During last year's Prop 19 fight in California, we noted the strange phenomenon of "Stoners Against Legalization"—tokers who opposed the legalization measure, sometimes spouting bizarre conspiracy theories that the ballot initiative was all a plot by Monsanto and other big corporations to corner the cannabis market and squeeze out independent growers with bio-engineered patented varieties. We noted that even if Prop 19 passed, "cannabis will remain illegal at the federal level, allowing Monsanto to be shut down if they dabble in the Evil Weed." But now it emerges that—surprise, surprise!—the feds have actually been giving multi-national corporations the legal right to grow cannabis that us commoners are denied.
David Downs of the East Bay Express' Legalization Nation blog—the very same guy who coined the phrase "Stoners Against Legalization" to diss the paranoid Prop 19 opponents—wrote the following on May 25:
Meet Your New Pot Dealer: Big Pharma
Despite the US government's staunch opposition to medical cannabis farms in Oakland and elsewhere, the feds have begun licensing a whole lot of large legal pot grows throughout the country. But this weed is not for cannabis dispensaries and their patients; it's for Big Pharma.
The Drug Enforcement Administration told Legalization Nation in an e-mail last week that 55 unnamed companies now hold licenses to grow cannabis in the United States, a fact that contradicts the widespread belief that there is only one legal pot farm in America, operated under the DEA for research purposes. It appears as if the upswing in federally approved pot farming is about feeding the need of pharmaceutical companies who want to produce a generic version of THC pill Marinol and at least one other cannabis-based pill for a wide variety of new uses.
In other words, if big corporations grow dope with the government and put it in a pill, it's medicine. But if you grow it at home or at a city-permitted pot farm and then put it in a vaporizer, it's a felony.
Now, we aren't saying this means the conspiracy theorists aren't paranoid. But the fear they were playing on—corporate control of cannabis—is starting to look more legitimate...
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