Via Allen St. Pierre comes this fascinating OpEd from John McKay, the prosecutor who indicted Marc Emery (and a former law enforcement official). Marijuana’s true potency and why the law should change
I DON’T smoke pot. And I pretty much think people who do are idiots.
This certainly includes Marc Emery, the self-styled “Prince of Pot” from Canada whom I indicted in 2005 […]
As Emery’s prosecutor and a former federal law-enforcement official, however, I’m not afraid to say out loud what most of my former colleagues know is true: Our marijuana policy is dangerous and wrong and should be changed through the legislative process to better protect the public safety. […]
â€¢ First, we need to honestly and courageously examine the true public-safety danger posed by criminalizing a drug used by millions and millions of Americans who ignore the law. Marijuana prohibition has failed â€” it’s time for a new policy crafted by informed policymakers with the help of those in law enforcement who have risked their lives battling pot-purveying drug cartels and gangs.
â€¢ Second, let’s talk about marijuana policy responsibly and with an eye toward sound science, not myth. We can start by acknowledging that our 1930s-era marijuana prohibition was overkill from the beginning and should be decoupled from any debate about “legalizing drugs.” We should study and disclose the findings of the real health risks of prolonged use, including its influence and effect on juveniles.
â€¢ Third, we should give serious consideration to heavy regulation and taxation of the marijuana industry (an industry that is very real and dangerously underground). We should limit pot’s content of the active ingredient THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), regulate its sale to adults who are dumb enough to want it and maintain criminal penalties for sales, possession or use by minors, drivers and boaters.
Pretty strong legalization words for someone who despises marijuana as much as he does.
Speaking of Marc Emery, Eric Sterling found something interesting: The Sentencing Memorandum filed by the U.S. Justice Department (Jenny A. Durkan and Todd Greenberg) on August 31, which included this rather unusual statement:
The governmentâ€™s case was investigated and prosecuted without regard for Emeryâ€™s personal politics, his political agenda, or the ways in which he chose to spend the proceeds of his drug crimes.
A little defensive sounding. And pretty dramatically at odds with the public statement made by then head of the DEA Karen P. Tandy:
Today’s DEA arrest of Marc Scott Emery, publisher of Cannabis Culture Magazine, and the founder of a marijuana legalization group — is a significant blow not only to the marijuana trafficking trade in the U.S. and Canada, but also to the marijuana legalization movement.
His marijuana trade and propagandist marijuana magazine have generated nearly $5 million a year in profits that bolstered his trafficking efforts, but those have gone up in smoke today.
Emery and his organization had been designated as one of the Attorney General’s most wanted international drug trafficking organizational targets — one of only 46 in the world and the only one from Canada.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars of Emery’s illicit profits are known to have been channeled to marijuana legalization groups active in the United States and Canada. Drug legalization lobbyists now have one less pot of money to rely on.