Seriously, why can’t marijuana just be legalized at the federal level? – E. Nuffleready
I have been asking that question for more than 20 years. I’m sure there are multiple factors, but from what I can tell, the whole cannabis prohibition thing was started mainly because of racism, perpetuated and amplified by Nixon, and now the system of prohibition is maintained because when given the choice between doing the right thing or large sums of money, people prefer the money. The private prison industry would lose billions of dollars if cannabis were legalized. So would the recreational alcohol industry and Big Pharma.
A few months ago, a group of medical marijuana patients and cannabis businesspeople challenged the federal cannabis prohibition in court. Last week, Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein ruled against the plaintiffs, noting they “need to petition the DEA first.” This is a terrible decision. Cannabis activists have been petitioning the DEA for years, and despite all evidence, the DEA still continues to insist that cannabis is as bad for you as heroin.
Why? Because The DEA would lose hundreds of millions of dollars if they couldn’t go after cannabis users. I am reminded of the quote from Upton Sinclair: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
In the meantime, states are taking the lead. Alabama (yes, you heard me) is working on a law to decriminalize cannabis possession. I am sure