You see, cannabis is a ‘Wonder-plant’ with thousands of uses: many applications in medicine, textiles (think nylon, but better), food, paper, construction material, and all the way to biofuels. With these known uses and the industries able to capitalize on the ‘wonder-plant’, many are beginning to find it outrageous that the US Government itself and the Global Community in general dismiss much of the benefits while continuing to perpetuate a costly “War on Drugs” which includes cannabis. Only last week, a jury in Kansas was reportedly unable to even hear out the prosecutor in the case when:
During voir dire, my almost all white, middle-class, middle-aged jury went into full rebellion against the prosecutor stating that they wouldn’t convict even if the client’s guilt was proven beyond a reasonable doubt — almost all of them! They felt marijuana should be legalized, what he does with it is his own business and that the jails are already full of people for this silly charge. Then, when the potential jurors found out that the State wanted him to pay taxes on illegal drugs, they went nuts.
‘Voir dire’ is the law term for the common phrase ‘jury selection’. In a state notorious as one of the original states to tax ‘marijuana’ during the mania of the early 1900’s, the Court ended up dismissing the case ‘with prejudice’ when the jury pool reacted to the ridiculous situation we as a nation face. The shift our country has undertaken since those first racially motivated laws (see: Harry J. Anslinger 1929 -“Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men”) has been tremendous. Yet a certain stigma still attaches itself to ‘pot’ allowing politicians and newscasters make one off remarks to the effect of a Cheech and Chong movie. And yet even with the rhetorical environment still playing up the “Reefer Madness“, a great progression has taken place surrounding cannabis, both scientifically and publicly.
With the enactment of various laws over the past 2 decades, cannabis has come mainstream and in some cases Main Street. With the medicinal benefits open to residents of 17 states, shops selling the herb have become a common sight in cities across the nation. But these shops don’t just introduce the city to a new economic prosperity; this opportunity brings the underground “Black Market” of “dealers” and “users” to the surface. But these quoted roles: dealer and user, have their place in the old view of what it was to be involved with the illicit trade. Why the crossover into this new legal market?
The simple answer lays with the Federal Government’s duplicity in enforcing archaic laws in an affront to over-whelming evidence to the contrary.
What was once described as “devil-weed” now seems to be curing Cancer (truly Satan’s work). The double-dealing permeates the Federal Enforcement landscape: “Feds Order 23 Washington Cannabis Dispensaries Located Near Schools, Playgrounds to Close“, “Civil Forfeiture Threats Becoming Key Piece of Feds’ Strategy Against Medical Marijuana Industry“, “Feds Raid 2 California Cannabis Dispensaries, Order 66 Other MMJ Businesses to Close“, “Weekly Wrapup: Denver Medical Marijuana Advertising Ban + LA Dispensaries on the Ropes“. And these article are just from the last few weeks, all the while a burgeoning industry tackles the onslaught of potential jail-time by continuing to get states to adopt sensible laws in-favor of cannabis.
So what does all this tell us?
Why would Government have its feet planted on both sides of the fence?
Well when the States and Municipalities get to collect tax revenue from the people within the industry while also being given more money by Federal Agencies for “Drug War” enforcement, you’d need to be pretty brave to not seriously consider taking both checks in our weak Global Economy.