Cliff Kincaid
America’s marijuana army
By Cliff Kincaid
July 11, 2023

It is entertaining to watch Republicans getting facetime by sniffing around the Hunter Biden scandal. But even if Hunter is finally sent to prison, which is unlikely, the Democrats continue to expand their ranks of voters with endless handouts, including promises of cheap dope.

In Maryland, the latest state to legalize dope, “There’s more than 4 million eligible [marijuana] consumers versus 168,000 medical patients,” said Will Tilburg of the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission. The means another potential 4 million Democrat voters legally enjoying the “Soma” of the Brave New World since the state legalized the drug on July 1.

That may not have much political significance in Maryland, already a heavily Democratic state. But with as many as 22 percent of Americans currently using marijuana, that means millions more across the country are potential votes for the political party willing to give them special access to cheap dope through state-licensed “dispensaries.”

A leader in this effort for Republicans is Rep. Matt Gaetz, who has now proposed that the U.S. military allow recruitment of potheads to the ranks. His rationale is that the Pentagon is failing to recruit enough people for its all-volunteer military and so it needs to lower its standards to reflect current trends.

A critic of our “woke” military, Gaetz now wants new recruits spared having to be tested for regular marijuana use before being accepted.

Suddenly, one of Trump’s strongest defenders in Congress is getting rave reviews from the stoners in the liberal media, as his website is full of news clips praising his “forward” thinking.

Fortunately, most conservatives and Republicans oppose the drug pushers on moral and legal grounds, noting that marijuana is still illegal on the federal level and that its use has been linked to mental illness and violence. Hence, the liberal publication Politico has run an article documenting how the push for legal dope faces “hostile ground in red states.”

In Maryland, the power of the pot lobby is such that the state’s Catholic Conference, representing more than one million Catholics, took no official position on legalizing dope. Instead, it said simply, “We implore all Catholics and people of good will to think critically about the consequences of legalizing recreational marijuana in Maryland.”

The consequences can be seen in any number of violent incidents, such as the Parkland, Florida, mass murder that Rep. Gaetz, being from Florida, should know something about. After having a chance to clean out his system of mind-altering drugs and now thinking straight, convicted killer Nikolas Cruz pleaded guilty to murdering 17 people in 2018 and blamed heavy marijuana use for the “demons” in his brain.

Yet, on Capitol Hill, Rep. Gaetz urges fellow Republicans to vote for potheads in the military.

In this case, President Biden may hold the line, refusing to raise the white flag of surrender. More so than most, President Biden understands that illegal drug use has wreaked havoc on his own family members. Indeed, after President Biden took office, the Daily Beast reported that “dozens of young White House staffers” were suspended, asked to resign, or placed in a remote work program due to past marijuana use.

It would be wise for Republicans to expand their sniffing around the cocaine scandal in the White House to investigate how illegal drugs of all kinds, including marijuana, are rotting the country from the inside out.

As legalization was being implemented in Maryland under Governor Wes Moore, a former executive of a marijuana company, a Baltimore inner city resident said, “We’ve already got too much of that stuff!.” Pot-friendly Baltimore is already overrun with violence involving teenagers.

It’s doubtful that the government-sanctioned pot can undercut the prices of the illegal weed. But politicians in states like Maryland figure it is worth a try, in order to generate tax revenue and campaign donations for Democrats who made it legal. It’s a cynical political strategy designed to create more voters dependent on the government for what sustains them. The controversial drug was legalized in a referendum.

In South Carolina, where marijuana is illegal, a man was sentenced to life in prison on June 22 after using a semi-automatic rifle to kill a mail carrier who failed to deliver his pot from California, where it’s legal. He fired about 20 times into the back of her mail truck. Then he stole her vehicle, searching for the package intended for him.

Both the perpetrator and the victim, 64-year-old Irene Pressley, were black.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has emphasized that marijuana users are still barred from buying guns even in states where pot is legal. Marijuana users are jeopardizing their own job prospects, especially federal jobs that require security clearances. Since marijuana is still illegal under federal law, employees who test for marijuana at private companies can be terminated.

Yet, Maryland State Delegates Karen Simpson and Ken Kerr, as well as Debbie Streeton, Manager of Member Services for the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, helped stage a ribbon cutting at the Curaleaf store in Frederick County, Maryland, on July 1 when “adult use” sales began.

But now, on the federal level, Rep. Gaetz comes to the rescue, inviting potheads to join the military and get armed at taxpayer expense. Giving them security clearances is the next logical step. Gaetz favors decriminalization on the federal level.

Meanwhile, a national security issue has emerged, as officials in Connecticut and Massachusetts are investigating marijuana business Curaleaf for alleged undisclosed financial ties to Russian billionaire oligarch and Vladimir Putin ally Roman Abramovich. Media outlets such as Bloomberg confirmed that Curaleaf received hundreds of millions of dollars in financing from Abramovich during its early years. One article was headlined, “How Putin’s ally Roman Abramovich bankrolled America’s largest marijuana company.”

Were these ties disclosed to Maryland and Frederick County officials?

In Russia, however, as we saw in the WNBA case of American Brittney Griner, sentenced to nine years in prison for marijuana possession, the authorities take a different approach. Griner, whose defense was that she had a “medical marijuana” card, was later exchanged for a notorious Russian arms dealer.

Curaleaf currently has 152 dispensaries operating in 19 U.S. states.

Perhaps one is coming to an Army base near you.

  • Cliff Kincaid is president of America’s Survival, Inc.

    © Cliff Kincaid


    The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
    (See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)


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