American Money

October 27, 2011

Political Theory

The american dollar is not only dwindling in value, but it is also bestowing a great deal of harm upon the citizens of our state.  This idea of barter was one of brilliance when first established, however I am constantly witnessing one’s private interest override the interest of the public.   Money is an example of private interest getting in the way of families, friends, education, broadcasting and the government.
American Cash

The influence that one’s private interest has on our world is outrageous.  There is one issue in particular that I would like to bring to the table and that is the influence that money has on the acts taken by our government officials.  One would think that money should not influence an officer to act on a case, but unfortunately sometimes it does. 

On wednesday January 12, 2011, officers of the law rushed the nonprofit Big Daddy’s Compassion Club, a medical marihuana distributer.  I know the name is silly but stick with me here. reported that the officers were wearing bulletproof vests and gas masks while they swarmed the scene.  Since nobody working at the club was breaking the law, the officers did not make any arrests.  However, they did make it away with roughly $20,000 from the register, offices and wallets of the ten employees working that day.  Here we are observing an astounding clash between private and public interest in the case of medical marihuana.

The sheriff gets 80% of the money seized under state drug forfeiture laws then gives the rest to the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office” says Commissioner Rasor, “I know, as a public official, that the public sector is running out of money. But it’s just plain wrong to finance your operation on the backs of people who are ill (or) providing a safe alternative to obtaining medical marijuana on the street,”
-Royal Oak Commissioner Rasor

Frivolous raids, such as this, occurred all across the southeastern area of Michigan up until about two months ago.  Governor Snyder then deemed medical marijuana dispensing locations to be illegal and not in compliance with the initial Medical Marijuana Act.  Tim Beck, a member of the Michigan Association of Compassion Centers, notes that there are gaps in the law, and some are even there intentionally. 

“We couldn’t put everything in a ballot initiative…  And I will admit, okay, we deliberately did not put anything about dispensaries in the law.” 

Tim Beck

Despite his prior remarks regarding the law, Beck does believe that Michigan will legalize marihuana fully by 2016.  

Since the shutting down of dispensaries, which were providing jobs and a healthy medical alternative to the people of our community, patients are now expected to come up with the skills and financial situations to create their own growing operation if they do not have a caregiver.  Until the state House Judiciary Committee further discusses the legislation on the medical marihuana act, the law remains as written. 

This idea that private interest can have such a powerful influence on our government officials is not only upsetting but also frightening.  I think that one’s private interest should be restricted to their own personal arrangements and should not carry into their work environment; especially if they work for a system, such as the government, that is supposed to focus solely on the interest of the public.  Why is this allowed to happen?  Are the rights of the citizens really beginning to fall below the interest of those who they voted to protect and govern them?  It seems to me that in some situations this is indeed the case.



About Madeline Cecilia

I currently live to ski.

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2 Comments on “American Money”

  1. Phil O'Donnell Says:

    In this particular incidence it would appear that the agents of the public sector were extracting monetary benefits and profits from the ‘endeavors’ of medical marijuana simply for the individual benefit of those involved or for their bosses, or less cynically to help ‘finance’ their sector. I would like to argue that, especially emphasized by the current economic downturn, there is actually less of a contrast between the motivation driving the public and private sector then is often portrayed in the modern media or political arena. Thus, there should not be this almost continued condemnation of the public sector for interfering in, or even exploiting, the private sector and the hard work of individuals.

    Consider how few fundamental differences there are between the individuals in both the public and the private sector. All these individuals are fundamentally ordinary workers and citizens who want to secure their jobs, provide for their families and prosper in American society. Hence, if public sector workers or bosses, observe an economic opportunity, especially one such as this which does not alienated the majority of society (I am asserting under the assumption that medical marijuana use is barley social acceptable and definitely not praised), which would help them finance the continued operation and functioning of their offices, save or even create jobs, then why would they not take this opportunity and use their individual self-interest, especially when the federal government is cutting funding to the public sector and arguably endangering their jobs and their livelihoods, to help ‘finance’ the continued operation of their sector and secure their employment. In this particular situation it is arguably even more acceptable due to the nature of medical marijuana dispensary, as many would rather the profits from this profession went into the public rather than the private sector, evidenced by the frequent calls to legalize and subsequent tax marijuana. Furthermore how different would we view this situation if all the money collected had been given to the Detroit public school system? Ultimately the public sector can be seen to need to ‘look after itself’ just as much as the private sector, if it is to remain powerful and efficient.

    In my personal opinion it seems that there is now an overreaching opinion in the media, if not the majority of the populous, to attack the public sector and the upper epsilons of the private sector. The CEOs in Wall Street may deserve their criticism due to their actions before, during and even after the financial crash which hurt thousands of Americans; for example claiming vast bonuses. Yet, the attacks on the public seem, to me anyway, to be a little less justified. Instead of actually believing an almost Libertarian notion of advocating zero public sector involvement in the private sector, although I’m certain many do advocate this notion, I content that the majority of the citizenship are simply resentful that public sector jobs are so secure in comparison to the private sector. Many will argue that there are inefficiencies in the public sector which is draining their tax dollars, but so too are there in the private which can be seen to be much more burdening on the federal budget then those of the public sector; such as the bailout of Wall Street.

    Although seemingly this incident and many other incidents show public sector exploration and self-centered intervention in the private sector, I believe that overall there should be interaction between both the public and private sector as it will create increased economic stability and a more efficient, even harmonious, American society.

  2. elmatts25 Says:

    I think it is fundamentally unclear whether the agents were acting for their own personal interest or the interests of the general public. There is not enough background information for me to make a fair assessment. However, if it is the case that these agents were working entirely for the monetary benefits that this raid provided, then I completely agree that this is an example of the exploitation of the public sphere for private interests. It is unfair to take money from a controversial, but legal, operation for personal benefits. An important question, for the first raid mentioned in this post, would be: where did the $20,000 seized go? Was this money returned, kept by the officers for personal use, given to the officers for personal use, or given to the government for external use?
    I believe that money belongs first to the public sphere, it is not until said money becomes one’s property that it enters into the private sphere. I also believe that medical marijuana dispensaries should be entirely government owned and therefore belong to the public sphere. The issue becomes confusing when considering the incomes of the dispensary workers. Since the government issued these incomes, do they remain in the public sphere? Or do they become a private matter once their checks are deposited into their bank accounts?
    To properly asses whether this should be “allowed to happen,” I think it is first obligatory to decide to what extent marijuana dispensaries, and the income of their workers, are private or public domain. The government should continue to work for the interest of their citizens but must respect their rights as well. In the end, I believe it is necessary for some amount of public exploration of the private sphere. I also think that there is already an existing degree of government involvement in almost all aspects of the private sphere, however, it goes unnoticed. It is not until the public notice this involvement that they protest. The rights of citizens are not beginning to fall below the interest of the government, however, mistakes are occasionally made, and they definitely do not go unnoticed.

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