Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Cannabis Cronies

Cannabis Cronies
Strike it rich in Ohio
Conspiracy Theorist
By Mark Luedtke
Publication date: 041817

People literally kill to become part of the exclusive marijuana producers’ cartel. That’s because marijuana producers rapidly become obscenely rich. Of course there’s a risk because marijuana is banned. Drug kingpins risk being murdered by competing producers. They risk being murdered by cops, and cops are often competitors. Drug kingpins also risk being thrown in jail.
Except for a few. Out of 11.6 million Ohioans, twelve cronies will win the Ohio medical marijuana lottery. Ohio rulers have created their own marijuana cartel and bestowed kingpin status on them. They bestowed minor kingpin status on twelve other smaller producers.  Marijuana Times reports, “The larger growers (Level 1) will need a total of $200,000 to get a license under the proposed rules, while the smaller growers (Level 2) will only need $20,000. Besides the money, potential licensed growers will also need to prove they have enough capital funding, quality assurance and security plans, and that they test their product through a qualified lab.”
Large growers can utilize up to 25,000 square feet, small growers only up to 3,000. Because Ohio legalized medical marijuana as long as it’s produced by these cartel members, these kingpins don’t have to worry about being murdered or arrested for producing drugs. It’s hard to imagine a sweeter deal, and all you have to do to get it is pay the right rulers enough money, legally and probably not so legally, year after year. If you’re not rich and politically connected, you need not apply.
This marijuana production is supposed to be for medicinal use, but rulers heavily restrict access to it. “The Ohio medical marijuana program itself is rather restrictive, with only 21 qualifying conditions, no legal smoking and no home growing allowed, which means only a small percentage of those who could benefit from medical cannabis will be able to get it legally when the program is finally up and running,” the Times continues.
And the rules don’t stop with growers. Columbus’s News-Herald notes, “Officials from three state offices charged with developing the program are still finalizing rules for cultivators, processors, testing labs, dispensaries, patients, caregivers and doctors.”
That’s a lot of regulations to ensure pot money ends up in rulers’ wallets.
Despite the regulations, legalizing marijuana is a baby step in the right direction, but the failure to legalize home growers and smoking is a major problem. This law can’t be confused with allowing freedom. Cincinnati.com explains, “Here's the big sticking point for many marijuana advocates: Under this law, it's still illegal to smoke marijuana – even if you buy it out of state. Vaporizers, edibles and oils are OK. It goes without saying: Recreational use of marijuana also is still illegal under this law.”
No enjoyment allowed, and every Ohioan but rulers and cronies is denied the opportunity to profit.
Government’s coercive control of the marijuana market guarantees corruption will still run rampant. The Washington Post reports the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) continues to target marijuana users. “... marijuana remains illegal for all purposes under federal law, a policy the DEA emphatically reiterated this past summer. To that end, the DEA devoted 22 pages of its Drug Threat Assessment to pot — considerably more real estate than it devoted to, say, prescription painkillers (16 pages), which kill more than 14,000 people per year.”
But the Post also reports some good news. “However, the DEA makes the interesting claim, not present in last year's Threat Assessment, that ‘media attention’ to marijuana issues is making it more difficult to enforce marijuana laws and prosecute people who violate them. The agency also appears to blame the media for spreading inaccurate information about the legality and effects of marijuana use,” the Post wrote.
Anything that makes it harder for the DEA to prey on Americans is a good thing. But regardless of the DEA’s complaints, state rulers want the new revenue stream, so partial legalization and looting will continue.
Legalized marijuana draws rich, crony investors. Cannabiz.media reports, “In Maryland, 144 companies submitted applications for 15 marijuana cultivator licenses earlier this year, and the long list of diverse investors behind those applications might surprise you. In total, more than 950 people were listed as working for or investing in the companies that applied for these licenses. The list includes business executives, politicians, lawyers, lobbyists, government leaders, law enforcement professionals, and military leaders.”
And bankers. No surprise at all.

Originally published in the Dayton City Paper.

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