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Wednesday, March 06, 2019

The Narcosocialist Republic of California

In California, history, like everything else, repeats itself as farce.

Governor Gavin Newsom came into office announcing that he was canceling high-speed rail to nowhere, doubling down on high-speed rail to nowhere, and pulling the National Guard from, what he called, Trump's "manufactured crisis" at the border to deal with the greatest threat to California.

Pot.

The green crosses of marijuana dispensaries in Southern California easily outnumber the white crosses of churches or the red crosses of hospitals. Every other billboard in Los Angeles is either for a marijuana store, a marijuana app or a marijuana cookie. Wealthy shoppers in pricey areas browse through MedMen, a drug dispensary whose bare wood and glass are designed to make buying drugs feel like shopping for the iPhone X at the Apple Store. (The prices for MedMen’s drugs and the iPhone X might be comparable, but the Apple Store doesn’t have four burly security guards or an ATM at the counter.)

Lazy potheads with smartphones don’t have to bother making the trek out to a licensed drug dealer. Eaze is the app that wants to be the Uber and Eat24 of drugs. Its slogan is simple. "Eaze: Marijuana Delivered." The $52 million company operates in 100 cities giving Californians the ability to get their drugs without even having to get up off the couch for more than a few minutes at a time.

But, Governor Newsom, in his State of the State address, praised illegal aliens, declared that “the border ‘emergency’ is a manufactured crisis and California will not be part of this political theater”, but that the National Guard would “refocus on the real threats facing our state”, like, “illegal cannabis farms”.

Forget the illegal aliens, it was time to go fight illegal pot.

Could the most dazed place in America have suddenly harshed its mellow? Did the University of Montreal study showing permanent damage to teenage brains from marijuana use, the University of Pennsylvania study showing lower test scores for drug users, or the Lancet study showing lower graduation rates and higher suicide rates have miraculously burst through the progressive drug haze?

Nah.

California’s new drug problem is a familiar one to drug cartels across the world. Its own drug cartel, the Bureau of Cannabis Control, isn’t getting a big enough piece of the action. Most of California’s potheads prefer getting their pot the old-fashioned way, without MedMen’s Apple Store ambiance or Eaze’s apps.

80% of California’s pot is ‘illegal’. 4 out of 5 California potheads choose unlicensed drug dealers.

Think of them as discount cannabis shoppers. They’re not in it for the Silicon Valley shtick or the culture. They just want to get high as cheaply as possible. And they don’t want to pay high taxes on their pot.

Governor Newsom’s crackdown on ‘illegal’ pot operations is no different than when El Chapo’s thugs burst in on a drug operation that wasn’t “licensed” by the Bureau of Machetes. Drug legalization has turned California’s law enforcement and its National Guard into the enforcers for El Newsom.

California’s cartel boss is pulling the National Guard off stopping illegal aliens (who can find work in the new legal weed agriculture sector) to cracking down on drug growers who aren’t paying protection money to El Jefe to finance the fantasy of a high-speed rail to dreamland.

Not to mention universal health care for people “unwilling to work” because they won’t leave the couch.

Eisenhower federalized the Arkansas National Guard to enforce desegregation. When a state abuses its National Guard, pulling it off national security duty to protect the flow of drug money to the narcosocialist cartel running California into the ground, the way its fellow narcosocialist cartel ran Venezuela into the ground, Trump has excellent grounds for federalizing the California National Guard.

If President Trump invokes U.S. Code Title 10, instead of Title 32, he can take control of National Guard troops directly, instead of relying on the patriotism of Dem governors who see every illegal alien as another vote. And that will prevent Newsom and other Dems from undermining national security.

President Trump has failed to federalize the National Guard until now. But the withdrawal of Guard units by Democrat governors gives him every reason to do so. And Governor Newsom withdrawing the National Guard personnel to act as enforcers for California’s federally illegal drug industry adds insult to injury. The National Guard shouldn’t be abused to protect California’s “licensed” drug dealers.

But that’s what California’s second drug war is all about.

The first drug war was fought because drug use had devastating social effects. It destroyed minds, spread crime and generated misery. The second drug war is being fought by politicians who think that drugs are great, but want to protect the flow of drug money to their narcosocialist regime.

The big pitch for decriminalization was that law enforcement would no longer have to focus on busting dime bag dealers. Prisons would empty now that the hoi polloi would get its drugs from MedMen instead of the dealer on the corner. Gangs would see their revenues disappear. The cartels would break up. Crime would drop. And the Age of Aquarius would finally be upon us.

Nope.

Governor Newsom has declared a second drug war because the majority of drug sales are still black market. In an age where you can swipe right to get pot, government pot is still too expensive. New York’s OTB gambling monopoly went bankrupt and an apocryphal story has the IRS losing money on a Nevada brothel. California is proving that the government can fail at drugs along with sex and gambling.

Compliance costs at the growing level alone were estimated to add $408 in costs per pound.

The Cannabis Advisory Committee's 22-member panel (the government can’t even try to cash in on drugs without a committee consisting of, among others, a fisheries attorney, four union reps for drug workers, and an NAACP president) warned that “Lack of enforcement is creating a thriving environment for the unregulated ‘underground market,’”

Now that we’ve legalized drugs, let’s start cracking down on drugs.

Let’s send out the National Guard to go after anyone who’s growing drugs without using union labor from any of the four unions represented on California’s 22-member cartel committee.

“We believe that this governor is committed to addressing our concerns, and he has a Legislature that is showing their willingness to author bills that will strengthen the regulated market while minimizing the illicit market,” declared the spokesman for the California Cannabis Industry Association.

We used to fight drugs because they were an evil. Now we’re fighting drugs and putting people in prison to protect the financial interests of the California Cannabis Industry Association.

California’s illegal pot market racked up $3.7 billion. That’s money that the narcosocialist regime in Sacramento isn’t getting its manicured hands on.

Here are some scenes from California’s second drug war.

State and city drug enforcement units are busy cracking down on unlicensed drug dealers who don’t want to pay high taxes in Los Angeles. The National Guard has been dispatched to fight unlicensed growers whose workers aren’t paying union dues. Weedmaps, an online app, was ordered to stop listing unlicensed drug dispensaries by the Bureau of Cannabis Control. Weedmaps replied that it isn’t licensed by the BCC, but that the Communications Decency Act, a Federal law meant to fight pornography, allows it to continue listing whatever drug sites it wants to without asking Sacramento’s cartel for permission.

California would have to ask the Federal government to enforce the state’s drug cartel jurisdiction laws against Weedmaps, all of which are completely illegal under the Federal laws that California is defying. But Weedmaps did the smart thing, it hired a lobbying firm run by Governor Newsom’s policy director. Now the lobbies have to fight the drug union bosses over how to best extract drug protection money.

El Chapo had an easier time getting businesses to pay protection money because he didn’t use as many lawyers. Sadly, Chapo doesn’t have a seat on the 22-member cartel committee even though he’s more qualified than all of its members put together, and could straighten out the business in a month.

Governor Newsom wants the Federal government to pay for his drug dealer protection racket. Even as he was pulling troops from the border, he had the chutzpah to send a letter to Trump’s Deputy Secretary of Defense demanding more funding for the “Counterdrug Task Force”, claiming that helping California crack down on “illicit drugs” would address the “root cause” of illegal immigration.

What was he smoking?

Governor Newsom boasts that the California National Guard has seized 71,488 pounds of marijuana. But why should taxpayers pour tens of millions into having the Guard seize pot when it's being sold legally in stores and through apps?

Why are Wisconsin or Idaho taxpayers on the hook for enforcing California’s drug cartel revenues?

Drug legalization has created a small upscale market for California’s wealthy drug users while leaving the rest of the pot marketplace in the hands of the same drug dealers who offer a cheaper product without any of the licensing and regulatory hassles of the booming government cartel. A second drug war is being fought between the government drug cartel, Mexican cartels and unlicensed growers and dealers.

History suggests that the dealers and cartels will win because the government has dismantled all the social deterrents to drug use, boosting public demand and delegitimizing the idea of a war on drugs.

Legalization proponents insisted that wars on drugs don’t work. Then why fight one now?

The Godfather considered drugs a “dirty business”. Don Zaluchi countered that the huge profits from drug dealing were irresistible. “I want to keep it respectable,” he insisted in the classic movie. “I don't want it near schools. I don't want it sold to children!”

California wants to keep it respectable, but that’s impossible. All that’s left is greed and violence.

The second drug war is being fought between the government cartel and unlicensed dealers for control of the market. And it’s being fought by diverting the National Guard from the border for drug profits.

President Trump should take away the National Guard from Sacramento’s narcosocialists. Our soldiers deserve better than acting as enforcers for a government drug cartel instead of protecting America.



Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine at the above link.

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Thank you for reading.

16 comments:

Beans said...

Soooo.... when is some smart-brain in the Cali Cartel going to figure out they could sell all of that seized pot for profit to the state? Just like they sell seized cars, or tvs or anything except guns...

Ray Mota said...

Excellent post.

Roy Lofquist said...

No big surprise. Because of taxes 80% of cigarettes in New York are black market.

Ned2 said...

The government has always been the biggest crime syndicate.

Unknown said...

Nailed it.
I've always found it fascinating that the states that have the most regulations on everything from business licenses to room additions have the least on citizenship.
Why can't I call building a house with out a permit an undocumented dwelling and ask for sanctuary?

Takeda Shingen said...

Pot Head Nation, who'da thought?

Kevin said...

Very good commentary. The same crowd who cashed in on the drug war when it peaked in the eighties, seizing property through civil forfeiture before conviction, are cashing in on the faux "legalization" or cartelization of the pot industry. The fake economy we are now experiencing, does not provide them with enough tax money. So now they turn, in desperation, to pot to bail them out.

paul scott said...

An utterly first rate article and compulsive reading.

Anonymous said...

The Gabbing Nuisance forgets his history and politics. Someone needs to remind him of a phenomenon called the Laffer Curve. What is the root of this issue is perfeclty explained by that.

But to history.... maybe the Nuisance was too joung to remember, but I'm not. Back in the early 1970's Caifornia was home to the most persistent marijuana industry anywhere. They tried and tried, state, county, feds... never could come close to stamping it out. People would simply walk out into public land, scatter ahandful of weed seeds, disapper, come back in a few weeks on a hike" and note whether anything was growing. Anyone "official" came across it, no idea whom to bust. Over in the Hoopa Nation, hundreds of skillful Indians grew some of the best stuff on the planet, out on the Rez where it was "everyone's land" and no one person could be held to account. Others would head out into the large national forest lands, find an old cedar stump (the old huge ones with springboard notches sill evident, back when misery whips were what brought thos monstars down. Many of those stumps were fifteen feet diameter twenty feet up from the duff. The heartwood will have nicely composted, a huge fertile sponge, drop a handful of seeds in there, continue your "hike", come back in two or three months. harvest and lay out to dry for a few days. Deer can't access it, nosey USDF dweebs never thought to look up, I knew guys that lived on that income alone, and that was when a pound would fetch a dead Benjamin, and a "dime bag" had a standard price of one Hamilton. Lots of folks rented old pre-qar housing for next to nothing, and grew a few stems in the backyard. No one noticed or cared. About the only time anyone got busted was when the sheriff "contacted" someone driving with expired tags, or a bad tail-lamp. If the poor sap was nervous, or seemed a bit 'out of it", searching would duscover the poorly hidden baggie. Then it was off to the hoosegow, but the weed never slowed down.

Makes me wonder if The Nuisance is paying the tax on the weed HE"S smoking......

Anonymous said...

Figure out how to let us comment by username and email. Google is not friendly, it won't take the email host for name/url.

Thanks

Leah said...

Wow, it's like one can feel the oozing and dripping of California right into the ocean.....down...down...down she goes....sinking lower and lower....

Anonymous said...

https://www.nps.gov/samo/learn/news/marijuana-grow-site-found-in-santa-monica-mountains.htm 2011 description includes environmental disturbance.
--malca

Empress Trudy said...

The problem with sin taxes is that they have to be high enough to be worth it, high enough to make the claim that social engineering is a social good, but not so high that they're actually effective enough to suppress the activity they're trying to regulate. It's true more or less for any tax on a voluntary purchase or activity. This is what happens in Europe where gas might cost roughly USD$9 a gallon. The intent is to make people not drive while at the same time capture massive taxes from the people who can't abandon their cars and trucks. Eventually they reach a tipping point and Yellow Vests boil into the streets every Saturday.

But one thing that California is missing out on is the energy costs of pot farming. Because pot is profitable enough to be produced indoors, grow operations use lighting around the clock 24hrs a day. The energy costs are huge. So large in fact that the DEA can use drones to pick out the heat signatures of pot operations. California should be charging massive taxes and tariffs on grow operations until their electricity comes from renewable sources. That's kind of the point of California, no? I addition, the retail taxes should be scaled along the same basis that alcohol is taxed - according to the quantity of the active ingredient. The stronger the weed the higher the tax. That's how sin taxes work. That's how gas guzzler taxes work. That's how progressive views of income taxes work. The more you can afford the higher your rate of taxation.

Anonymous said...

In fact, it's the material that makes them strong.

Anonymous said...

If you can afford to get out of mexafornia and fine a better place to live, DO IT NOW!!!!!
It is NOT going to get any better over the next 20 years in mexafornia.
Heltau

Anonymous said...

The differences between them are significant.

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