Tell Me I’m Wrong And Our Government Doesn’t Hate Marijuana


Missoula Independent

By Jack Rikess
Toke of the Town
Northern California Correspondent
Many activists are trying to make sense concerning the government’s latest crackdown on medical marijuana. Every other day a 420-friendly bank that does commerce with anyone in the cannabis industry is told to expect heavy audits and loss of deeds unless they join the economic stranglehold on this business the Feds do not approve of. Dispensaries that have operated flawlessly and with the support of the community are being closed by bogus, yet written-in-the-books, zoning laws.
People are losing money trying to stay afloat and to see if it is possible to weather the Fed
s’ stormtrooper tactics. Many are pulling up roots and moving on because the Feds seem to have endless cash when it comes to harassment and bullying tactics.

​My initial belief that the reason this was happening was easy; medical marijuana was working in California and the Feds who are in cahoots with Big Pharma, notably GW Pharmaceuticals, needed to shutdown the industry thereby bookmarking a space in the void that is left for the their buddies, the Pillboys, to takeover control the medicinal cannabis playing field.
 Now I like a conspiracy as much as the next guy, but the difficulty seems in trying to make other people believe what you believe.
That isn’t the case today. I’m not even sure what I’m writing could be possibly true.
Roughly a month ago on October 4, a ruling (Pack vs. Long Beach) was handed down in Long Beach brought on by two dispensary owners who contested a Long Beach ordinance limiting the number of dispensaries allowed in the township. The town elders enacted a lottery to see who would be fortunate enough to receive permits to keep their pot shops open. When the two didn’t get their lucky lotto pot shot, they refuted the ruling saying it was unconstitutional; that Long Beach didn’t have the authority to supersede federal law. 
So in a court of law, where precedent is set, these two yay-hoos gave the Feds the judicial muscle they needed to start the proceedings against compliant medical marijuana businesses under this stupid Long Beach ruling.

Harborside Health Center

​Here’s where it gets weird for me.
That ruling happened on October 4.
This also happened on October 4:
A San Francisco Bay area medical marijuana dispensary that promotes itself as the world’s largest was hit with a $2.4 million tax bill following an audit by the Internal Revenue Service. The back taxes, penalties and interest levied against Harborside Health Center came after the IRS examined its returns for 2007 and 2008 and determined a 1982 tax code prohibiting cost deductions for businesses that traffic in illegal drugs applies to the dispensary.
I wonder when someone said we need to look into Harborside. Was it the day before the ruling, or was it months before in preparation for the day when the Feds have had enough?
On October 7, four US attorneys in California declared a “crackdown on the state’s medical marijuana market.” 
U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag said the government would target “significant drug traffickers … involved in the commercial cultivation and distribution of marijuana. We are making this announcement … to put to rest the notion that large medical marijuana businesses can shelter themselves under state law and operate without fear of federal enforcement,” Haag said.

wicked news
Matthew Cohen, founder of Northstone Organics, after his collective was robbed, I mean “raided,” by federal goons

​On October 14, Northstone Organics, a Mendocino compliant collective was raided by the Feds at 6am with the owner and his wife handcuffed for eight hours while the goon squad ransacks his home and sends a message to other growers who just because they are registered with the authorities in Mendo, this doesn’t mean shit in D.C.
Matt Cohen, the owner was told by the attending Federal officers that they thought Medical Marijuana was “a sham.”
Since the Northstone bust, and still there aren’t any charges brought against Northstone Organics, they’re job was to harass and shut-down which they were successful at, the word “sham” has been voiced by many Federal agents as they continue the War on Marijuana.
But here’s the problem I have. How did the Feds mobilize so quickly? The Long Beach ruling happened and it was almost like the Feds had been preparing for this decision. In a matter of days, organized assaults all over the state were mobilized. Not since Sherman’s march to the sea, have we seen government bodies’ move so fast. 
Hell, the War on Terrorism had a greater debate. 
Either the attorneys had a heads up on the forthcoming ruling or … no … could they have had a hand in the Long Beach ruling?
When the two disgruntled dispensary owners opened a can of Federal worms in Long Beach, did the Feds see the chance of a lifetime?
Did this ruling give the Obama administration an opportunity to take down the medical marijuana industry with extreme prejudice?
With the court’s precedent in the back pocket of their cammies, they are the law of the land. They are the Feds. And States’ Rights are just something theoretical to argue about. 
Please tell me I’m wrong and our government couldn’t possibly hate marijuana that much.
Wall Street barons are left untouched as we try to pick ourselves out of the muck that the 1 Percent left behind. Military funerals are picketed by the biggest gang of loonies that this country seen in a long time and their left alone. Returning vets aren’t allowed to use Medical Marijuana for their bad dreams because cannabis isn’t medicine. 
Tell me that this isn’t collaboration between the Feds and Big Pharma to stop the proliferation of a drug/plant/herb that works.
One more thing.
While cannabis remains a Schedule One drug; a study that was released today, reporting on the approval by the FDA for new drugs this year ending on September 30. The Food and Drug Administration said it had approved 35 drugs, the second-highest number in the past decade.
If you’re wondering why this crackdown happened? Go asked that lobbyist that is controlling our government with Big Dollars or the DEA agent that relies on ill-gotten boo
ty for their monetary livelihood. 
There is just too much money involved to leave a billion dollar industry in some hippie’s hands. What are they going to do with it? Either smoke the shit themselves or give it to a sick friend. Anyway you have it. The government isn’t going to give up the ganja cash cow without a fight.

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.