The UFCW wants to unionize Workers at Medical Marijuana Pot Shops

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 9th, 2013

Week in Review

The unions have always advertised that union made was better made.  Because it was safer.  And of higher quality.  For unions look out for the people.  They protect our kids in school.  And demand high safety standards in industry.  They even have a zero tolerance policy on drug use in the workplace.  Large union contracts on big construction projects have mandatory drug testing to hire in.  And have random-random drug tests monthly.  Once a month on some random day at some random time they call workers in to pee in a cup for testing.  That’s how committed the unions are in combating drug use.  So you never would have expected to see something like this (see Insight: Shrinking U.S. labor unions see relief in marijuana industry by Samuel P. Jacobs and Alex Dobuzinskis posted 2/6/2013 on Reuters).

During the last few years, unions, led by the UFCW [United Food and Commercial Workers union], have played an increasingly significant role in campaigns to allow medical marijuana, now legal in California, 17 other states and Washington, D.C…

Union officials acknowledge that their support stems partly from the idea that the marijuana industry could create hundreds of thousands of members at a time when overall union membership is shrinking…

Industry advocates acknowledge that the legal marijuana industry’s potential to produce jobs is difficult to project. One reason: uncertainty over how the U.S. government will deal with an industry whose product is illegal under federal law but increasingly accepted by state laws.

Since Colorado and Washington state voted to legalize marijuana on November 6, President Barack Obama has said his administration will not pursue recreational pot users in those states.

This is interesting.  If the states don’t like a federal law they just ignore it.  If Colorado and Washington can simply ignore a federal law they don’t like then every state that doesn’t like Obamacare should be able to ignore it, too.  If the unions protest states that ignore Obamacare (the unions endorsed Obamacare) and insist that they follow federal law then so should Colorado and Washington.  Who should immediately re-criminalize marijuana under state law.  To match federal law.

By joining a union, marijuana workers could have more sway in pressing for higher pay and benefits such as healthcare…

The retailers there say they are conflicted – grateful for the legitimacy that labor’s involvement could bring their businesses, but worried that the support could undermine the already shaky financial footing of their small operations.

One marijuana business owner in Denver said he considered aligning with the UFCW but eventually backed away. He said he was worried that having a union shop would hurt the value of his business by driving up employment costs…

Eventually, [UFCW’s Rush] helped to persuade enough labor leaders that the same union that organized Hostess bakery workers could represent people who made pot brownies.

High union labor costs just bankrupted Hostess and put them out of business.  So, yeah, marijuana retailers are worried about higher labor costs if their shops unionize.  There’s a reason why there is so little union membership today.  It is very difficult for a business to stay in business with those high union costs.  The very costs that bankrupted General Motors and Chrysler requiring the government bailout.  If they unionize their costs will go up.  As will their prices.  Giving the non-unionized shops a price advantage.  As well as the drug dealer on the street.

In Los Angeles, UFCW Local 770 is pushing a ballot measure that would set zoning and safety standards for medical pot dispensaries. For years, police and residents have complained about the impact that less-than-reputable medical marijuana dispensaries have on some neighborhoods.

Dispensary workers and owners who have aligned themselves with the union say that some competitors undermine prices and security by flouting labor laws and avoiding taxes.

Decriminalizing marijuana is not the panacea they think it is.  First of all no one wants what drugs attract.  Addicts.  And crime.  Shutting down the nonunion shops won’t take care of that problem.  Because the higher prices at the ‘reputable’ drug retailers will only broaden the market for the drug dealers on the street.  Who are also nonunion.  And can sell their marijuana for less than a pot shop with high union labor costs.

Medical marijuana retailers have provided more than medical marijuana.  People wanting marijuana for recreational use had no problem getting a doctor’s prescription.  Including people who bought marijuana and resold it to kids.  Higher retailer prices at ‘reputable’ pot shops are not going to change that.  It will only raise the street value of marijuana.  Making for a prosperous black market.

The UFCW is obviously backing and lobbying for full decriminalization.  So their members can prosper from a rise in drug use.  And addiction.  It is interesting how the Left attacks cigarette smoking.  Even suing Big Tobacco for the harm their addictive product has done to those who smoke.  Yet as evil as cigarette smoking is there is no such outrage over marijuana smoking.  Which they say is not only harmless but medicinal.  Talk about your double standards.

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