by the Prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the
government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be
enforced. - Albert Einstein
Who Actually Wants Cannabis Prohibition To Continue?
One of the principal lessons in the Art of War is to ‘know thy enemy.’ Therefore, it behooves cannabis law reformers to understand what small, but powerful factions in American society actively work to maintain the status quo of Cannabis Prohibition:
- Law enforcement – There is no greater strident voice against ending Cannabis Prohibition than from the law enforcement community—from local sheriffs’ departments, to the Fraternal Order of Police, to state police departments, to federal law enforcement agencies.
- Federal and state bureaucracies born from cannabis Prohibition itself – Washington, D.C. and most state capitals have created dozens of anti-cannabis government agencies to both maintain and enforce existing cannabis Prohibition laws. Examples: Drug Enforcement Administration, Office of National Drug Control Policy (a.k.a., drug czar’s office), DARE, Partnership for a Drug-Free America, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, National Drug Control Information Center, et cetera.
- Alcohol, tobacco, and pharmaceutical companies –
Historically, alcohol, tobacco, and pharmaceuticals companies play both ends against the middle when opposing cannabis law reforms for the simple reason that all of these industries will lose a portion of their market share to legal cannabis.
- Private corporations that prosper from cannabis Prohibition – Numerous private companies donate significant funding annually to anti-cannabis politicians and organizations to maintain the status quo. Examples of such are private prisons, drug testing companies, rehabilitation services, communication companies, contraband detection devices, interdiction services, and high-tech companies. +
— ENDING CANNABIS PROHIBITION IN AMERICA | Cato Unbound (NORML executive director Allen St. Pierre on the movement to end cannabis prohibition in the U.S.)
Carl Sagan contributed this essay to Dr. Lester Grinspoon’s book, Marihuana Reconsidered (1971), under the pseudonym Mr. X. It is a beautifully written illustration of his experience with cannabis.
I am convinced that there are genuine and valid levels of perception available with cannabis (and probably with other drugs) which are, through the defects of our society and our educational system, unavailable to us without such drugs. Such a remark applies not only to self-awareness and to intellectual pursuits, but also to perceptions of real people, a vastly enhanced sensitivity to facial expression, intonations, and choice of words which sometimes yields a rapport so close it’s as if two people are reading each other’s minds.
[…] The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.