• Christopher Smith, Publisher

Cannabis' Enemies are Inside the Wire

A little squirrely, I’ve been feeling lately.


A little nervous, I am.


I've fretted to my State of Cannabis teammates (listen, they do not) that I’m focusing too much on the news – which is all about the past – and not enough on what is coming at us. Feel a disturbance in the Force, I do, that we are not prepared for the enemies at the gate.


Because as we all know, we have enemies all around and they are already inside the wire.

  • Big Ag is inside: Since January, Scott’s Miracle Gro has spent $500 Million acquiring Lux Lighting, Liberty bags, and last week, Etain Health of New York.

  • Pharma is here, acquiring companies for at least $14 Billion in the last year

  • Big Cig: My PAX vape reminds me that PAX spun out JUUL, and sold part of it to Altria, which is code for Darth Sidious which is code for Emperor Palpatine which is code for Phillip Morris, which bought only 35% of JUUL for $12.8 B

  • Big Alcohol all over us: even Pabst Blue Ribbon just got on board.

Enemies all around us, we have.


THE DEEPER DIVE

Last week, the House of Representatives approved the MORE Act (again), which would decriminalize and de-schedule cannabis in one fell swoop. Perhaps treated normally by banks and doctors and insurance companies and the police, we might one day be?


After all, normal law-abiding citizens, we are. Patients who need medicine, we are. Legal for adult-use in 19 states, and for medicinal use in 39, cannabis is. A huge majority, we are.


But look more closely at the MORE vote: 204 people and all but 3 Republicans voted against us. Some people in this room would try to tell you that Republicans are the only hope for cannabis legislation to get through Congress, but confused I am about how THAT might happen. For 50 years at ALL LEVELS of government the Republican position has been “party-line” against cannabis, ever since a Republican president declared the War on Drugs 50 years ago.


What scares me more than the More vote is that, on the same day, another bill that should have screamed through Congress without a scratch merely squeaked through by an almost identical vote: 193 REPUBLICANS VOTED AGAINST a bill that would limit the price of insulin to $35 a month.


What fuckery is this?


Insulin was created a century ago in 1921. In 100 years, its costs have not increased and research costs have been amortized a very long time ago. Indeed it still costs only $10 to make a vial of the drug that is used by 7 to 10 million Americans who will die if they don’t get it.


Yet even American families with insurance are paying hundreds of dollars per vial. The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that “… costs for patients can range from $334 to $1,000 a month for insulin.” This is causing some people to cut their dose to make it to the end of the month, and this means Americans are dying because Pharma is profiting them to death.


And yet 193 Republicans voted to allow Pharma to keep profiteering from sick people who have no alternative. Profiteering is a heinous moral crime and these 193 Republicans showed they are willing to be complicit in robbing and killing Americans.


THE LOOP BACK


The vote again rational insulin pricing tells you Republicans are not afraid to lose American lives to keep the Pharma donations flowing. So what do you think they’re gonna do to us potheads?


Big Ag, Big Pharma, Big Tobacco, Big Alcohol, and Republicans.


Enemies all around, we have.


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Image Source: Photo by Engin Akyurt: https://www.pexels.com/photo/barbed-wire-used-for-border-security-11654006/