Some people think that the push for the legalization of marijuana is backed mostly by marijuana smokers. This is because the mainstream media and the Obama Administration frame the discussion as a subculture issue (ex. Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa and Sublime fans vs. “normal” people). Don’t be fooled. Legalization is not about a subculture, it is about market protection for Big Pharma, and the protection of labor sources for the Prison-Industrial-Complex.
Big Pharma is engaged in a race to patent the components of marijuana so they can sell it to you as medication, in a pill form, covered by your soon-to-be-mandated health insurance. Marijuana contains over 400 chemicals, 61 of them are unique to the Cannabis plant. These are called cannabinoids and Big Pharma wants to have exclusive patent rights to them! Furthermore, Big Pharma doesn’t want you to have access to them with a prescription for medical marijuana. And the Obama Administration is willing to protect the cannabinoid market by using federal resources to circumvent state medical marijuana laws to protect Big Pharma’s market.
Obama’s current drug policy also fuels the increasingly privatized Prison-Industrial-Complex with prisoners in near slave-labor conditions. Did you know that being caught with 4 ounces of marijuana (~$500 of weed) will land you in jail for 5 years in Connecticut as a first time offender and 10 years as a repeat offender? At the federal level any amount less than 50 kg results in a five year sentence and over 50 kg is a 20 year sentence. These long state and federal prison terms provide a huge prison labor pool that can be used to produce “Made in America” goods for contracting manufacturers.
Don’t get it twisted, the legalization battle is not about subculture. It is about Big Pharma’s market protection and providing a labor pool for the Prison-Industrial-Complex.