A report, Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elite, authored by Peter Schweizer, president of the Government Accountability Institute (GAI), claims to expose how American politicians are using marijuana legislation to enrich themselves.
In an interview on Sean Hannity’s radio show, Schweizer warns politicians are using their powers over the regulatory apparatus to secure money from businesses that wish to enter the market. The state will only give out a limited number of marijuana sales licenses. People who get to pick who gets the licenses are the state’s governors and other officials from the cabinet.
“By virtue of the fact that they get to pick who gets the licenses, it’s not just the state governments who are going to make money, it’s actually the politicians themselves… The people who are making the money are the politicians, the politicians’ family members, [and] lobbyists connected to the politicians. They’re all getting rich through this legalized scheme… It’s not really about personal freedom. It’s not about medical marijuana. It’s about politicians finding yet another pocket in which they can enrich themselves,” Schweizer says in the interview.
Eric Eggers, a member of the GAI, reveals the names of three people within political circles who stand to gain massively from legalizing Marijuana:
- Republican John Boehner might net as much as $20 million from the marijuana industry. He is a board member of a marijuana investment company called Acreage Holdings, involved in the cultivation, processing, and sales of the drug.
- New York Governor Democrat Andrew Cuomo was firmly against marijuana legalization in 2017. But by 2019, he was a huge supporter of legalizing it due to close ties with marijuana lobbyists. Cuomo reportedly received more than a million dollars.
- The son of House Speaker Democrat Nancy Pelosi, Paul Pelosi Jr., is chairman of the Board of Directors at consulting firm Freedom Leaf Inc. that advocates for the marijuana industry. When the company entered the business of distributing CBD (a chemical compound in marijuana), Paul bought over $100,000 in shares.
The marijuana industry is being used as a channel to funnel money from foreign nations
There’s an investigation by the FBI whether the marijuana industry is being used as a channel to funnel money from foreign nations, especially Russia. Eggers believes that the government and the marijuana industry’s strong ties were responsible for marijuana products classified as ‘essential’ during coronavirus lockdown measures.
Cuomo justifies legalizing marijuana by calling it an opportunity to increase state revenues as well as end the failed prohibition of the product. In November, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy argued that legalizing marijuana will reduce minor drug crimes.
Black people are more likely to be arrested on marijuana charges than white people
Politicians from the state could also include a social equity tax for recreational marijuana. The Legislative Black Caucus is lobbying the tax. It argues that the prohibition of marijuana has hit black communities the hardest since black people are more likely to be arrested on marijuana charges than white people.
“I’m highly confident that today we will achieve a great milestone, and it is overwhelmingly a step toward, at long last, social justice… When I came into office, the widest white/non-white gap of persons incarcerated in America and the overwhelming reason was low-end drug crimes. And please, God, we will finally wrestle this to the ground,” Murphy told the radio station.