More Federal Shenanigans Mean Californians Lose Again

U.S. President Barack Obama accepted $200,000 in donations from the family of Mexican casino owner Juan Jose "Pepe" Rojas Cardona, who has ties to the Beltrán-Leyva drug cartel.U.S. President Barack Obama accepted $200,000 in donations from the family of Mexican casino owner Juan Jose “Pepe” Rojas Cardona, who has ties to the Beltrán-Leyva drug cartel.CANNABIS CULTURE – Last October, when the Obama Administration moved so fiercely against medical marijuana collectives in California, everyone wanted to know why.

It’s mostly been attributed to the usual election-cycle politics, where candidates try to appear strongly against drugs, mainly to pick up lucrative endorsements from police groups.

But the curious news hit Monday in a New York Times article that the Obama campaign had accepted $200,000 from two brothers of a Mexican casino owner connected with a drug cartel and an assassination.

Juan Jose Rojas “Pepe” Cardona, who fled the US after he was charged with fraud and marijuana smuggling, owns a large casino in Mexico with close ties to the Beltran-Leyva drug cartel, according to a 2009 diplomatic cable released on Wikileaks.

Cardona’s brothers, Carlos Cardona and Alberto Rojas, both of Chicago, began donating money to the Obama campaign last fall, which is when Obama’s henchmen came out swinging against medical marijuana in California. One wonders, were Obama-friendly Mexican suppliers threatened by competition from California home-grown suppliers? The Obama campaign has said it had no knowledge of the connection to Pepe Cardona, and it will return the money.

Meanwhile, Chris Roberts of San Francisco Weekly’s The Snitch column reports that Paul Chabot, a former Navy man, campus cop, and National Drug Control Policy staffer who fronts the Coalition for a Drug Free California, has encouraged his fellow citizens to become “IRS Pot Store Whistle-blowers,” in an e-mail sent out on Monday.

The IRS is suing collectives in California for millions in back taxes under the absurd 280E provision of the tax code, which disallows deductions such as rent and payroll for so-called illicit drug operations (as though true cartels pay any tax). Chabot’s email pointed out that whistleblowers are entitled to 30% of the booty, and he enjoined his readers to take early retirement by narcing out their neighbors. (Experts point out that records such as ledgers and receipt books would be required to earn such a windfall.)

Chabot’s group is part of the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), a federally funded organization with disturbing ties to military intelligence that’s had some interesting corporate partners, including Purdue Pharma, distributors of OxyContin.

CADCA was part of the law enforcement/government group that attempted to bury California’s medical marijuana law weeks after it passed in 1996, starting with a meeting uncovered by journalist Pat McCartney. Present at that meeting were then-drug “czar” General Barry McCaffrey and DEA chief Thomas Constantine, along with some 40 federal and state officials, plus CADCA founder Alvah Chapman.

One $50,000 private donor to CADCA is corporate partner Phamatech Inc., a San Diego-based company that manufactures the first FDA-approved home-screening drug test on the market, as well as providing laboratory testing for students and workers in California and beyond.

The At HomeTM drug test is “CLIA Wavered,” meaning it can skirt federal laboratory standards. On September 11, 2001 George W. Bush announced that the At Home test would be distributed by the Partnership for a Drug Free America under its Adolescence Substance Abuse Program (ASAP).

According to their website, in 2010 Phamatech signed contracts to drug test for the San Diego County Child Protective Services Department, the County of Santa Clara Department of Corrections, and the County of Fresno Health and Human Services, Probation and Parole Departments, as well as winning a multi-year contract with the California Department of Consumer Affairs to provide drug testing services to California State Health and Human Services, and Probation and Parole Departments. The California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) logo is on Phamatech’s homepage, and listed on the DCA Restricted Items List at the Phamatech site is Medicinal Marijuana.

Once more this year a bill that would have granted employment rights to medical marijuana users failed to win enough support to pass in the California legislature. Business-friendly Democrats caved in to pressure from the Chamber of Commerce and its affiliated groups, who love to know what’s in their employees’ urine so that they can fire them, and deny them health benefits and workers’ compensation, whenever they see fit.

CalNORML just took down all of the now-closed San Diego medical marijuana collectives from its website, meaning patients who need access won’t be able to find it there. Other parts of the state are looking similarly bleak.

Obama is coming to San Francisco on September 16, and a protest is being planned. Perhaps the signs should say “Obama: Support California Farmers” or “Taxpayers and Workers, Not the Cardona Cartel”.

Ellen Komp is Deputy Director of California NORML and a regular contributor to Cannabis Culture. She manages the website and blogs at Tokin Woman.



  1. David762 on

    I still cannot figure out whether you are delusional, an under-appreciated satirist, or an Obama sycophant.

    All I know is that Obama is a wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing, a Constitutional Scholar bent upon the destruction of the Constitution, a Reich-wing Authoritarian neocon sometimes posing as a populist democrat, a Nobel Peace Prize winning President on the verge of a thermonuclear WW-3, and an (ex?) cocaine & cannabis tooting radical of the Republican persuasion. Too bad that this joker didn’t get busted for the self-admitted drug crimes of his youth — then we wouldn’t have to listen to his utter bull-hockey.

  2. David762 on

    As per my prior response, Obama is a big part of the problem — not a part of the solution, to the ills that affect the USA and the world. How is voting for another Tweedle-dee / Tweedle-dum globalist politician vetted by TPTB going to solve anything, except for the demise of this constitutional republic? That’s what Obama is, another bought-and-paid-for globalist.

    Both Obama and Holder should be investigated, and then impeached and driven from office (into, preferably, prison).

    The solution to TPTB and globalism is voting Green Party at the local and state level, and writing-in Ron Paul at the national level. Dismantling the USA war machine, eliminating the Global War OF Terror (death from above), ending the War OF Drugs / War ON People, stripping the power from the bankster kleptocrats, and reforming the USA’s electoral process is beyond the scope or capability of anyone in the Obama regime, including Obama himself.

  3. David762 on

    If you truly believe that Obama is the USA’s only hope for a better society, you are suffering from cognitive dissonance. Obama is a neoliberal Reagan “Democrat” at best, if you bothered to read his ghostwritten autobiography. His legislative and executive records are worse than Reagan’s, worse than Clinton’s, and worse than GW Bush’s. The only time he puts on his populist face is when he is in campaign mode — at heart he is a Republican neocon. Each and every Obama major domestic and foreign policy agenda looks like GW Bush’s, except he’s “doubled down”. Today, the USA is on the verge of total economic collapse (bankster contrived), on the verge of WW-3 against a country (Iran) that is neither a threat to Israel or the USA, and a razor’s breadth from martial law and a police state.

    For your own good take off your rose-colored glasses, put down that tumbler, and step away from the pitcher of Kool-aid — it’s obviously been spiked with something vaguely new world order.

  4. andy on

    hey you remember Jackie Gleason as the sheriff, I love his “gonna git you sumbitch, scumbum” free Marc Emery.

  5. andy on

    funny thing about position and power is the ace card of perception. EX.,Something is said to bring about a concept/change and in a position of power you can formulate how the concept is perceived and bend it and mold it before you advertise it through the corporate nightly news that the exhausted,working,still right to vote-tow the line minded families semiunconsciously absorb, fearing not to bite the hand that feeds them,understandably. A government is the regulating tool for balance and it has been purchased. The only light-OBAMA-Pharoah

  6. andy on

    the generational billionaires own the corporations and throw scraps to the families who will tow the line(no questions only subservancy so their family name will succeed and thrive,narrow but understandable)sheltered life, same job,home,community,ideals,fears,programmed by the billionaires broadcasting companies on how to live,get up,back to work,home; and the millions of people left are snagged with some mechanism:plants,religeon,sex,race,character,appearance,will be snagged with something to phase them out-disqualified, the dissentors or the people with questions/the wise to the scam. I have met/seen many a human being that could do a variety of jobs and really want that sense of accomplishment,honor,dignity but get disqualified early in life by one of these stupid mechanisms-why such a waste. FACT:there has never been enough jobs and never will be, eugenics,prisons, this societal structure is a brainwashed,generational scam. It is sickening to know that 1% of people have so much, they must strive for ignorance, this is the crime and why the concept/tool of government was created for balance and what has happened, it has been purchased and the Pharoah Obama is trying for the first time to give it to the people for which it was created/written. Get money and unlimited terms out of government, we need wide ranging perspectives because that is what truth needs is reality in the equation. The corporations are/have been the government and with technology they can get way up your butt. If say Romney or Santorum get into office they will emphasize once again to clean their back yard, sweep the streets so their capitalist system appears picture perfect, see everybody is happy, we had to put a billion people in jail but that’s because they’re “bad”, criminals are the desperate poor a product of the social structure. Let the prisons out and their will be abundant crime why because the grade 1-12 is a neutral,inadequate education especially today and there is such a lack of opportunity, full blown capitalism is a moral crime, just look at the prison population and the college people in debt. Obama had to collaborate at the G-20 etc., to get some manufacturing back from NAFTA etc., this is what has happened, the economy and Mexican immigration is a result of corporate deals,3rd world low cost labor, no OSHA in Mexico for example-pollute the environment at no cost,the economic downfall was scripted. Wars are scripted: Gulf of Tonkin,Pearl Harbor,9-11, the generational rich have an almost unimaginable perspective and they sure want to keep everything the same, their contacts,money and positions. A Government by the people is the killer of the seven deadly sins that has and now runs America’s GOV..Obama is the only light for the general human race and the preservation of the planet,really. Also a shout out to Eric Holder, the Atty. General.

  7. Lab Rat on

    You have heard of Sativex by GW Pharmaceuticals, yes? Now find out that Bayer AG is a partner with them!

    Bayer, who are they?

    Now you know why this administration has been so admit about stopping medical cannabis. They are paving the way for the BIG guys, period!

  8. David762 on

    When questioned about decriminalizing or re-legalizing marijuana, Obama’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was quoted saying “There’s too much money in it (cannabis) for it to ever be made legal”.

    Wachovia Bank (now part of Wells Fargo) recently paid out $160 Million USD in fines for laundering $372.4 Billion USD of Mexican drug cartel money over a 5 year period. And these drug money laundering operations have been going on for decades, AFAIK. President Reagan removed a severe border inspection program begun in response to a DEA agent’s kidnapping & murder in Mexico after strenuous complaints from Wall Street Banksters threatened with Mexican government debt “non-payment”. Then there was the Iran-Contra debacle. And of course, various 3 letter alphabet government agencies have been directly involved in the illicit narcotics trade for many decades, like Operation Air America in Laos right up to US Marines guarding Afghani poppy fields from marauding Taliban insurgents. The “War OF Drugs” is for the control of the illicit drug trade & it’s profits, not it’s elimination.

    Two of the most powerful unions / law enforcement organizations in California hold influence far beyond their numbers with California’s Governor Brown, who vetoed a California hemp (not cannabis) legalization effort at their insistence, after they claimed “not to be able to tell the difference” between hemp and cannabis. (WTF?)

    After less than 10 years, the alcohol Prohibition created rampant corruption within police departments, judges, district attorneys, and politicians all the way up to the Federal Executive branch. How can the American people expect anything less from nearly 80 years of cannabis Prohibition?

  9. Anonymous on

    SPACE TIME GOD MARK – More Federal Shenanigans Mean Californians Lose Again

    Friday, February 10, 2012 12:26 AM

    To: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]
    Date: Friday, February 10, 2012, 12:00 AM

    Subject: SPACE TIME GOD MARK – $93,300,000,000,000.00 – THANKS MR. RATIGAN




  10. Mrs. RatsRectum on

    This is great reporting! Corporate cronyism using government contracts to make and keep such companies rich. Profit over people. Noam Chomsky wrote a book on it. If only a whole laundry list of such donations from dubious profiteers of the war on cannabis could be drummed in people’s heads. A major expose!

  11. VIPelle on

    I noticed at the time of the attack on mmj last fall that it took national attention away from the Fast and Furious scandal.

  12. andy on

    so many people disqualified to live on this owned planet, can’t contribute in any way or be productive if you enjoy in your own time(which doesn’t exist) a plant natural to this world, just hide and try and live as long as possible, the hunted, criminals run this world with their guns and that’s it processing your ass for profit and behind closed doors shielded by their generational money and position snorting coke and pissing on hookers(women who can’t get a job)-congressional aides-JFK-the norm. Everything giftwrapped on the T.V., all the same reporters, congressman-generational all this works for the network owner, redundancy-ground hog day, setting the scene for how the world should be-what’s acceptable, everyone made to be a proffessional liar and profitier, we don’t war for this “country” we have warred for wealth and markets under the guise of ideology-nothing about right and wrong it seems. Feel real bad for every new child because they will meet the same day of enlightenment and ultimately be put under the thumb for security, that’s when they’ll either tow the line or phase out, that’s why buisnesses hire the young-they’re ignorant, not wise to the scam, in debt, they’ll work their ass off. The system is wholly inadequate but we take up the dissentors with mechanisms/penalties-sex,drugs,any hint of radicalism, after Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s prosecution for the anticipation of a crime now it’s precedent for any anticipatory phone tapped muse type conversation to be prosecuted,no more jovial talk. Blagojevich was a tool for the government to set precedent for anticipatory prosecution, now if you even mention you go to prison and lose your standing in society and all you’ve worked for maybe with just one word and the perception of a person that holds position to take your life-prison or otherwise, that easy. Blagojevich is HUGE, prosecution for the anticipation of crime, fill them prisons cause there damn sure ain’t enough jobs, never has been, never will, yes oh poor, pure child. Obama is the only light I see, he’s knocking on the hidden doors, starting the engine I believe of a true government as it is written for the first time in time. Money in a government influencing decisions is simply corruption, that is truth, just one of many. I got the money and guns-means my world-means you do what I say-make me rich, shore up my generational position, build the pyramid boy. Same for thousands of years, just different words, possessions-clothes,cars,hair tinting,phones, no change from fuedalism, I would love to collaborate with my disrespectful,critical,accusatory,smearing fellow man but I hold a penalty so I must hide along with my sometimes good ideas while my fellow ignorant man hunts me and tows the line for his own acceptance and profit for his “family name”, another mechanism. If I had no care for any human being,no understanding, only cared for my own profit, I would definitely hunt, and tell my 20 kids under the family name to hunt for MARIJUANA AND OTHER PLANTS, it would ensure position,acceptance and profit in this world as it is now besieged

  13. Paul Pot on

    ‘But the curious news hit Monday in a New York Times article that the Obama campaign had accepted $200,000 from two brothers of a Mexican casino owner connected with a drug cartel and an assassination.’

    Add this to the ‘Fast and furious’ saga and you could think that Obama and Eric Holder really work for the cartels.