppose MMJ anti-Jesus.

    It will be interesting to see how the anti denominations respond once we have more experience with MMJ. Especially when MMJ is acknowledged generally as a cure for at least some cancers and maybe all of them.

  7. Gambling in the Jewish religion is not considered a sin. Think about it. Morally if gambling was a sin entrepreneurs would be – at least to some extent sinners. Because – at least to some extent – luck is always an element. Also healing the sick is one of the highest values. Thus so many Jewish doctors and so much Jewish support for MMJ. In 2003 The Refoms came out in favor of MMJ and spent a year teaching it. Since then just about all the factions (denominations in other religions) have come out in favor. Because healing.

    Adelson is to some extent an American aberration. And the fact that he supports MMJ in Israel is in fact a stain on his charterer. He goes against his religion in America and also against his work in Israel.

    Fortunately the people who stared the campaign in Florida intend to try again in two years. They had 5 months to prepare this time and no lists. Now they have lists and two years. And the money boys have said all along that they weren’t going to make a big push this year. Expect a BIG effort in 2016. Which in fact will start now.

  8. I worked for a Jewish lawyer once, but he never mentioned his view of gambling. Maybe you could fill me in?

  9. I don’t know that much about Mr. Frum, so I read his Wikipedia page. He sounds like an interesting character… but, still:

    A review on Amazon for Mr. Sabet’s book “Reefer Sanity: Seven Great Myths About Marijuana” (2013):

    “Compassionate and knowledgeable, Kevin Sabet is the most important new voice in the American drug policy debate. Policymakers, parents, and concerned citizens should heed his meticulously factual case against marijuana legalization.” –David Frum, Cont. editor, CNN, DailyBeast/Newsweek

    And you know who else loves this book?

    “A most compelling look…Sabet explores this challenging landscape and arrives at more comprehensive, effective solutions than either legalization or incarceration could provide to deal with marijuana use.” –Dr. Drew Pinsky, Host, HLN

    I rest my case. :)

  10. My favorite quote comes from Senator Jeff Sessions. Using Lady Gaga as an example of the harm caused by marijuana use is hilarious. According to Forbes, she made about $33 million last year. Not bad for a stoner, huh Jeff?

  11. Umm, did you happen to notice the elections in Colorado and Washington a couple of years ago? That “tiny minority” changed draconian marijuana laws, and they will do it again in other states, probably today. The tide has turned, my friend.

  12. Sounds like a religious thing. Although, as someone who’s made a fortune in the gambling industry, how serious can he be about religion?

  13. mark_lee481 BSHA on

    Hi Johnny – You have forgotten the incarnation of Nixon, Governor Terry Branstad. He devised his own charges for DUI, and possession with Intent to deliver marijuana, as a minor ticketed offence when his son was involved in a drunken accident that killed a family. On his second offense involving marijuana, less than 2 weeks later, the marijuana disappeared and he was sent to Military School for two weeks to a month. All other Iowans would spend no less than 35 years in prison!!! A second offense could add 15 years to that 35. Then he veto’s all expert legislation for medical cannabis to carve into stone his own Charlotte’s Web law, to appear compassionate; but the law was purposely made to be unworkable, even if parents obtain the compound from a legal state, they face federal charges upon their return. So medical patients must move to not risk rough federal time in prison. This man is the chairman of the governors association and has not kept one promise made, except to make the poor even poorer!!! He definitely belongs in the red zone!!!

  14. If Obama would change marijuana even to a schedule 2 drug instead of schedule 1, that would go a long way toward making all the opposing states look at it differently. Admitting that there ARE medical uses for it takes one more excuse away from the nay-sayers. Maybe that will be his parting act as he leaves office instead of granting a pardon to some political crook as some presidents have done. Looks like Fla May just win this time. Though it does seem that the Sheriffs organizations have been the main opponents just like here in Louisiana. How does legal pot make their jobs harder as they claim it will?

  15. But I wouldn’t be surprised. After all Nevada is a MMJ state. Maybe he wants people to come for medicine and his other offerings. Or maybe he just wants to boost Republican chances in the election by bringing out the anti crowd.

    But it is curious that he supports MMJ in Israel and opposes it in America.

  16. Sadly, no — I can assure you, David Frum is not stupid, unfortunately. He’s a probably the biggest pragmatist the Right has, which is why I watch everything he says and does very carefully. He was one of the Iraq war architects who coined the phrase “Axis of Evil” and he also wrote a book entitled “Why Romney Lost” already off the press the very next day after the 2012 election.

    Frankly, we’ll be able to declare victory on a national level the instant Frum retires from Project SAM. Frum is too smart to stay on a sinking ship (as he demonstrated with his last book) and he’ll likely be the first one of their board members to call it quits when the cannabis wind-change, in his opinion, has become irreversible. When Amendment 2 passes, I’d give Frum another year, maybe two, because Project SAM is based out of Florida. Project SAM’s funding likely comes overwhelmingly from the Big Pharma corps based out of Florida — that money will dry up if Big Pharma loses the fertile market of Florida’s AARP population to medical cannabis. Project SAM losing Florida will be Big Pharma’s Alamo, but Frum will *not* be Florida’s Davey Crocket.

    Frum might throw in a little effort for a potential repeal measure, but that would be slated to go on the 2016 ballot. I’m certain Frum knows that they’ll never repeal medical cannabis in *any* state at the ballot in a general election year, period. He’ll run up the white flag soon enough.

  17. Here’s a hint; everything, yes everything, is ultimately about the money.
    After celebrating a few dozen birthdays it becomes blatantly obvious that no matter what topic you select to discuss, it will ultimately involve money.

  18. Nancy Grace, Threat: Ignorance. That’s hilarious. :) But don’t all of these people suffer from the same affliction?

  19. Sure wish someone would figure out who is funding Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PFROP). The spokesperson for this group, Dr. Andrew Kolodny, had this to say about the 25% reduction in opioid overdose deaths in states with medical cannabis:

    “Not so fast, said Dr. Andrew Kolodny, chief medical officer at Phoenix House, a national nonprofit addiction treatment agency. He said that the immediate reduction in overdose deaths is extremely unlikely to be due to the substitute use of the herb, for one simple reason: Marijuana isn’t widely prescribed for chronic pain.”


    Actually, marijuana isn’t “prescribed” at all. And chronic pain patients make up the majority of most medical cannabis patients, so yes, this patient population is being certified to use this medication all over the country. And has been since California started it all in 1996.

  20. Maybe Mr. Adelson fears that less customers will come to his casinos if everyone is home smoking pot. :)

  21. I think you’re confused… Patrick Kennedy does not have much credibility, even with liberals. Because of his anti-vaccination crusade, he’s become persona non grata.

  22. Thanks for this list. It’s a good thing to gather this data together: makes a bigger impact! I used to think Nancy Grace wasn’t so bad. Now, I’m disgusted. Are all opponents Republicans? Looks like it.
    I love weedblog.com…..w/ glee.

  23. Re: Sheldon Adelson – you ought to also mention he supports a foundation with his name on it in Israel that is investigating cannabis foe MS. His opposition is just here in America.

  24. I’m not a hate-filled person and I don’t wish harm upon people. I generally wish people to have long, happy fulfilled lives,….but the universe needs to wipe out Sheldon Adelson by means of dying peacefully in his sleep naturally sooner than later. I’ve known more than a couple of people who have suffered horrifically and died of cancer. I can’t say for sure, but I am more than positive that marijuana would of helped them eat and maybe eased some of their pain. Sheldon Adelson is spending more money than I will have in two life-times to make sure Amendment 2 (2014) in Florida doesn’t pass. (Which is for Medicinal Marijuana) What kind of people are these? They know that people are suffering terribly, and the only right thing to do is to try anything to alleviate that level of pain. They are only concerned with selfish pursuits, such as politics or greed or their own demented world view of what society should be. They don’t really care about people abusing it, People smoke everyday, legal or not. I shouldn’t judge anyone, I don’t know them personally, but if the universe is just then there should be a hell and a few these people might find themselves there. Sorry about any hate, but if you ever watch someone die slowly of cancer and you’re helpless to do much of anything, then you where some of that anger comes from.

  25. You and others on this site is just a tiny fringe minority. Any poll showing majority support for marijuana legalization, most of those people arent really on ur side.

  26. I find it hard to believe that you think so many people listen to Patrick Kennedy
    No one I know would ever listen to Patrick Kennedy,I live in Boston Ma.
    We know all about him,no way, who are the people that listen to him?
    NO,NO, this would never happen in the east
    Not Patrick,he lost his credibility long ago.

  27. I thought I’d share my response to Patrick Kennedy’s latest torrent of misinformation and ignorance, which may be found at :http://www.npr.org/2014/10/30/360217001/kennedy-are-we-ready-for-big-tobacco-style-marketing-for-marijuana

    I’m surprised that “Patches” didn’t throw the Gateway theory into this latest fantasy of his. Gawd knows he’s used it elsewhere often enough. Do you suppose that this fable is now so discredited that even HE hesitates to use it? Not that it really matters, because “What About The Children?” is always a sure-fire method to strike a responsive chord among the fearful and ignorant. As for the underlying theme of this latest intellectual discourse, I’ve got some news for him — “BIG MARIJUANA” is already operating in the part of S. Central Arizona I live in. Here it’s known as the Sinaloa Cartel. Contrary to what Kennedy’s sidekick “Dr” Kevin Sabet has told us, these shrewd, upstanding businessmen are not confining their activities solely to Mexico, nor are they exclusively torturing and murdering each other.

    Elsewhere, in N. California and S. Oregon, these entrepreneurial types are contributing to devastating ecological damage in the National Forests with “Trespass Grows”. Water his been diverted, contributing to California’s struggle with an extensive drought. Pesticides and fertilizer residue have made their way into the watershed, threatening Salmon spawning grounds. Rat poisons have been passed on to the rodents natural predators, specifically bears and raptor birds such as owls, hawks and eagles. Last but not least, some are using an insecticide called Carbuforan, whose own manufacturers stipulate that this substance is NEVER to be used on anything intended for human consumption.

    Perhaps the Gentleman from Rhode Island can spin away the unpleasant truth that these unexpected and unpleasant side effects of attempting to thwart the demand for Cannabis were not prevented by Prohibition, but specifically caused by it. Considering that the Cannabis currently consumed by teenagers comes exclusively from the Black Market, one might reasonably hold Prohibition advocates directly responsible for creating a genuine health hazard to our youngsters and everyone else. Which leads me to ask Mr. Kennedy to explain and justify his own contribution to this situation. So, Mr. Kennedy – What About The Children???

  28. To some degree, it’s absolutely true that Pat Kennedy lends some of the clout the Kennedy name still carries, but to be brutally honest about it, the only Kennedy who had any clout left after Pat’s pill addiction killed his career in congress was Ted Kennedy. And to be even more crass, Ted Kennedy was a walking punch-line right up until he died — he was lionized by the left postmortem.

    Honestly, most liberals file Pat Kennedy into similar categories as guys like Elliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner who had great, up-and-coming careers ahead of them until their secret vices became public and torpedoed them. Pat’s case is particularly a bad recipe, given his new vocation, because he was on pills and alcohol when he wrecked his car on a DC traffic divider, not cannabis, so his new line of work demonizing cannabis fundamentally lacks sincerity. That’s a fact people haven’t been too shy to point out when Pat’s around. Bill Maher shoved this stark reality right in Pat Kennedy’s face, in fact.

    Kevin Sabet is the one who bothers me the most. He’s the generic PhD they wheel out anytime they need someone to pretend to be a scientist so that people will believe what he says, despite the fact that his PhD is in Public Policy. The backers of Project SAM managed to purchase him a fake faculty position at the University of Florida’s medical school to perpetuate the lie that Kevin Sabet is a scientist. He teaches no classes, he conducts no research, he has no students, but the University of Florida pays him $3k per semester (from a private grant, not the education budget).

    Kevin gets to call himself a member of the faculty, a professor at the accredited medical school of a flagship university, and yet he doesn’t actually *DO* anything for the university he claims employs him, other than bring in private money. The moneyed interests funding Project SAM quite literally bought him the credentials he uses to sell his lies. By far, Kevin Sabet is the most insidious person on this list.

  29. I’m more liberal than most people I know. I certainly don’t believe “everything” Patrick Kennedy say’s. In fact I don’t agree with him at on anything. I counter Kennedy with European travel guide, author, and marijuana activist Rick Steve’s.

  30. Heres how it works. We got a red team and a green team. The green team are the people on our side who voted yes to marijuana legalization. The red team are the people on the other side voting against it.

    Bill Orelly, David Frum, Jeff Sessions and Nancy Grace are all on team red. All their supporters are on team red and no matter what they say on tv bashing marijuana, it changes nothing cause team red doesnt get any bigger.

    When Patrick Kennedy travels around the country, the vast majority of people he speaks to and trusts him are on our team (team green). They trust him and like him so much that when Patrick Kennedy speaks out against marijuana legalization, all his supporters will support him and his anti marijuana crusade simply because he is a liberal saying it.

    So what Patrick Kennedy is doing is grabbing all our green team players we need and putting them on the team red. All the future elections wont be a fair fight. Team red will be the whole country of hundreds of millions of people. Team green will be a few hundred marijuana activists on this website and a token libertarian like Ron Paul. A scenario like this makes it impossible to win.

  31. Bill Oreilly, David Frum, Jeff Sessions and Nancy Grace shouldnt be on the list. When they speak out against marijuana, its not gonna change anything cause their audience is already anti marijuana.

    Its Patrick Kennedy doing the most damage. He’s the one giving Kevin Sabet credibility by teaming with him. He’s got money, name recognition and is a liberal. He is well liked by most liberals and liberals see anyone with the Kennedy name as a god. The only reason we won in Colorado and Washington was because a strong margin of liberal support put it over the 50% needed to win even though every red county voted against it. Now with Patrick Kennedy speaking out against marijuana, it will kill public support especially among liberals. Liberals believe anything Patrick Kennedy says.

    So instead of 25% conservative support and 80% liberal support for marijuana legalization. It would be more like 30% liberal support and 0% conservative support. All because of Patrick Kennedy.

  32. There is not one person on this list the cares about nothing more than lining there pockets with money made from people’s misery. Even O-Riely believes women and children who gets pregnant from rape and or from incest should not have an abortion. Personaly it’s not his bussiness or anyone’s. Not one of these people give a damn about anyone but his or her own family. The rest of us are just degenerates a cancer that needs to be removed and locked up forever.

  33. Leonhart, Has an insidious face, Sabet, Raised on pond water, Kennedy, Drunk and a pill head, Aldelson, ties to big pharma plus he will be dead soon. Frum Secretly wants to be Jerry Lewis. Kerlikmycowski, has no vocabulary. Oreilly, mad someone stole hid dildo’s. Sessions, hes from bama! Sembler Human parasite. Grace, sexually repressed media whore.

  34. Chris Christie doesn’t scare me. He’s got a better chance of seeing GOD than he does of seeing the Oval office! He’s really a nobody in the grand scheme of things related to cannabis!

  35. Sadly, the list only covers people who are comfortable being the public faces of prohibition. With the exception of Adelson (who enjoys spending big PUBLICLY) the nameless, faceless people who allow the other nine people on this list to have their beloved careers are the true opponents we have to worry about.

    Most of these listed people are interchangeable, really — anyone can do the jobs they do, if paid enough. It’s the people writing the checks that are our actual opponents. Three of these guys get their income directly from Project SAM, but where does Project SAM get their money? It’s not like Project SAM sustains itself financially with bake sales — the only thing they produce is propaganda, and somebody is flipping the bill for the service.

    We need to follow the money. Most people aren’t like Adelson and *can* be shamed for their actions, which is why they fund these groups in secret. Bad PR is what they fear most.

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