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Home > The Botanical Guru > Marijuana Legalization and Pork Barrel Politics

Marijuana Legalization and Pork Barrel Politics

For more than 70 years now “pork barrel politics” has weakened the economic, moral and cultural backbone of this country and it’s time we get back on the road to recovery. The term “pork barrel politics” refers to government spending intended to serve special interest supporters of a politician in return for their continued financial support. Typically, “pork” involves funding for government programs whose economic benefits are concentrated in a particular area but whose costs are spread among all taxpayers.

The so-called War on Drugs, as it turns out was nothing but one of the history’s biggest “pork barrel” scams, designed and propagated to suck the American tax payer dry to the bone, while only fattening already fat multi-national corporations. Truth is prohibition only harms society. Lamestream Media only talks about the cost of “drugs to society,” but you never hear about the social and economic costs of prohibition.

History shows prohibition only creates a black market of illegal sales that fuels violence and crime, while big government corruption escalates until only innocent people suffer. The prohibition of medicinal herbs, like cannabis, has only built more for-profit-prisons packed with people who committed “victimless crimes.”

The facts have simply been ignored. New science-based evidence has proven the health benefits of medical marijuana, while economists are exposing the financial pitfalls of prohibiting the hemp industry. Why in the world would you ban an entire natural resource, which offers nothing but good things for the economic wellbeing of society? Simply because fat multi-national corporations control products cannabis and hemp would compete with and they want all the money for themselves.

The federal war on cannabis and hemp started in 1937 and has now lasted more than 4 times longer than the Vietnam War. In 1988 taxpayers paid about $10 billion for prohibition and in 1992 the federal prohibition budget surpassed $15 billion. Obama’s proposed 2013 federal drug budget is nearly $26 billion!!! Even with the staggering federal debt, collapsing dollar and housing crisis, instead of redirecting all this money or at least cutting the Drug War budget, he increased it by 1.6% over fiscal 2012. Where’s it all going?

$61 million goes to local law enforcement, while other beneficiaries of this prohibition policy include the departments of Agriculture, Defense, Education (propaganda), Obamascare, Homeland Security, Justice (DEA), State, and of course the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the drug czar’s office.
On top of all this, hundreds of millions of dollar in increased funding, requested for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, is an outrage. Especially considering from 1980 to 2008, the number of people incarcerated in America quadrupled from roughly 500,000 to 2.3 million people.

Today, the US is 5% of the World population and we have 25% of the world’s prisoners. As you can see “Get tough on crime” and “war on drugs” policies are funding for-profit- prisons, spending an additional $700 billion of taxpayer dollars on corrections, plus another $200 billion on prison and jail safety annually, pure “pork.”

Marijuana constitutes almost half of all drug arrests, and between 1990–2002, marijuana accounted for 82% of the increase in the number of drug arrests. In 2004, approximately 12.7% of state prisoners and 12.4% of Federal prisoners were serving time for a marijuana-related offense. Federal and state policies also impose “collateral consequences” on people convicted of drug offenses, such as denial of public benefits or licenses, that are not applicable to those convicted of other types of crime. Not to mention, the $500 to $700 billion in commerce lost due to prohibition of the hemp industry. So you tell me what’s the real cost of “pork barrel policies” that prohibit cannabis and hemp?!

~The Botanical Guru

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