Lobbying and Hobnobbing, Here Comes the Cannabis Industry


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The National Cannabis Industry Association held a press conference September 13 at the National Press Club, calling on President Obama to cease enforcement against medical marijuana providers, even those in conflict with federal laws.

The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), together with Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado, announced their formation as a lobbying arm in Washington at the National Press Club on March 30, 2011.   Last month the group formed a PAC.  So will Representatives in Congress now take them seriously?

At that first press conference held last year, David Guard of See Change Strategy, presented a financial report that projected the marijuana business to be a 1.7 billion-dollar industry.  An article declared the marijuana industry is in rivalry with sales of another wonder drug, Viagra, only $200 million behind it, but there was no mention that these drugs could have serious side effects.

The topic of this recent press conference was the “hardships caused by the federal government’s ongoing crackdown cannabis businesses.”  When the marijuana industry isn’t telling voters about its extraordinary compassion, maybe it can get sympathy for the marijuana industry’s unfair persecution.  Of course no one in the industry thinks pot is ok for anyone under 21, but it’s not a “gateway drug,”  they insist.

The NCIA held an organizing party on March 7, 2011 (see photo above), starring Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado. As a multi-milionaire and the 4th wealthiest member of Congress, Rep.  Polis doesn’t need to take money from the industry, but he has been taken in by the scam.  Having noted  the growth of pill addiction in the US, he has suggested that if marijuana becomes legal, it could replace pills as a primary treatment for pain.  A recent study at Yale University of opioid abusers ages 18-25, connects the females with this problem to earlier marijuana use as their gateway drug, not alcohol, tobacco and marijuana as in the case of males that age.   Polis needs to recognize that early marijuana use may be the entry point for  opioid  abuse, not a replacement.

At the organizing party, Aaron Smith, executive director of the NCIA, cited IRS audits of some medical marijuana businesses and a fear that dispensaries were not able to get loans or make deposits in banks if they’re perceived to be in violation of federal law.  “So we’re working with Congressman Polis to find either an administrative or legislative fix to the problem.”  Smith said.  He admitted, the NCIA “seeks overall legalization for sales and possession of cannabis for adults,”  and added, “We want to expand the industry and put the black market out of business.”  Legalization is the “pot magic” which will banish cartels and criminals; it has a magical wand, just as medical marijuana did.

The typical spin put out by the weed blogs is those who don’t support medical marijuana are puppets of the drug companies or have a financial stake in keeping it illegal.  When presented with research revealing the danger of marijuana, they claim only people who can make money by keeping it illegal would believe such findings.   They are merely giving insight into their intentions which have nothing to do with compassion.

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