Natural Society – by Christina Sarich
Have you ever heard the koan: what’s the sound of one hand clapping? It’s the same sound as the former DEA administrator, Peter Bensinger, wailing that marijuana legalization is a ‘disaster.’ His voice is a lonely one.
The man is an anti-drug crusader who served three former presidents, but forgot that our founding fathers grew Cannabis, that the most important documents of this country were written on hemp paper, as were almost 90% of all others before 1883, and that the ‘perils’ of pot, or medical marijuana use, are about as real as his imaginary job was ‘defending’ the nation from marijuana users.
What should be his concern is that every year, prior to states legalizing marijuana, police arrested someone in this nation every 42 seconds for using a substance that stops the metastasizing of cancer cells, treats AIDS, reduces chemotherapy-induced nausea, relieves muscle spasms, and treats glaucoma. The stuff has been used medicinally for over 4000 years for a list of ailments too long to print here.
Bensinger told ‘power players’ he believes it will damage young people in states where medical marijuana is grown and sold. In numerous countries, it has been legalized for medical use or decriminalized. And just as an example to show Mr. Bensinger that his mind-set might be warped by too many years on the DEA: Portugal decriminalized ALL drugs in July of 2001, and drug use among young people decreased. By 2013, it was cut in half.
The former DEA employee also stated: “. . .it’s against federal law and the Constitution and our international treaties.” What a complete propagandist. The original Constitution was written on hemp paper! The stuff was grown everywhere in our country, proudly.
He also doesn’t agree with President Obama’s claim in an interview with The New Yorker that ‘marijuana isn’t any more dangerous than alcohol’. I guess he’s never seen a belligerent, angry drunk ready to swing at anyone that comes within two feet of him – even his best friends. Marijuana users don’t usually become violent.
“I don’t agree with the president at all and neither does his director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Dr. Nora Volkow, nor the American Medical Association. They both say marijuana is not safe,” he said. “The Food and Drug Administration, not legislators, should decide what’s medicine. And the Congress should decide, not the president of the United States, what’s legal.”
The Obama administration’s decision not to enforce federal statutes that conflict with the legal distribution of pot in Colorado and Washington may in fact put DEA field agents in a bind – but it should put them out of business. An alarming number of federal prison inmates are in jail for marijuana use or sale. They are in the same prison system that houses murderers and rapists. Almost half of all prison inmates are there on drug charges, with no other public offenses.
The increasing attempts for powerful government agencies to imprison its population are nothing new. I’m sure that Bensinger belly aches about the fact that more people are now aware that the prison industry is a big business meant to enslave us, and not just a ‘correctional’ facility as it is marketed. There is a glaring socio-economic and racial disparity between who is in prison and who isn’t. Right now prisons house a large number of minorities, but if pot is legalized, who will the DEA drug bust?
Don’t think the government has been enslaving you?
“The private contracting of prisoners for work fosters incentives to lock people up. Prisons depend on this income. Corporate stockholders who make money off prisoners’ work lobby for longer sentences, in order to expand their workforce. The system feeds itself,” says a study by the Progressive Labor Party, which accuses the prison industry of being “an imitation of Nazi Germany with respect to forced slave labor and concentration camps.”
Legalizing marijuana makes Wall Street prison-system investors and multi-billion dollar corporate interests steaming mad. There are 27 private prison investors – corporations deciding what is legal and who should be locked up – not an impartial body that is trying to keep the peace in a nation by locking away true criminals.
I have no concrete proof – but I bet Bensinger had a vested interest in keeping as much of the population behind bars as possible. Most high-level government appointees seem to do the bidding of their handlers, not make rational decisions about organizing society at large. Bensinger does in fact have a vested interest in talking down the current pot legalization momentum – he is currently the president and CEO of Bensinger, DuPont & Associates, a private consulting firm that provides drug-testing and training programs to clients.
Whenever in doubt – follow the money trail – it stinks like week-old skunk.