Tag Archives: George Soros

Two.Is.Enough.D.C. Fights Washington Going to Pot

Two Is Enough D. C. has formed to fight off marijuana legalization in the  District of Columbia this fall.  Although it has taken years to reduce the smell and litter of cigarettes, the public health benefit could be erased and replaced with the widespread infiltration of marijuana smoke.

Polls show that DC voters favor legalization, but they need to look at what has happened in Colorado and Washington state.   One wonders how, after seeing what alcohol and tobacco do to health, voters can want a third vice.   The answer appears to be the huge amount of money backing full legalization.

The Money Behind Marijuana

The change of public opinion has gone hand-in-hand with the large influx of money to fund marijuana legalization.  Since the early 1990s, money-fund manager George Soros has been providing  financial backing to groups such as the Marijuana Policy Project.   Together Soros and the late Peter Lewis donated approximately 100 million dollars to legalization and medical marijuana campaigns.  The well-organized marijuana lobby has gained some backers in Congress: Dana Rohrabacher of California, Jared Polis of Colorado, Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Stephen Cohen of Tennessee.

Laws revolving around marijuana have gradually changed.  Support is especially strong in the western states, where politics involves personal freedom and individual rights.  A movie released in 2011, Guns and Weed, reflects the views of many who have advocated for this freedom.  Unfortunately, the freedom issue has become stronger than protecting children.  Legalization legitimizes a vice and promotes the greed of both dealers and governments, at the expense of future generations.

The  normal course for changing marijuana laws has been decriminalization, followed by introducing medical marijuana and finally allowing voters to tax and regulate.  About a year ago, medical marijuana was implemented in the district.  This spring the city council voted to decriminalize pot, with a $25 fine.

Only one city council member in Washington, DC, Yvette Alexander, stood firm against the measure.  The fine for kids smoking marijuana in public is now less than the fine for smoking cigarettes. It is likely that the marijuana lobbyists, such as NORML and Drug Policy Action Committee, have worked long and hard to gain the support of politicians in Washington, DC.

Typically voters don’t even notice what is happening because these lobbying groups talk only from the side people going to jail or the inefficiency of drug wars and suggest that drug money could go to governments instead of criminals.  The first medical marijuana initiative passed in California back in 1996.  California voters rejected full legalization in 2010, despite being outspent 10 to 1.

How Congress Can Respond

One member of Congress, Andy Harris of Maryland, a physician, has tried to stall the implementation of decriminalized marijuana in Washington, citing the negative effects it has on children.   The marijuana lobby waged an expensive, negative advertising campaign against Harris and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, who has also stood firm against the pot lobby.

Congress has the ability to slow legislation in the district.  A House budget bill passed last month included a provision to block not only a legalization effort but the decriminalization bill  that is now in effect.   Rep. Harris argued that the law has no drug-treatment component, even for minors, and that the fine for a young teen who is caught with a joint would be half that of the city’s $50 ticket for underage smoking of a cigarette.

A three-member D.C. Board of Elections voted unanimously today to approve the ballot initiative.  Malik Burnett, leader of the D.C. Cannabis Coalition, turned in more than 57,000 signatures to get the referendum on the November ballot.   However, he was not sure how Congress would ultimately react to this legalization effort, but he said that the vote “will send a message that D.C. is serious about reforming its marijuana laws.”

The Real Reason Pot is Illegal is Not Simple

Some supporters of legalized marijuana say the opposition has a financial incentive.   Should we assume those who support marijuana legalization are only inspired by the idea of making money from it?  “Where Commerce Meets Revolution” was the title of the Cannabis Industry Association’s meeting in Denver June 24-25.

Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow, blames drug laws for the incarceration of too many black men.  However, now she is blaming the middle-aged white men who stand to make all the money off of marijuana legalization.  (George Soros’ Open Society Foundations funded Alexander’s book. )   The marijuana industry which started as a hippie, outsider, counterculture idea is now a dream of the gray-suited businessmen.

On Sunday, July 6 The Nation printed an article entitled “The Real Reason Pot is Still Illegal,” which suggested that the national prevention and treatment groups want marijuana illegal simply because they are taking corporate donations and entering into partnerships with pharmaceutical companies.  (Soros’ Open Society Foundation also funds The Nation in part.  Since Soros believes in marijuana legalization, one wonders if groups who take his money are expected to advocate for his views.)

It is amazing that a journalist would analyze a story from only one perspective and not realize that all issues are multi-dimensional.   Previously, the same author, Lee Fang, had written an article about the money given to oppose marijuana legalization in Colorado, suggesting that most of it had come from a donor who was involved with a rehabilitation group which was operating more than 20 years ago.   The New York Times or Washington Post would not use 20-year old stories to discuss current issues.

CADCA Responds

The chairman of Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA )sent a letter to its members to address the slanderous article.  In his words:

“The author compares prescription drugs, particularly opioid pain medications, and marijuana, suggesting that pharmaceutical companies are supporting our work because the medicalization of pot represents a threat to their bottom line. The author also suggests that CADCA is not doing enough to battle opioid abuse, because we receive some funding from pharmaceutical companies. In fact, just the opposite is the case – our funding from the industry allows us to help offset the costs of our two major training events and to develop a number of products and initiatives designed to prevent and reduce medicine abuse. In total, support from the over-the-counter and pharmaceutical medicine industries combined is less than 7 percent of CADCA’s revenue. CADCA believes that the industry has a responsibility to help address and mitigate the complex issues surrounding our nation’s tragic prescription drug abuse crisis.

However, CADCA’s positions are not influenced by any outside organization. CADCA takes its direction from our Board of Directors, our Coalition Advisory Committee, and our membership base. Each group has asked CADCA to provide community leaders with tools to address both medicine abuse and marijuana.

We believe prescription drug abuse is a major epidemic, a point for which we have been sounding the alarm since 2001. More than a decade ago, CADCA published its first prescription drug abuse prevention toolkit to help community leaders address this problem. Every October, we ask our coalitions and partners to join us in a solutions-oriented national dialogue about OTC and Rx drug abuse through National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month.

In the Nation article, the reporter makes a bizarre leap, attempting to connect resources received from pharmaceutical companies to our efforts to reduce youth marijuana use. CADCA believes that the U.S. “experiment” with medical and retail marijuana is a grave concern, particularly in that these efforts will increase youth marijuana use, which is damaging to the adolescent brain. The fact is CADCA receives no outside funding to do our marijuana-related policy work.

The reporter conveniently failed to mention the extensive prescription drug abuse training CADCA provides or the significant policy work we do. Omitted from the article is mention of the times CADCA has testified at Congressional hearings about ways to comprehensively prevent prescription drug diversion, abuse and addiction, as well as the various instances CADCA has supported legislation aimed at reducing medicine abuse.

The title of this article alone tells you where the real agenda lies. Sadly, we know many of you have faced the same kind of attacks at the local level. We stand by our positions and our prevention work on both fronts. In this instance, we take this article as a badge of honor that what we are doing is right and is having an impact.”

Poppot’s Position

Since an epidemic of prescription pain pill abuse in the 21st century came from over-prescribing these medications, it is correct to address the problem and work on prevention.  CADCA, which works in communities, provides many ways to address the abuse of opioid pills.  We applaud the pharmaceutical industry for addressing pain-pill abuse, a problem that is an outgrowth of their business.  We don’t deny they want to make money, too.  We believe they have been more responsible than the marijuana industry.

Parents Opposed to Pot warns against becoming a culture of pain, and a culture of escapism, which can be caused by both marijuana and too many pain pills.

Parents Opposed to Pot believes that a legalized marijuana industry would prey on the most vulnerable–children, teens and minorities –while adding to the problem of addiction today.