From the growers to the dispensers, the investors to the politicians, and the green in your bong to the green in their pockets, we're interpreting the detailed happenings in the budding wide world of business.
The story of Larry Harvey and his family is a troubling one. The family was growing 74 medical marijuana plants for their personal use at the Harveys' rural home near Kettle Falls, Washington -- completely legal by Washington's state laws. Yet, as the Huffington Post recounts, "The home was raided by state authorities on Aug. 9, 2012, according to court documents. State law enforcers found 74 plants growing near the home. Under the presumption that the family was growing this cannabis as a collective, rather than individually, officers seized 29 cannabis plants so that the family would be compliant with state law, which limits collective crops to no more than 45 plants. State authorities did not press charges or seize anything else."
Yet, a week later, federal authorities conducted a raid of their own, seizing all of the remaining ganja plants, as well as about 5 lbs. of raw cannabis and some marijuana-infused edibles from the freezer. They also took a 2007 sedan, several hundred dollars, and some personal belongings. The feds' smoking gun, as it were? A few firearms registered to the Harveys. This, they say, proves that the family was really a cover for a sinister drug trafficking ring. Say, if you lived in the wilderness of Washington where your family had encountered black bears, coyotes, and other wild animals, wouldn't you get yourself a gun?
Their lawyer is arguing that "the evidence seized is consistent with the type of strict medical dosage that occurs with a doctor's supervision." Yet the prosecutor's coup de grâce was a motion that "any evidence of medical purposes as well as the defendants' belief that they were lawfully engaged in marijuana cultivation" be inadmissible at trial. That could very well prove to be the death blow for these medical marijuana patients unfortunately.
Forbes is bringing attention to the most ironic part of it all: "Sean Green grows marijuana at 1919 East Francis Avenue in Spokane, about six miles from the courthouse where the federal government plans to try Larry Harvey." Or in more simple terms, the federal government is prosecuting medical marijuana patients while tolerating the cash-booming business of recreational marijuana. Forbes continues, "Green’s operation is a lot bigger than Harvey’s: up to 21,000 square feet of plant canopy, compared to the 45 plants that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) found on Harvey’s property." For one, a green future, and for the other, only orange and black if the feds have their way.
What do we have to do to get the federal government to accept that medical marijuana has true medicinal value and can help the lives of so many patients? Pay off the pharmaceutical companies? Grease the pockets of politicians? Come on now!
In a market where we're fighting to legalize marijuana, it is becoming more and more detrimental as people (mostly teens) are finding new ways to get high with synthetic drugs that -- while not technically illegal -- are extremely dangerous and have proven to be deadly in some cases. Yet in the latest report from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (released May 20, 2014): "By 2013, 348 new psychoactive substances had been reported to the agency, almost all of them since 2008 (see chart). They include 110 synthetic cannabinoids (which are supposed to mimic the effects of smoking marijuana) and many more little-understood stimulants."
Even more disconcerting, as the Economist notes, is the fact that in regularly taken surveys in both the U.S. and the U.K. it seems that while most drug users prefer the real deal, if they can't get it, they will resort to other substances even if they don't know exactly what is inside of that substance. If that is not a convincing reason to legalize the harmless cannabis plant, I don't knwo what is.