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

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)

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“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.

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“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. 

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“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.

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“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”

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“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

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“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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