Prohibitionists Hold Anti-Reform Campaign Event on Public Dime

May 11, 2010 , , , , ,

Law enforcement officials from all over the nation have descended upon San Diego, California this week to attend a conference for the National Marijuana Initiative (NMI) and the California Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP). We’ve been pointing out the futility of marijuana “eradication” campaigns like CAMP and NMI for years but don’t expect conference attendees to spend any time rethinking their failed prohibitionist policies while enjoying their stay in sunny San Diego.

The agenda for the publicly funded conference, held at the prestigious U.S. Grant Hotel from May 10 through May 13, is not available to the public. In fact, the conference is under the close guard of about a dozen San Diego Police officers and even some military personnel.

We do know that former U.S. Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey was a featured speaker. According to his press release, McCaffrey laid out talking points against California’s Tax Cannabis 2010 initiative. That’s right, your tax dollars are essentially being used to hold an anti-reform campaign rally behind closed doors.

There’s also no doubt that conference attendees are patting themselves on the back for their work in the largest and most expensive weed abatement project of all time. Since 2003, CAMP’s marijuana plant seizures have grown by 500% but nevertheless have had no effect on marijuana’s availability or cost, which has actually decreased slightly since CAMP’s inception in 1983. Programs like CAMP are actually making matters worse by driving illegal marijuana operations deeper into harder-to-reach and environmentally sensitive areas on our public lands.

Yesterday, MPP held a press conference across the street from the marijuana eradication love fest to call out these officials for supporting a program that, at best, is a costly failure. Former deputy sheriff and current LEAP speaker Leo Laurence and Rev. Mary Moreno-Richardson, an Episcopol priest from San Diego, joined me in calling for a new direction in our marijuana policies.

Our event was originally to take place in a room across the hall from the prohibitionist conference but the hotel reneged on our contract at the last minute, forcing us to move across the street. Clearly, marijuana warriors don’t want to risk hearing from those questioning the insanity of doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. To protect these prohibitionists’ bubbles from being burst by reality, our original meeting room at the U.S. Grant was left empty while conference attendees enjoyed their taxpayer-supported echo chamber across the hall.

As the upcoming “eradication” season unfolds, let’s hope that the mainstream media won’t let the staggering imagery of helicopters being used to uproot marijuana plants distract them from asking the important question of whether or not these programs are actually working.

At a time when law enforcement budgets are strained to their limits and hundreds of thousands of violent crimes are going unsolved, the last thing we need is for cops to spend their time pulling up weeds. The only way to effectively control marijuana and eliminate the illegal grow operations from our public lands is to take it out of the hands of criminals and regulate it like we do alcohol.

25 responses to “Prohibitionists Hold Anti-Reform Campaign Event on Public Dime”

  1. You know everyone there is a person of power that already makes money of prohibition. Its obvious which side is right on this issue. They have military and police to protect them from legalization people speaking their opinion. If some prohibitionist wanted to oppose a pro-legalization event they would be happily invited in. It sounds like a dictatorship to have a gathering where only like minded people attend. NO OPPOSITION ALLOWED!!!

  2. This kind of flaunting of abuse of the american tax dollars is so much like old russian republic it makes me sick. Every news outlet should be jumping on this story. These neo nazi stormtro0pers want to go play in the woods on my dollar, no i don’t even get to go camping becuase i can’t take the time off work. Stop the prohibition of cannabis and end the progression of our law enforcement becoming socialist stormtroopers.

  3. F the police. F the drug Czars, F obama. They are all criminals using the drug war to make money and control our lives. They dont care about our health… If they did marijuana would be praised and alcohol and cigeretes demonized. If they cared about our health they wouldnt subsidize high fructose corn syrup and obama wouldnt appoint someone from monsanto to head the ag dept. GMO foods everywhere!!! Flouride added to the water. Dangerous liver damaging perscription drugs pushed by legal drug dealers (doctors) and big pharma. Its all a lie americans are stupid dumb downed brainwashed sheep. Expecially the old relgious idiots. Wake up !!! your all retarded. Turn off the tv and mass media its all owned by people who rule the world…. Check out or Documentary websites

  4. The real problem here is that it is not law enforcements job, right or place in society to attempt to influence legislation when acting in a official capacity. They are supposed to be enforcers of laws, not creators or obstructionists . Its not up to law enforcement to effect the political or social climate. To me this rally seems un-American and unconstitutional. Law enforcement is in essence a non-for profit organization like a 501c3. 501c3 organizations can not lobby for or against a politician or legislation and neither should the police, dea, fbi and so on.

  5. and as far as holding a meeting to discuss, successes and future plans, these people are completely within their legal rights to perform a invitation only event as long as there is no discriminatory factors on who they invite, religion, race, and sex.

    Let me put it like this; if MPP or NORL decided to hold this meeting on strategies from the previous fiscal year to the current on what works and what is acceptable and what helps them reach their goal in complete marijuana reform they don’t have to let anyone in who does not pertain to the meeting as long as it is not discriminatory. Not saying they should do this but that it is within their legal rights.

    P.S. If they let any major or local media in to this meeting screw everything I just said because now it is a control of media and what can be published from the meeting

  6. @Perspective

    There is a big difference between MPP or NORML and the CAMP/NMI conference. MPP and NORML are private organizations, as the prohibitionists are using tax dollars to host this event.

  7. Mr. Smith,
    Nice to see you involved in the discussion, and an excellent point. I wonder if we could get the IRS or who ever audits the public purse to look into the matter at hand?

  8. Mr. Smith nice to hear from you. My only meaning in that was that they were with in their legal rights to have a closed door meeting. I did not mean it was a just thing for them to do and I also understand that these organizations are partially funded by the government and that MPP is a privatized organization that receives only donations from its members and affiliates, I would donate but I am not in a financial situation to do so.
    I do find it wrong that they applied back door measures to not allow you to hold your meeting across the hall. I also disagree with them using tax dollars to perform high cost practices that do little to alleviate their total cause when it could be used to alleviate the social security crisis and the GDP. You know 2017 is when the national debt is projected to be greater the then overall GDP somewhere around 18 trillion dollars

  9. @Perspective
    While I don’t know the extent of Law Enforcements right to the 1st amendments or the financial extents of their institutions, I do know where they get 100% of their power from. If policy needs to be changed to dictate their actions because they are unable to do so I say we do it. After all, as you pointed out the financial situation in America is such now that our public sector needs to be audited back. Hence, we are ending the prohibition of cannabis in California. Yes!

  10. exactly the end to marijuana prohibition is detrimental to our economic survival. We can not pump money into a system that harbors the creation of criminals and crimes, not only at adults but at our youth. We need stronger school structures and better students and the only way to bypass our ever increasing drop out rates is to prevent marijuana from being a source that induces criminal activity in our you and by legalizing marijuana we can begin to keep kids in school because they won’t be tempted to use and/or sell marijuana.

  11. We are on the same page. I live in Ca and this year they layed off over 100 teachers just in my little town of Redding. However last season the LEO’s justified spending enough time in the forest to find well over a million plants last year alone. Why is this more important than our teachers, or state financed medical clinics. It’s not and it needs to stop! Sorry, very passionate about this ridiculous waste of resources so grown men can waste time in the forest.

  12. You would think that the non-bias news machine in this country would be all over this.
    Oh yea! Fair and balanced is a perspective not a mission statement.

  13. By the way people , Shut off your tv , its rotting your brain…just like your grandparents always said it would do.

  14. @perspective

    I think you’re right that they are probably within their legal right to do this. But they’re definitely being unethical and coming close to breaking election law.

  15. There is something extremely worrisome when public employees from across the nation gather, at taxpayers expense to plan against a single state’s upcoming initiative.

    Isn’t there a law against public employees engaging in political activities during their norml working hours?

    I wish the article had included more info on the funding.

  16. I thought they were hired by us to blindly enforce the law. Not be lobyists with my taxpayer money. I don’t get to send part of their taxes to just because I am on that side of the opinion. When they bust down the door, shoot your dogs they say “oops I just enforce the laws”. Yet they do something like this. This seems criminal to me.

  17. Holy Smokes! I thought they only enforce the law. This sounds like a active participation in the formation of policy and not enforcement of law. The agencies involved here see budgets being cut. They are protecting their own. If this was a prohibition on tomatoes we would see the same thing. Follow the money. It’s always – Follow the money.

    The Rev.sLeezy
    The Universal Life Church of the Holy Smokes

    CAMP (Citizen Against Marijuana Prohibition)

  18. I don’t see anything to be surprised about, the government has been using tax payers money for decades to wage the war against those same tax payers. Government agencies such as DEA are getting away with murder on regular basis. So what is there to be surprised about? These people think they all powerfull and we are just sheep waiting to be told which way is to the slaughterhouse.
    We need to find a way to cut off all this funding. It’s like Rev.Sleezy said, as long as there’s a money flow, these people will have something to fight for.

    On the other note.
    I was watching Pen and Teller “Bullshit” last night. It was an episode about death penalty. I thought how pathetic that one of the reasons we are putting people to death is because there’s simply no room in jails to contain them for their lifetimes. Which of course brings up the issue of legalization of cannabis.
    If we are no longer prosecuting minor drug offenses, and if we release all non-vilent drug offenders currently imprisoned, we’ll have plenty of room for real criminals, no need for death penalty, no need for early releases and paroles, keep them killers/rapists in there forever.

    So it seems to me another issue would be solved if cannabis is legalized and regulated.

    Free The Weed. Free The People.

  19. These ??????? make me question my sanity – but – because I know I’m not crazy…it must be them. What makes me question my sanity is that we actually pay them to do this. Shit! I must be crazy.

  20. Prohibitionists dance hand in hand with every possible type of criminal one can imagine.

    An unholy alliance of ignorance, greed and hate which works to destroy all our hard fought freedoms, wealth and security.

    We will always have adults who are too immature to responsibly deal with tobacco alcohol, heroin amphetamines, cocaine, various prescription drugs and even food. Our answer to them should always be: “Get a Nanny, and stop turning the government into one for the rest of us!”

    Nobody wants to see an end to prohibition because they want to use drugs. They wish to see proper legalized regulation because they are witnessing, on a daily basis, the dangers and futility of prohibition. ‘Legalized Regulation’ won’t be the complete answer to all our drug problems, but it’ll greatly ameliorate the crime and violence on our streets, and only then can we provide effective education and treatment.

    The whole nonsense of ‘disaster will happen if we end prohibition’ sentiment sums up the delusional ‘chicken little’ stance of those who foolishly insist on continuing down this blind alley. As if disaster wasn’t already happening. As if prohibition has ever worked.

    To support prohibition is such a strange mind-set. In fact, It’s outrageous insanity! –Literally not one prohibitionist argument survives scrutiny. Not one!

    The only people that believe prohibition is working are the ones making a living by enforcing laws in it’s name, and those amassing huge fortunes on the black market profits. This situation is wholly unsustainable, and as history has shown us, conditions will continue to deteriorate until we finally, just like our forefathers, see sense and revert back to tried and tested methods of regulation. None of these substances, legal or illegal, are ever going to go away, but we CAN decide to implement policies that do far more good than harm.

    During alcohol prohibition in the 1920s, all profits went to enrich thugs and criminals. Young men died every day on inner-city streets while battling over turf. A fortune was wasted on enforcement that could have gone on treatment. On top of the budget-busting prosecution and incarceration costs, billions in taxes were lost. Finally the economy collapsed. Sound familiar?

    In an underground drug market, criminals and terrorists, needing an incentive to risk their own lives and liberty, grossly inflate prices which are further driven higher to pay those who ‘take a cut’ like corrupt law enforcement officials who are paid many times their wages to look the other way. This forces many users to become dealers themselves in order to afford their own consumption. This whole vicious circle turns ad infinitum. You literally couldn’t dream up a worse scenario even if your life depended on it. For the second time within a century, we’ve carelessly lost “love’s labour,” and, “with the hue of dungeons and the scowl of night,” have wantonly created our own worst nightmare.

    So should the safety and freedom of the rest of us be compromised because of the few who cannot control themselves?

    Many of us no longer think it should!

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