Top 11 Reasons America Doesn’t Want Legal Marijuana


Photo: NORML Blog

By Jack Rikess

Toke of the Town

Northern California Correspondent

11. Wars make money for a few and kill the rest…

The War On Drugs makes money for cartels, police, the government, prisons, politicians, crooks, and all those other people we can’t see, like the Glad Bag people and the grow-light industry.
This 100-year revenue stream could dry up if Americans couldn’t be arrested for a drug that has been proven to be less destructive than whole milk.

10. Doesn’t matter what we do?
Barney Frank and Ron Paul cross the aisle for a bi-huggable confabulous (I know, but let me have it) bill supporting the legalization of marijuana.
Lamar Smith (R-Texas, surprise!), drinking buddy of the alcoholic lobbyists everywhere, will single-handedly try to stop the demon weed so that beer, wine and booze will never have to suffer like it did for those 13 long years almost a hundred years ago.
Lamar, according to, makes around 20 grand a year to ensure that the only bud that American kids put to their lips, has an Anheuser-Busch label on it.

Photo: Joe Raedle

9. Drinking went up during Prohibition.
I know — who cares? — but apparently when you can’t get something, you want it more.
Per capita consumption of alcohol had been declining in the U.S. right before Prohibition started. After alcohol consumption hit an all-time low in 1921, it began to increase starting in 1922.
Especially alarming is economist Mark Thorton’s research finding that the “homicide rate increased from 6 per 100,000 population in the pre-Prohibition period to nearly 10 per 100,000 in 1933.”
8. In 1937, the guy who started this whole fiasco said…
“No one knows, when he places a marijuana cigarette to his lips, whether he will become a philosopher, a joyous reveler in a musical heaven, a mad insensate, a calm philosopher, or a murderer.” ~ Harry J. Anslinger
And people still believe this… Let me help you out, America. You get mellow when you smoke. Whatever was troubling you hurts less now.
Harry was right about it making music and stories better, but murderers and insensate? I haven’t insensate since high school. (Someone should tell me what “insensate” means.)

Arkansans for Compassionate Care

7. Where are the doctors? The AMA?
When all the false information was produced to scare America into marijuana prohibition in 1937, only one doctor testified before the congressional hearings.
All “evidence” was contrived by a small clique of an American cartel that wanted to do away with industrial hemp.
Where are the doctors now? They’re trying to find a way to market marijuana so it profits just the pharmaceutical companies and the doctors who play ball with a health care industry that is for profit, not for compassion.
6. We do not want to tarnish the memory of Richard Nixon.
The President that had to step down because he lied to America created the Drug Enforcement Administration, a vast network of white, short-sleeved worker bees who hated marijuana.
As of 2009, the DEA has a budget of around $2.6 billion with 83 offices worldwide. For 40 years this agency has destroyed lives and families, making criminals out of otherwise law-abiding citizens.
Does it work? No! Can we stop it? Not unless we want to rethink our whole I-Love-Dick-Nixon-and-all-he-stands-for attitude. After Reagan, secretively, Nixon is the Right’s favorite son.

Graphic: American Patriot Friends Network

5. Prisons, prisons, prisons!
In a September 2008 report, the Marijuana Policy Project found that between 1995 and 2008 nearly 9.5 million individuals had been arrested due to connections with marijuana (whether it is cultivation, possession, or distribution). In 2007, there were 872,7209 marijuana-related arrests, an all-time record, totaling more arrests than those for all violent crimes combined.

This means, on average, that one person is arrested on marijuana charges every 36 seconds.
Cultivating as little as one marijuana plant is a federal felony. Several states have interjected and slightly decriminalized certain aspects of marijuana policy, but the majority of U.S. states continue to echo federal marijuana laws.
It doesn’t matter that Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce was working with the for-profit prison industry, Corrections Corporation of America, when composing the anti-immigration bill that his state made into law. The bill was about putting butts in the beds and all Russell and his friends were doing was making sure that before they build those big new prisons, Sheriff Joe Arpaio and others would make sure they came. But please, only your browns and blacks.
Every year as pro-medical marijuana legislation and other progressive measures are advanced throughout the country, the correctional officers unions — along with the liquor lobby — are the major contributors to squashing any pro-pot laws.
Why? ‘Cause it ain’t any good for business.


4. Hemp.
Sorry, but the silent sister of weed is always at the dance, but hardly ever asked to dance. There is so much money to be saved with hemp, meaning there are so many fearful industries that could lose money if there was a cheap alternative available: they’re scared shitless.
A fascinating exploration into the possibilities of hemp can be seen in two issues of Popular Mechanics in 1938 and 1941. An interesting side note is that these issues, which contain extensive praise for the possibilities of hemp production, were written after cannabis was already criminalized in 1937 with the Marihuana Tax Act.
It’s hard to believe that even after a year of cannabis being outlawed in America, Popular Mechanics was still praising the value of hemp. The magazine proudly proclaimed “hemp will produce every grade of paper and government figures estimate than 10,000 acres devoted to hemp will produce as much paper as 40,000 acres of average pulp land.”
Hemp is the standard fiber of the world. It has great tensile strength and durability. It is used to produce more than 5,000 textile products, ranging from rope to fine laces, and the woody “hurds” remaining after the fiber has been removed contain more than 77 percent cellulose, which can be used to produce more than 25,000 products ranging from dynamite to cellophane.
3. Too many Americans still have access to marijuana.
Even though I am an activist fighting for the right of patients to get the medication they need, with that being said, I still know about 40,000 people growing it.
It is America’s number one cash crop. Someone’s got to be growing it.
This pisses off the Powers That Be. Until they can figure out how to stop unregulated growers (in their eyes) from trying to do their thing, Big Money and Big Pharma won’t rest. It’s never been about the weed, it’s about freedom.

Graphic: 303 Magazine

2. Big Pharma wants to own marijuana.
A study from Mohamed Ben Amar in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology researched the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids in marijuana. The study monitored the effects that cannabinoids had on seriously ill patients in several countries. In this study, Amar concluded:
“[I]t [i]s possible to affirm that cannabinoids exhibit an interesting therapeutic potential as stopping vomiting and nausea, an appetite stimulant in debilitating diseases (cancer and AIDS), analgesic, as well as in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, Tourette’s syndrome, epilepsy and glaucoma.”
It works and they know it!
1. The chief reason Marijuana ist still illegal in this country…
Because Big Pharma — even with all their money, scientists and resources — still can’t figure out how to grow the Diggity-Dank like those stoners do!

Photo: Jack Rikess
Toke of the Town correspondent Jack Rikess blogs from the Haight in San Francisco.

Jack Rikess, a former stand-up comic, writes a regular column most directly found at

Jack delivers real-time coverage following the cannabis community, focusing on politics and culture.

His beat includes San Francisco, the Bay Area and Mendocino-Humboldt counties.

He has been quoted by the national media and is known for his unique view with thoughtful, insightful perspective.