It was only fifty years ago when every baby boomer pretty much knew smoking pot would be legalized sometime very soon. Everybody smoked it. The cops already did not care about “marijuana”, just seized it and let you go.

That near certainty though did not stop the nation’s elders from launching DEA founder Richard Nixon’s “War on Drugs” nor Ronald Reagan’s  “Just Say No or Go to Prison” campaign.  In the middle of both remained the poor cannabis plant.  There were still many more votes on the side of cannabis prohibition.  As always, those who never learned anything about the plant have been the ardent prohibitionists, many of them soaked deep in alcohol or tobacco.  The sentiment of” Reefer Madness” is still there (and always will be).


The war on drugs has been a huge tactical success for the police state.  America’s world record-setting prison population is largely drug “criminals”.  Millions more are on parole, successfully under the state’s thumb, keeping agency budgets healthy.   Tens of thousands of law-enforcement officers daily patrol the never ending tentacles of this terrible weed so despised by the law in the West for so long.   The longing to bust pot smokers has proven to be the most effective weapon against the Bill of Rights.  SWAT teams routinely lead home invasions by police, sometimes at the wrong home.

Till recently, the fact the evil plant always persists and multiplies, even in the face of prohibition, was considered simply proof positive that the war on weed must be expanded until the nation is finally saved.  Build the prisons and the prisoners will come.

The two intoxicants that smoking pot tends to replace, drinking and cigarettes, remain the officially-sanctioned boom industries for getting loaded in the US.  Over half a million die each year from the direct effects of alcohol and tobacco, but there are millions more always to take their place.  After all, the Partnership for a Drug Free America, largely funded by brewers, distillers, cigarette makers and pharmaceutical companies, is on the job making sure the present oligarchs keep their product’s favored spot in commerce.  How can legalization of pot even be seriously considered?  For god’s sake, it could easily be grown by anyone without ever paying a merchant or a tax!  A plant cannot be patented with the rights sold off, puff by puff, like swallowing pills can be.  Alcohol and tobacco and pharmaceutical sales could plummet with the legalization of pot replaced by little substitute commerce.

Even the growth of of health care budgets and the numbers at funeral parlors could suffer from the wave of legal cannabis.   Over ten thousand years of smoking, not a single person has ever been shown to have died directly from the effects of cannabis, short term or long term. No pot overdoses cases are found in hospital emergency rooms.  Virtually no adults seek substance abuse counseling for pot addiction unless they are doing so to stay out of jail or to keep their job.  Only about 2% of pot-smokers use every day; like any big drinker or cigarette-smoker does.  The few pot users on the highways are in the right lane going below the speed limit as shown by two recent National Highway Safety Administration studies, not measurably impaired in their driving safety.  Pot smokers prefer to avoid driving while high, unlike drunks who are typically ready to push the pedal to the metal.

Meanwhile, cannabis is proving its scientific worth in pain management and well beyond, the amazing cannabinoid, the wholly natural intoxicant shown to not be physically addictive.  Hemp, cannabis’ sister plant, the true target of “marijuana” prohibition beginning in the 1920s, is a very useful product with all kinds of applications from clothing to paper to rope.  The US Constitution was written on hemp parchment.

This finest of safety records for two very useful natural substances though has not advanced the plant at all in the eyes of Washington, D.C.  The auctions run by Congress simply do not attract many liberty supporters.  What counts is money, of course, especially the people who are making it in gobs right now and willing to give big chunks to a like-minded public servant.  So, cannabis and, quite crazily, hemp remain a Schedule 1, prohibited narcotic with no proper medical use.   An entire field of hemp could be smoked by one person without getting intoxicated.

But even our money-conscious Congress can usually read the writing on the wall. It seems the cannabis voting balance has shifted considerably.  The boomers are becoming the oldsters.  Few young prohibitionists are being created. The old magic with demonizing “marijuana” has worn too thin to hold water.  Waves of new DEA propaganda seem to have less and less effect on the public mood.  Things have changed entirely on the ground.  The states are literally walking away from the job, two already in open revolt.  Prohibition is not something that is worth risking the next election over.  Demographics tell the political tale.  One may as well stay in line with the curve, politically speaking.

That is, unless the end of federal cannabis prohibition were to greatly diminish huge revenues to the Too Big to Fail, the world’s biggest banks, thereby endangering the entire financial system in the words of Ben Bernanke: anything but that, of course, for our Congress.

It is estimated by researchers that up to $100b annually is laundered for drug cartels, including world gang leaders Los Zetas and Sinaloa, done almost exclusively by the world’s biggest Western banks, including allegedly Bank of America, JP Morgan, Wachovia, Citigroup and even American Express.  The slice for the banks in laundering drug revenues is thought to be 20% or thereabouts. 

Were it not for the business of the drug cartels several of the Too Big to Fail would have failed anyway post Lehman, an earlier drug cartel partner.  Drug money was the only large sums of cash out there there for banking services when the financial crunch hit. 

The percentage of the total drug money involving the cannabis trade is estimated to be as high as 60%, though experts vary widely on this number.

But what is a Democratic office-holder to do?  Certainly not to jump alone directly against the big money interests, never!  What about the strong opinions of the good majority of Democrat voters though?  The biggest reasons behind pot prohibition today, the prospect of plunging alcohol and illegal drug sales due to legalization, can never be mentioned in public.  What should be said?  Nothing?

So, America’s last pot warrior, Barack Obama, has a choice to make between his schoolmates he smoked weed with and his fancy Wall Street, cartel-connected friends he so fervently serves now, the classic consumer vs. supplier dilemma.   Can the Too Big to Fail be weaned off money-laundering for the international drug cartels by Obama without destroying some of the dons of counterfeit capitalism in the process?  

Needing the Money

Hiding away on this political issue is no longer possible given the November electoral secession of Colorado and Washington State from the 100-year old American pot wars.  It has been easy so far for Obama to retain the pot-smoking vote while doing nothing towards legalization, but no longer.  Barack Obama is suddenly in the position of Abraham Lincoln in a way, embattled by rebel states.  The main difference is Obama is deciding whether to end a war rather than whether to begin one.   Obama’s main constituency considered for his salvation is the top of the 1% at the big banks, as always, and the prison guard unions in this instance.

Like so many things, the task of detaching our financial mafia from the drug cartels will prove much harder now than it would have been when Obama took office.  With a glassier blind eye from the Justice Department and the FFIEC than even George Bush’s, it is estimated drug money laundering by big banks to have nearly doubled under Obama. 

Obama’s favorites in the drug war could not have been made more obvious than through the recent “prosecution” of banking giant HSBC for a dozen years of cartel money-laundering totaling in the range of $7b.  No criminal charges were brought against anyone within the single biggest drug deal facilitator in the history of the world, investigation ended.  The two civil fines to be paid by HSBC together were well less than one-third of the bank’s volume of drug money being laundered, a black market that continues full-steam ahead today at HSBC and other bank giants: And why not?  There is nothing like the experience of salvation and glorious confirmation from on high.

As cover, the Justice Department resorted to contending HSBC was Too Big to Fail after all, thereby granting the bank a license to partner in the international drug trade.  The same week HSCS was being freed on such grounds in Brooklyn, Obama’s Justice Department hammered a nickel and dime crack dealer across the river in New Jersey with five years of prison time, too small not to jail.

But this pot prohibition state secession question seems to have left Obama with few cannon to deploy, even for his very best friends.

First and foremost, there are not enough employees in the FBI and Homeland Security to begin to keep tabs on the street-level pot trade now that the states are quitting their surveillance.  Negotiations to get the striking states back on the job have gone nowhere and the trend continues.  If Obama were to try to ban federal law-enforcement funds to the states that are cannabis scofflaws it would likely backfire worse than ObamaCare insurance combines have.  Democrats in Congress might revolt from the move.

Second, even if Obama went to the matt to preserve the attractions of the black market drug trade how long could the solution last?  There is no stopping the rest of the world from ending the drug war as is rapidly occurring.  There is not enough room in the federal courtrooms for all of the offenders.  When it comes to pot now even medical patients have become the enemies of prohibition.  It seems near impossible to keep the mythology for the nationwide pot war sensible any longer.  The end appears in sight no matter what may happen to staunch the trend.

The pot war pinch is so tight right now it has left Obama and his Attorney General Eric Holder breathless, unable to speak in public on the subject despite the election debacle for the big banker’s drug money trade. The Democrats in Congress are left hanging. 

The longer the silence lasts the more likely a partial federal surrender in the drug war is finally nigh.  The dam will break quickly if it begins to fail, led by a suddenly libertarian Barack Obama when it comes to pot smoking, ala last year’s gay marriage reversal by the President.  Most Republicans will be duly horrified.  The big banks would be left looking at huge revenue loss over time.

Years away, the entire illegal drug money trade looks to eventually dry up permanently, big banks or not, the pirates of old put out of business by a reversal of tyrannical laws around the world.

It is only fitting the prohibition that began as a way to serve craven industrial interests will come to its end by toppling the largest gangland enterprise in history. 

There is only one more prohibition warrior to overcome to ensure eventual victory over the drug war.  And he is on the ropes.   Editor