NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Unintended consequences. Every law has them, but some overreach so far that the medicine is worse than the disease.
Few laws encompassing the depth and scale of the prohibition of
use have had unintended consequences for so long, but eradicating its hopelessly failed criminalization appears more difficult than stopping sunrise every morning.
I will explain why in a moment, but let's examine a recent event just south of me in Chicago.
Tavares Taylor, better known as Def Jam's rapper Lil Reese, bought a front-row ticket to the horror show titled "Why Cannabis Isn't Legal" over the weekend when he was arrested and charged with marijuana possession.
The show is produced by the following colluding participants, or as I refer to them, machine operators:
Police, product manufacturers, labs for testing (pre- and post-conviction), defense lawyers and staff, prosecution lawyers and staff, judges and staff, jail staff, contractors providing food and other products for inmates, probation officers, counselors for court-ordered drug rehab and on and on
It's a man-eating machine with dull blades that will rip and tear a totally helpless Lil Reese's wallet and bank accounts to shreds while molesting his emotions for months or longer. Once inside the machine, victims are rarely allowed to exit until its operators have extracted their pound (or more) of flesh.
One may argue that some of the participants are merely implicitly colluding, but not all. For example, five years ago, California's prison guard association
spent more than $1 million
in opposition to a state proposition to substitute increased treatment for prison terms for cannabis offenders.
Other conspiring organizations are the federal Drug Enforcement Agency and state narcotics law-enforcement associations, not to mention the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
The amount of pressure applied ebbs and flows but doesn't stop. And why should it, for there are massive amounts of money in the criminalization business. Whoever said "Crime doesn't pay" obviously didn't think about it from prosecution's point of view.
And we can't forget federal law itself.