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Why Can’t You Smoke Pot? Because Lobbyists Are Getting Rich Off of the War on Drugs

Why we still put hundreds of thousands of people in steel cages for pot-related offenses.

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The Federal anti-marijuana honeypot might have dried up if Prop 19 had passed. Legalizing marijuana would have generated billions in tax revenue for the state of California, while also reducing victimless crime prosecutions. But for lobbyists like Lovell, legalization was a direct assault on hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential fees for helping to solicit taxpayer money for his clients.

Of course, police unions aren’t the only interest group with a stake in maintaining broken drug laws. The  beer industryalcohol corporations, and prison guard unions also contributed money to help Lovell stop Prop 19. Howard Wooldridge, a retired police officer who now helps push for legalization as a citizen advocate,  told Republic Report that drug company lobbyists also fight to keep marijuana illegal because they view pot as a low-cost form of competition.

Lee Fang, Senior Investigator Republic Report, is a former investigative blogger for ThinkProgress.org and a freelance journalist.

 
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