SHOCKER: Prison Food Makers Don’t Want Arizona to Legalize Pot
Rent-seeking, better known as the practice many companies embrace while trying to obtain benefits through the political machine, is, more often than not, the reason why our liberties are clipped, one by one, in the name of the greater good.
The war on drugs is the perfect example of this.
Ever since the idea of the drug war was first considered a valuable policy, politicians have used it as a way to bring their own enemies to heel. Much like major companies — whose profits suffer greatly whenever new competitors enter the market — these politicians often exploit their titles while claiming to hold an entirely different position in public.
With the war against marijuana, we have seen countless industries such as the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries step up their efforts to ensure the plant remains criminalized. As some begin to embrace the trend — even adding marijuana to their portfolio — others remain stubborn, fighting against the change and pushing Washington insiders to keep weed as a Schedule I substance.
Still, there’s one particular industry fighting marijuana legalization that, up until recently, had not made it to the news.
While the law enforcement and prison sectors have always been anti-drug legalization — with the exceptions of groups such as Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) — yet another prison-related company has been investing in keeping weed illegal in at least one state: The prison food industry.
According to official Arizona state reports, Services Group of America has donated $80,000 last month to a campaign committee that hopes to defeat the legal cannabis measure on this year’s November ballot.
SGA’s subsidiary, Food Services of America, is tasked with preparing meals for correction facilities. And, in the past, it has been accused of offering meals that fail to meet basic nutritional standards set by the government. They do not seem too keen on allowing prison demands for their food reach a new low.
Local news reports also add that other groups such as the state Chamber of Commerce in Arizona have also donated heavily to the anti-marijuana effort, addressing a $498,000 check to the campaign.
Before both groups offered their financial support, opioid maker Insys Therapeutics had gone further, donating $500,000 to the anti-pot campaign.
Other groups listed as major anti-weed donors include the Arizona Wine and Spirits Wholesale Association, and SAM Action, which is often described as the campaign arm of Smart Approaches to Marijuana.
Despite the heavy-handed efforts coming from these companies to defeat the marijuana legalization efforts, polls show voters are supporting the effort to legalize pot in the Grand Canyon state.
Will rent seekers win this time?