As a follower of the marijuana law reform movement, you have to develop an appreciation for the outrageous hypocrisy some supporters of marijuana prohibition are able to exhibit without their heads exploding from sheer cognitive dissonance.
Take the commissioner of the National Football League and Tom Brady’s biggest fan, Roger Goodell. On a sports radio show last week, the commish said he might be open to players using medical marijuana where it’s legal, but he’s worried that non-medical use could “be negative to the health of our players.”
Look, if you spend your working hours running full speed into other large men running full speed, all of your marijuana use is medical.
Regardless, how can Roger Goodell say with a straight face that marijuana “does have an addictive nature” and “may not be healthy for the players long-term” when he’s got team doctors pumping players full of highly-addictive opioid painkillers proven to be harmful over the long term?
Tellingly, for Goodell it isn’t really even about the health of the players, but the health of the $13 billion exempt-from-anti-trust-laws non-profit organization that he’s paid $35 million annually to run.
“I want to make sure that the negative consequences aren’t something… that we’ll be held accountable for some years down the road,” he explained.
This a man who heads a league that fought for years to avoid accountability for the brain damage it causes its players. Now, he’s worried that the league would be on the hook for players using the one medicine that helps prevent and repair that brain damage?
Speaking of large men and opiates, New Jersey Governor and chairman of the redundantly-named Conservatives Club[*] Chris Christie spoke yesterday in Princeton against the legalization of marijuana, citing the opioid epidemic ravaging our nation.
“This is beyond stupidity,” Christie bellowed. “We are in the midst of the public health crisis on opiates. But people are saying pot’s OK? This is nothing more than crazy liberals who want to say everything’s OK.”
The very same day, those crazy liberals at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (motto: telling you marijuana’s not medicine since 1971) posted that “medical marijuana products may have a role in reducing the use of opioids needed to control pain.”
Christie, it should be noted, is heading up President Trump’s blue-ribbon task force on dealing with the opiate epidemic. While NIDA is declaring that studies show access to marijuana leads to “reduction in overdose deaths… lower levels of opioid prescribing… nonmedical prescription opioid use… [and] prescription opioid use disorders,” Christie is telling people that teens who try marijuana are 10 times more likely to become addicted to heroin.
Oh, how the prohibitionists so desperately want that debunked gateway drug theory to be true.
“I see a line in the Washington Post today that I remember from the ‘80s,” Sessions said in February. “‘Marijuana is a cure for opiate abuse.’ Give me a break… I doubt that’s true. Maybe science will prove I’m wrong.”
It is, but these guys can never admit it. What prohibitionists like Sessions and Christie are remembering from the 1980s is the old Crack Baby Playbook. People by-and-large aren’t that afraid of marijuana, goes the strategy, so you’ve got to get them afraid of a more dangerous drug, then link it to marijuana.
In the 1980s, it was crack cocaine, which the late journalist Gary Webb and the former crack kingpin “Freeway” Ricky Ross allege was covertly pumped into the inner cities by the CIA to raise funds for black ops in Central America.
Today, it is the opiate painkillers, which have been overtly pumped into pharmacies nationwide, enabled by the DEA, hawked by corrupted doctors, promoted on television, all to raise profits for pharmaceutical companies. Cocaine and marijuana were linked in the party culture (see: HighTimes 1978-1981), so when coke started taking lives, marijuana’s support plummeted.
Interestingly enough, there is a very long list of those companies that are headquartered in Chris Christie’s home state, the health industry donated over $100,000 to Jeff Sessions, and pharmaceutical companies increased their buys of $300,000 – $700,000 30-second commercials on Roger Goodell’s NFL telecasts.
Unfortunately for Goodell, Christie and Sessions, unlike the 1980s, we now have the internet, and the old reefer madness playbooks of the past don’t work as well anymore.
Witness what a bunch of parents armed only with Facebook and Dr. Gupta’s Weed special did for spreading the use of cannabidiol oil across the most reticent of states to adopt marijuana reform. In 2013, there were still 30 states lacking any form of legal medical marijuana use.
Today, there are only five (Idaho, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Louisiana).
Despite their bluster, these men aren’t idiots. They can read the polls showing over 60 percent support for adult use and over 90 percent support for medical use. What they’re doing is a tactic Goodell’s teams know well: running out the clock when you have a lead. They know if they can delay and retard the development of whole plant medical marijuana and home grow legalization, eventually their funders in Big Pharma will have jumped their pharmaceutical cannabinoid products through the regulatory hoops, so they can profit from the growing recognition of cannabis as medicine.