(BY ROGER STONE) The fate of legalized medicinal marijuana in the United States was in a precarious place last week. Even though every appropriation passed by the House in Congress since 2014 included an amendment that explicitly denied the Department of Justice funding for a crackdown on marijuana in the states where it has been legalized. This amendment has broad bipartisan support in both houses of Congress, essentially a coalition of Liberal Democrats and Libertarians in freedom Caucus minded Republicans.
Suddenly after intense lobbying by Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions, the House rules committee said they would not allow the amendment to be attached to the current appropriations. Recall that Sessions had actually formally written a letter to Congress asking them to vacate the previously passed amendment by not attaching the rider.
Fortunately, with the support of President Trump and Senator Schumer, the amendment was attached to the emergency appropriation for Hurricane Harvey. I was in Washington, embedded on Capitol Hill, making calls and meeting with pro marijuana confederates. This has the effect of protecting millions of Americans legal access to cannabis for medicinal purposes at least until December.
Sessions’ aggressiveness and his obvious plan to reignite the field war on drugs which has already cost taxpayers billions, destroyed families and lives and had no impact whatsoever on the level of illegal drug activity in the United States. It is clear this is in direct contradiction to the position of candidate and President Donald J Trump who very clearly said he supported state’s rights when it came to the question of legalizing marijuana particularly for medicinal purposes.
Recently I launched a bipartisan effort – the United States Cannabis Coalition -to persuade President Donald Trump to honor this pledge made during the presidential campaign to respect the states’ rights to legalize marijuana. We want the President to order Attorney General Jeff Sessions to continue to honor the ‘Holder Memo” which ordered the feds to stand down on enforcement in the States where cannabis has been legalized under President Obama.
I am not a newcomer to this cause. I have written, spoken, marched and rallied for drug law reform for 20 years. I spoke at a “Countdown to Justice” rally along with Russell Simmons and Rev. Al Sharpton demanding reform of New York’s draconian Rockefeller drug laws, among the most racist in the nation. I actively wrote and spoke for reforms to the New York law in 2006 and 2008. I am also a witness in a new lawsuit filed against the Federal government to overturn the feds classification of cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug.
Partnering with me in this important endeavor is Orlando trial attorney and major Clinton donor and fundraiser John Morgan, Fox News analyst Andrew Napolitano, Congressman Matt Gaetz and HBO’s Bill Maher among others.
I spoke to the Cannabis Business Expo in New York City in June, and the bipartisan approach I outlined including an effort to take Cannabis off the Schedule 1 drug classification so doctors can prescribe it to people who might benefit, was well received. I was scheduled to speak before the LA- based Cannabis Business Expo on Sept 14.
Shortly thereafter, a small group of dissidents announced a boycott and began pressuring the Expo organizers to cancel my scheduled speech. The basis of their objection are things I have tweeted that they deemed to be racist- but it is vital to know that everything they cite is based on documentation from Media Matters for America. My twitter feed is lively and not for the faint of heart. I comment on many matters. This bogus claim I am a racist, anti-Semite or misogynist is based on old tweets that are either taken out of context, twisted or in some cases simply fabricated. I most certainly never referred to myself as a ‘N*gga with a Nixon Tattoo.”
Even though this attack on me was both orchestrated and based on a false narrative of who I am in what my motives are I was deeply disappointed in the organizers of the expo who canceled my speech, stampeded by a small but well-organized group of loudmouths more interested in scoring political points than in the future of continued legal access to cannabis.
Taking credit for abridging my First Amendment rights is something called The Minority Cannabis Business Association headed by a woman who calls herself “Mo Money” or something. In her Facebook posts Ms. Money betrays her stunning ignorance.
They objected to my speaking due to my “deplorable racist, misogynistic and anti- Semitic rhetoric while many of the alleged quotes that offend them are simply fabricated things I never said. I did actually issue a public apology to Herman Cain, Ben Carson, Alan West and Roland Martin for using the word “negro” in an attempt to be sarcastic. Criticism of individual women does not make one a misogynist nor does criticism of an individual Jewish person make you an anti-Semite. This is simply recycled David Brock Bull shit.
Ironically Ms. Money says she conferred with the Rev. Al Sharpton who is being paid $25,000 to speak at the same World Cannabis Business Expo in Los Angeles while I was speaking pro bono. Perhaps Ms. Monty is unaware of long-standing charges of anti-Semitism against Rev. Sharpton based on things he has said that could be construed as viciously anti-Semitic. Rev. Sharpton has apologized and atoned for many of these utterances and I for one have a forgiven him. Others say that he should be prevented from speaking at the Los Angeles Expo. Does Ms. Money see the hypocrisy of her attack on me while turning a blind eye to Sharpton’s rhetorical excesses?
The Minority Cannabis Business Association said that I “should be prevented from speaking because of my uplifting of some of the worst drug warriors in our country to prominence and Presidency, such as Nixon, Reagan and Trump. Is she kidding? When it comes to the failed, expensive and racist war on drugs, both political parties are complicit and there’s plenty of blame to go around.
Just in terms of raw numbers of those prosecuted under our archaic Federal drug laws, Obama and Clinton make Reagan and Nixon look like pikers. Let’s not forget that it was Bill and Hillary Clinton who brought us the 1994 crime bill, among the most racist tools of the war on drugs. A close examination of Vice President Joe Biden’s record will show that he is perhaps the greatest drug warrior of all time. Hillary’s vice-presidential candidate, Tim Kaine is also a total prohibitionist. Like I say, there’s plenty of blame to go around when it comes to the nation’s current drug law fiasco.
Ms. Money of the Minority Cannabis association actually said Morgan’s Amendment 2 “was one of the most restrictive cannabis legalization laws for small business growth and minority entrepreneurship in the country.”
Does Ms. Money not realize is that while Morgan successfully passed a Constitutional amendment that mandated the legalization of marijuana he is not responsible for the legislation which the legislature must pass to enact the will of people. Ms. Money accused me of lobbying for this law when all I did was vote for it like millions of other Floridians. Clearly Ms. Money and her no doubt massive association have no idea what they are talking about.
In fact, Morgan is in court right now trying to overturn a portion of the law which actually says the patient using marijuana legally may not smoke it. John Morgan is a hero who will make not a penny from the legalized marijuana business. He is willing to reach across the aisle and work with anyone who agrees with him on the issue of legal public access to marijuana.
I will not be silenced by a small group of people who have accomplished nothing in the current struggle to preserve the states’ rights to legalize marijuana. I have the ear of the President. Do they?
For those who are looking forward to my speech in Los Angeles on September 14, fear not. I will be speaking at noon at the Alchemy Lounge at 603 W. Pico Blvd, only steps from the Cannabis World Business Exposition in Los Angeles. See you there.