This article originally appeared in the January 2017 issue of High Times.
1. DEA, Denver Division
In order to justify its recent gutless refusal to reschedule cannabis, the DEA described legal, large-scale commercial pot gardens in residential neighborhoods as the “new meth houses.” Seriously? That’s the best you’ve got? The worst threats from weed warehouses are “strong odors” and “blown transformers”—none of which are half as scary as current US pot policy.
2. Carol Jenkins Barnett
The billionaire ex-president of the supermarket chain Publix personally donated $800,000 to fight the medical pot measure in Florida this November with the following statement: “Amendment 2 would usher in an unprecedented era of legalized marijuana in Florida.” While it’s not clear why this would be a bad thing, we feel the need to point out that, although literally half of the United States has approved medical pot in some form, only four states have legalized recreational weed, with zero being in the South.
3. The “No on 64” Campaign
Last August, supporters of Proposition 64, California’s upcoming legalization initiative, filed a lawsuit in Superior Court to remove the opposition’s “grossly false and misleading” statements from the informational guide for the November ballot. Among those named in the suit is US Senator Dianne Feinstein. “No on 64” scare tactics include the claim that it would allow cannabis commercials on television. Sorry, haters, but that’s not possible: Federal law bans TV ads for any smoking products.
4. Randy Philbrick, SAM Oregon
The anti-cannabis group Smart Approaches to Marijuana has always attempted to link pot with violence, but SAM reached a new low in June when state chief Philbrick compared the horrific Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, Florida, to Oregon Senator Earl Blumenauer’s steadfast support for legal weed. Philbrick tweeted: “You can’t support one threat to public health/public safety and then condemn another.” Not surprisingly, Philbrick resigned within a week of his supremely tacky tweet.
5. Patrick Kennedy, founder of SAM
The nephew of JFK has been heavily engaged in anti-cannabis activities this past summer, donating $2 million to defeat pro-pot measures and claiming the legalization movement has “exposed children from communities of color to more racial discrimination.” How’s that again, Pat? Legal weed would mean the end of disproportionate pot arrests for young blacks and Latinos, thereby keeping their records (and their future employment opportunities) untarnished.
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