There is something to be said about the current state of the marijuana industry when the goddamned narcs start seeing dollar signs so significant that they actually come crawling out of the sewers with high hopes of profiting from the very stoner culture that they have been gnawing on the backs of for decades.
However, in this case, that might not necessarily be a bad thing.
Meet Patrick Moen, a former DEA agent that once made his way by running down cocaine cowboys and methamphetamine traffickers across the state of Oregon, but has since traded in the foul stench of his shithouse rat past to make one of the leading nemeses of the War on Drugs a safe and profitable enterprise -- marijuana.
Instead of battling it out against the thugs of the drug culture, Moen has adopted the “If you can’t beat them, join them” philosophy and now, sort of, works for the other side, as the managing director of compliance and senior counsel for a legitimate private equity firm called Privateer Holdings.
Moen’s position requires him to successfully determine the legal risk of the company’s investments in various cannabusinesses, while doing his best to run interference with federal prosecutors -- a job he admits greatly benefits from his previous position as a narcotics officer.
Nevertheless, why would a 10-year veteran as a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration supervisor all of a sudden make the decision to side with the enemy and take a job in the marijuana industry?
Well, according to a recent interview with the Huffington Post, Moen says that his decision to get into the business of weed had to do with his desire to create a thriving, legal marijuana commerce and ultimately, do what the DEA has labored to do for years -- eliminate the black market drug trade.
“Prohibition causes the black market, the black market creates opportunities for illicit money, and ideally we want that black market to go away,” he said. “In order to do that, we need to establish professional companies. If the industry side of this can't succeed, the black market won't go away.”
Moen says that in order to lay the groundwork for this level of success, it is absolutely imperative that the marijuana industry has access to banking options. “If you're forcing the business into a cash-only business, you're only creating the possibility for theft, robbery, et cetera.”
He adds that his company, Privateer Holdings, is focused on developing the marijuana industry in Washington State, and not that concerned with getting involved with the politics surrounding marijuana legalization in other areas. However, Moen admits that “they go hand in hand to some degree -- one can't exist without the other, policy and industry.”
Interestingly, Moen says that during his time working for the DEA, he was primarily focused on busting people for “so-called” hard drugs and didn’t really get his hands dirty in many marijuana cases. “It was never a priority for me personally, and I think that attitude is shared by my former colleagues,” he said.
“I guess you could say there's kind of a hierarchy within the DEA of which cases are sexy and exciting and those that aren't, and really that reflects I think the priorities that the agents feel in terms of which of these drugs are most harmful to society … cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.”
Mike Adams writes for Playboy's The Smoking Jacket, BroBible and Hustler Magazine. Follow him: @adamssoup; facebook.com/mikeadams73.