There is a thing called conflict of interest. Say a person advocates something but that something benefits them. It can also be called selfishness or corruption.
The opposite of this is where a person will advocate something where they have no benefit from it, or even less of a benefit. This is sometimes called selflessness.
We're going to have a look at various agencies and people who advocate legalization or criminalization and the benefits for each movement. Whether each movement is selfish or selfless, and whether they are corrupted. Because many people think that the studies putting cannabis in a good light are from drug dealers or people who would benefit from cannabis being legal - usually the opposite is true.
=Proponents of Cannabis Criminalization=
With proponents of cannabis criminalization you can usually see a pattern of monetary benefits through seemingly benign activities.
==Benefits for Cannabis Criminalization==
- Drug dealers and gangs get a highly profitable black market (monetary benefit)
- Drug enforcement officers get job security (monetary benefit)
- Drug enforcement agencies get to seize and keep the property and cash of drug offenders (monetary benefit)
- Private prison corporations get more prisoners (more prisoners = more money) (monetary benefit)
- Private prison corporations get more free/hired-out labor (chain gangs etc) (monetary benefit)
- Drug testing agencies have a market for drug testing (monetary benefit)
- Alcohol and tobacco keep their legal drug duopoly (monetary benefit)
- Pharmaceutical companies don't have an all natural, organic, cheap, unpatentable, grow-your-own competitor (monetary benefit)
- An easy way to silence anti-war protestors (think Vietnam/Gulf/Korean war protests, peace movement)
==Advocates of Cannabis Criminalization==
- Private Prisons
- Drug Enforcement Agencies
- Alcohol and Tobacco Companies
- Pharmaceutical Companies
- Drug Dealers and Gangs
- War Profiteers
- Drug test companies
==Benefactors for Cannabis Criminalization==
Private prisons make money from people being imprisoned. If there is a market for making money by imprisoning people, that market will need to be sustained somehow. Private prison corporations have been known to lobby the government for harsher penalties and mandatory minimum sentencing. This is to get more people in prison.
Cannabis use is more prolific that rape or murder so if it is criminalized as well, a private prison corporation can capitalize on those new offenders - who could be your 70 year old grandmother who makes special brownies to treat her arthritis.
- More people imprisoned means more money
- Prisoners can be used as free or hired out labour (i.e. Chain Gangs)
===Drug enforcement agencies===
Enforcement agencies should only enforce the laws. However the current laws benefit the agencies monetarily so advocation of cannabis criminalization by the agencies ensures further monetary benefits. Cannabis use is so prolific compared to dangerous drugs that it is quite an easy target for the law enforcement agencies.
This is how the drug enforcement agencies benefit.
- Seizure of drug offenders cash and property
- Jobs and so money for drug enforcement officers
===Alcohol and Tobacco Companies===
Alcohol and Tobacco are among the most dangerous drugs available however they are perfectly legal. They also have a comfortable duopoly as the mainstream drugs of society. They also have been known to lobby the government to keep cannabis illegal so its less-damaging effects are not felt by society giving rise to a third (duopoly breaking) competitor.
- Cannabis criminalization means the profitable duopoly can stay in place
Pharmaceuticals don't want you to be able to grow your own (or cheaply buy) organic medicine that can relieve over 300 ailments. They can't patent cannabis to make money from it, so Big Pharma also lobbies the government to ensure the miracle medicine remains illegal.
- People will [have to] buy expensive pantentable man-made drugs
===Drug Dealers and Gangs===
You don't hear much from gangs because they don't really have a voice in the media. However this is a quote from former federal narcotics officer Michael Levine:
“I learned that not only did they not fear our war on drugs, they counted on it to increase the market price and to weed out the smaller, inefficient drug dealers. They found U.S. interdiction efforts laughable. The only U.S. action they feared was an effective demand reduction program. On one undercover tape-recorded conversation, a top cartel chief, Jorge Roman, expressed his gratitude for the drug war, calling it “a sham put on for the American taxpayer” that was actually “good for business”.”
Surely if cannabis being illegal benefits the drug dealers and gangs then isn't that a bad thing?
- The illegality creates an underground black market that the gangs control
- Illegality of cannabis keeps the prices high for the dealers/gangs
===Politicians and War Mongers===
What better way to silence the pacifist war protestors in your country by making the drug they use illegal, turning them into criminals. Richard Nixon thought that this was a particularly clever way around imprisoning people for political opinion (which is frowned on by the world).
Society also attribute being hard on drugs, to being hard on crime, therefore if a politicians claims to crack down on drugs and crime they are more likely to get voted in.
- Silence the war protestors and pacifists so society 'forget' about the wars
- Political campaigns furthered by claiming 'crack down on drugs' if elected
- Politicians paid off by cannabis criminalization proponents to keep cannabis laws on the books
===Drug Testing Agencies===
It is important to note that only cannabis shows up in drug tests, other drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and meth are usually metabolized too quickly by the body to show up in a test. A drug test is essentially a cannabis test and cannot prove or disprove sobriety, only proves that cannabis has been used in the last 6 weeks.
- As long as cannabis is illegal there will be drugs tests to catch offenders.
- Drug testing agencies have a product to sell so encourage mandatory testing as a sales pitch.
- Through selling their product they feed the enforcement agencies offenders.
=Proponents for Cannabis Legalization=
Among the proponents and arguments for Cannabis Legalization you will find that personal freedoms and medical benefits are the main topic.
(Please note that many medical marijuana supporters may not support full legalization of cannabis, however medical marijuana is a still form of legalization albeit controlled)
==Benefits for Cannabis Legalization==
- Sick people requiring medical marijuana can obtain it without hassle (patient, health benefits)
- People are free to use a recreational drug that is less harmless that alcohol and nicotine, even caffeine (freedom, health benefit)
- Hundreds of thousands of non violent drug offenders are released from prison (freedom benefit)
- No one goes to jail for simple possession or cultivation of a plant (freedom benefit)
- No black market means no criminals, hard drugs or kids getting high (safety, health, children benefits)
- Cheap safe and natural medication available to anyone (patient, health benefits)
- More time for police to worry about serious crime and hard drugs
==Advocates for Cannabis Legalization==
- Universities (through scientific studies)
- Scientists (who have seen the harmlessness of cannabis)
- Doctors and Health Practitioners (who have seen what cannabis can do for patients)
- The Medical Marijuana Lobby (who have seen what cannabis can do for patients)
- Patients who need Medical Marijuana (who have had good results from cannabis)
- Involved Cannabis Users (people who just want to use an almost harmless drug)
==Benefactors for Cannabis Legalization==
Cannabis has been shown to be effective on over 300 ailments. Please see our 'medicate' page for further details. For some people the treatments made by the pharmaceutical companies can be expensive, can create bad reactions or simply not work. Also, prescription drug addiction can occur. Sick people benefit because:
- Cannabis is relatively cheap
- Cannabis is an alternative to man made medicine
- Cannabis is not pharmacologically addictive like some prescription drugs
Cannabis users can benefit because:
- They won't be arrested for possession or cultivation of a plant
- They will be able to consume a legal recreational drug that is less harmful than the currently legal recreational drugs
- Personal freedoms will be extended
===Imprisoned Non-violent Drug Offenders===
- People who are in prison for nothing but possession or cultivation of a plant will be released.
=The Hemp Factor=
If cannabis once again becomes legal, that means that it opens a stable market for hemp cultivation in countries where hemp is illegal or controlled. Hemp can be used to make over 25,000 products and is a serious green competitor to existing industries from petroleum to paper. However big business does not like competition.
Here are a few competitors that would lose out should hemp become a legal and stable crop:
- The Oil industry (hemp can be used to make biodeisel, fuels and other petroleum products)
- Clothing and textiles industry (hemp is a softer and more durable fibre that most available today)
- Paper and Forestry industry (hemp makes more paper per acre, with less treatment needed, for higher quality paper)
However because there are such huge industries already in place, they are able to stop new competitors from coming into the market with monetary might and dishonest business practices (i.e. spreading FUD, scare campaigns - e.g. Reefer Madness).
It is noticeable that most of the advocates of Cannabis Criminalization are also benefactors of Cannabis Criminalization. This would seem to point to the actions of Cannabis Criminalization to be wholly self serving. This coupled with the multiple conflicts of interests exhibited by various agencies, companies and people, seems to point to corruption on the side of Cannabis Criminalization. Especially when you factor in that Drug Dealers, the people Cannabis Criminalization is supposed to be fighting against, are on Criminalizations side.
It is also noticeable that there are more advocates than benefactors of Cannabis Legalization. This coupled with the fact that it is people that are the benefactors, and not companies, agencies and people of stature. These people are fighting for [personal] freedom and in aid of the sick. This points to Cannabis Legalization being the right choice.