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‘Get the Criminal Elements Out of the Sale of Marijuana’: The Week in Cannabis Quotes

September 8, 2017
'Get the Criminal Elements Out of the Sale of Marijuana': The Week in Cannabis Quotes(Alessandra Tarantino/AP)
Plenty is happening all over the world—from brutal hurricanes and earthquakes to savage wildfires—but the cannabis conversation continues with a mix of setbacks, czar appointments, and Speedos. Here’s a roundup of quotes from the past week.

“One treatment option I have advocated for years would be placing nondealer, nonviolent drug abusers in a secured hospital-type setting under the constant care of health professionals. Once the person agrees to plead guilty to possession, he or she will be placed in an intensive treatment program until experts determine that they should be released under intense supervision. If this is accomplished, then the charges are dropped against that person. The charges are only filed to have an incentive for that person to enter the hospital-slash-prison, if you want to call it.”

– Congressman Tom Marino (R-PA) in testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee May 18, 2016 (the quote is over a year old, but this week President Trump announced his appointment of Marino as director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, or “White House Drug Czar,” as it’s informally known)


Tom Marino Back in Running to Be Trump’s ‘Drug Czar’

“If we eliminate this right of the states to basically legalize the medical use of marijuana and put it in the hands of those people who I have just described…[will these people be] honest businessmen who are going to be held accountable and held with transparent type of operations? No. They will be replaced by whom? They will be replaced by drug dealers. They will be replaced by the Mexican drug cartel. That’s who’s being helped if we eliminate this provision that has been part of the appropriations bill for the Department of Justice for the last three years.

Why are we thinking about transferring those billions of dollars now in this industry directly into the pockets of the drug cartels? That’s what the vote is. The vote is not ‘Oh, we’re gonna stop anybody from using marijuana, because marijuana is bad.’ That’s not the vote. That’s not the result of the vote. The result of the vote will be billions of dollars immediately transferred into the pockets of the drug cartel. That’s what will happen.”

– Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) addressing the House to keep the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment alive. On September 6, the House Rules Committee rejected the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment.


House Committee Blocks Medical Marijuana Protections

“We will make it harder for young people to access marijuana than it is now because right now Canadian kids have easier access to marijuana than just about every developed country in the world, and secondly, we will get the criminal elements out of the sale of marijuana and the tremendous profits around that.”

– Prime Minister Justin Trudeau talking to the Global Okanagan about how the Canadian government is on track to legalize adult-use cannabis by summer 2018. 


5 Things Trudeau’s Cannabis Interview Made Clear

“Some days, I wish I did.”

– New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio during a Democratic mayoral debate against his opponent, Sal Albanese. De Blasio was talking about how he doesn’t smoke cannabis but did “once or twice” while attending NYU.


As New York Relaxes Cannabis Rules, Industry Wants In

“It was midnight. I was trying to get a cab hime from Grosvenor Square to Notting Hill Gate and I was standing on the corner, laughing maniacally. No cab would stop for me. I had to walk all the way home to Notting Hill.”

Michael Caine recalling the time Richard Harris gave him some cannabis that made him laugh so hard he almost “had a hernia”


Why Does Cannabis Make You Laugh?

“I use medicinal cannabis, which is really important for pain and healing. It’s a plant that has been maligned for so long, and has so many abilities to heal…I will do what I can to encourage it. It’s an important part of treatment, and it should be available. I use it for the pain and it’s also a medicinal thing to do – the research shows it’s really helpful.”

– Olivia Newton-John during an interview with News Corp, in which she shares how medical marijuana helped her while she battled breast cancer


Dealing With Breast Cancer: How Cannabis Can Help Patients Cope

“Lots of people honking their horns, waving at me. It’s been mostly positive.”

– Jeffrey Shaver of Kitchener, Ontario. Shaver has been protesting outside the Kitchener courthouse while wearing a Speedo and holding signs that read “Return My Bong” and “Return My Marijuana.” He is a legal medical marijuana patient who was arrested five months ago on possession charges, and he wants his confiscated bong and cannabis back.

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Rebecca Kelley

Rebecca is the Content Director at Leafly, where she oversees Leafly News production and other content projects.

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  • Paul

    Actually what we need to do is keep the big corporations away from Cannabis. They are the real criminals.

    • Von

      Actually the real criminals in regards to marijuana is the federal government. The DEA spends 30% of its budget on a non toxic, non leathal plant and they want to go back to spending well over 50% of their budget on that plant.

      They thru the twisted interpretation of the commerce clause, prevent simple scientific research from occurring when said research is seeking potential medical benefit. Btw, the commerce clause is 16 words in the constitution, that does not mention prohibit, nor does it mention regulation of commerce within a state’s borders.

      Prohibition without amendment to the constitution is overreach of power, it’s a violation of states rights, it’s a violation of personal choice. It’s criminal!

  • Stel-1776

    About half of the U.S. population has tried cannabis, at least 15% use it regularly, over 80% of high school seniors have reported cannabis “easy to get” for decades. Those who really want to use cannabis already are. Prohibition does little or nothing to prevent problematic use, and in many cases makes usage problematic, where it would not be otherwise. The main thing that cannabis prohibition successfully prohibits is effective regulation.

    A few issues created by prohibition: there are no quality controls to reduce contaminants (harmful pesticides, molds, fungus, other drugs), there is no practical way to prevent underage sales, billions in tax revenue are lost which can be used for all substance abuse treatment, underground markets for all drugs are empowered and expanded as a far more popular substance is placed within them, criminal records make pursuing many decent careers difficult, public mistrust and disrespect for our legal system, police, and government is increased, which can be devastating.

    Prohibition is also very expensive, though, a cash cow for a number of powerful groups such as those related to law enforcement and the prison industry. They have powerful lobbies and influence that perpetuate a failed drug policy through ignorance, fear, disinformation and misinformation. This ensures an endless supply of lucrative contracts and grants from the government, to support their salaries, tools of the trade, and other expenses. Cash, property and other assets from civil forfeiture laws also significantly fatten their coffers while often violating civil rights.

    Those who wish to live in a free society must accept that this means freedom for all people of that society, not only for certain groups and the activities they happen to enjoy. Obviously in some cases there are extreme circumstances that warrant intervention with criminal law. In the case of mind-altering drugs we have already set this precedent with alcohol. Cannabis is less harmful than alcohol to the consumer and especially to others. If we are to have justice, then the penalties for using, possessing and selling cannabis should be no worse than those of alcohol.

    Considering the many issues created by cannabis prohibition, coupled with little reduction in problematic use, its continued support is irrational and harmful. Please help bring end to this irrational, costly and unjust prohibition. The organizations listed below fight every day to bring us sensible cannabis policies. Help them fight by joining their mailing lists, signing their petitions and writing your legislators when they call for it:

    NORML – National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws
    DPA – Drug Policy Alliance
    MPP – The Marijuana Policy Project
    LEAP – Law Enforcement Action Partnership

  • James Tripp

    All they are doing is trading an illegal underground industry for a legal LP cartel so that only difference is who gets the money.

    The Canadian prime minister promised to use best practices and best science in the formation of our government’s cannabis policy but that is not what is happening.

    Our government is being misinformed by organizations that are pervaded by negative bias against all forms of cannabis use and as a result, our legislation we will be full of flaws based on gross misconceptions regarding how cannabis affects individual human physiology.

    Current legislation seems more fixated on the potential profits generated by the emerging recreational Cannabis industry rather than the many medical benefits that cannabinoid therapy could provide to a large segment of the Canadian population.

    Please research phytocannabinoids, the endocannabinoid system, and look up patent 6630507, just for starters, before making any assumptions about Cannabis Use and general health and DO NOT let unfounded fear and negative bias block access to the many medical benefits of Cannabinoid Therapy.

  • Brian Caszatt

    Tommy marino showing Pennsylvania is total redneck west of harrisburg… yikes that is one scary quote from a huge federal loving central government guy… he should be “whoopsied” off the earth…

  • lovingc

    Legalization is working even with only 8 states full legal the underaged use has dropped. Prohibition has all ways failed! It raised prices making it more profitable to deal in cannabis, legalization has caused the price to drop. Smuggling has slowed as well, prohibition has caused more tonnage to cross the border. This is total stupidity on the part of the Trump circus. Impeach this idiot now!

    • maxwood

      You might be overlooking a real reason why underage use has dropped… the ongrowth of sneak attack “drug” testing, an ultimate terror weapon increasingly available to school bureaucrats and disciplinarians. Flunk the test on the basis of a toke weeks ago and you could be suspended or dismissed “with a mark on your record”, ineligible for higher education/diplomas, reviled and/or disowned by your angry parents (“kicked out of the house”), unable to find a trusting employer or earn enough money the rest of your life for marriage and kids, etc. etc., “the punishment that keeps on giving”. High-tech “drug” testing makes a ton of “success” money for companies which donate to guess which candidates (mostly R., prohibitionist).

      • lovingc


  • Ghost of Reagan

    This is insane. If you decrimalize the use and possession of marijuana, regulate it, tax it, (just like you do wine, spirits and beer) then allow legal liquor stores and other retail establishments to sell it. The cartels will be 100% out of the distribution. Hell, let Walmart sell it. I can buy wine beer and vodka at many wall marts around the country. Take all the money for enforcement, the taxes etc, and put it towards healthcare, or military, or education.

    Have we all gone crazy?

  • Franklin

    Still just a prison industry mentality with some of these government mooches. There are no experts on drugs who would just take care of the problem. Common repeated ignorance. We don’t have any shortage of federal government low quality rehabs today. They are prisons and they do not work. if they worked then we would not be talking about it. Rehabs are education centers for drug addicts to learn how to better hide addiction while it is just moved to a pharmaceutical. Are there really people out there that don’t know this? They take a meth addict and turn them into a legal prescription meth addict.

    Drug treatment from social workers and prison profiteers has been heavily funded for 40 years. The mathematical result is no measurable improvement at all. Might as well send them on a cruise to Bermuda as it would be cheaper and just as ineffective.

  • Savior of the Golden Goddesses

    All these pigs pretended to care so much for medical patients that as soon as it went recreational they all doubled their prices… You can’t sell medicine like it’s a Rolling Stones ticket in Vegas because only the guy who has $500 gets to go to the show… I hope we get to vote again to cancel recreational weed in Vegas, medical users have to buy it on the streets now to get a fair price… My recommendation – If you come to Vegas bring your own weed. We need the black market in Vegas, without it people couldn’t afford their medicine.

  • Sy Katus

    My lawyer told me weed was legal in the ’80’s, when we spoke on a say hello call I made, since the law prohibiting the trade and use violated free fair enterprise laws
    Why does not the courts strike down prohibition of weed (or all so called street drugs, for example Cocaine was prescribed by Freud for all his patients according to DR Fritz Whittles in his book about Freud.) and forbid over regulation? Why was alcohol legalized by the congress not the courts? How can Marijuana be legal but one point off regulation is a crime. That was what they did with opium laws. (Establish monopolies). It was okay with the doc and prescription but off on the regulation, (some might have liked to smoke it and have anonymity of sorts) was not a simple ticket and low grade misdemeanor but a crime that some are doing life sentences for, (for marijuana too) Why is government doing that again. Think of the stress on the legal market too. One step out and goodbye to one happy future. Has this creature from the ID mentality actually debased the human element that they would plot to gain advantage in the world, by removing competition? In a South American nation plagued by overdoses they made heroin shots free from facilities to prevent overdoses and no one died, crime was reduced enforcement funds were saved treatment facilities for voluntary rehab was established from the savings. So what is causing crime and killing people? This is going on for what a hundred or more years. How many persons do you have to kill, how many peoples life prospects does one ruin. How much do they have to be responsible for to be stopped.
    I thought the definition of genocide was persecuting and killing persons who live their lives differently and meanwhile haven’t ‘infringed unjustly into others lives.
    What is wrong with the USA’s court system that this genocide has not been forbidden.
    Yes that is how bad some parts of our country is. But we always remember this country stands for fair free enterprise. It is what our nation is founded on, It is why nations of persons migrated here. It is what soldiers have died for to preserve.
    Some call it ‘freedom.’
    I call it ‘a fairly unimposing freedom for all in all things always.’
    Fair free enterprise.

  • Silverado

    What a contorted and disjointed semi-news piece reading this “who said what about cannabis” was. And the point to this pointless news is?? I’d say this is proof that for the most part is that some things are best left…unsaid. Especially the obviously cannabis challenged gov’t types, frauds all.

  • lovingc

    Congressman Tom Marino needs to be in one of his hospital prisons for life he is a danger to himself and all around him. He is obviously insane.