Drug Law

Why Marijuana Prohibition? Follow the Money

| by Marijuana Policy Project

By Morgan Fox

Yesterday, we discussed on this blog how there is a definite financial incentive for law enforcement to target marijuana growers and distributors, even ones that have been following state and local law.

Earlier today, as I was sifting through news articles, I was struck by the similarity between these two events:

Five Gunmen Storm Marijuana Dispensary

SAN DIEGO – Five gunmen stormed a medical marijuana dispensary in Normal Heights Tuesday and made off with a large amount of cash and marijuana.

The owner says the gunmen threatened to kill him if he didn’t cooperate.

Pretty scary, right? The following story went like this:

Clearing Away the Pot Stores, One Raid at a Time

LOS ANGELES – As dusk settled on busy Colorado Boulevard, a squad of minivans and SUVs pulled to the curb outside a drab stucco rental that houses one of Eagle Rock’s medical marijuana dispensaries.

Plainclothes narcotics officers fanned out. One disarmed a startled security guard, another covered the door through the sights of a rifle and a third phoned the shop to announce the raid. A second guard, three employees and a dozen grim-faced customers filed out, hands in the air.

By the end of the operation, the officers had arrested the Colorado Collective’s owner and an employee and hauled away 40 pounds of marijuana and $17,000 in cash in large evidence bags.

Feel free to draw your own conclusions.

But if you need some help drawing a conclusion, consider this excerpt from an article about marijuana eradication efforts in Alabama:

The eradication effort began in 1982 and is funded through Drug Enforcement Administration grants using money seized in drug forfeitures.

Seize money with one hand and get paid with the other…