Judicial Watch • Marijuana Farmers Join Teamsters

Marijuana Farmers Join Teamsters

Marijuana Farmers Join Teamsters

SEPTEMBER 21, 2010

 

In a first even for the notoriously shady labor movement, the marijuana industry has joined the country’s largest union in a state where the street drug is allowed for “medical purposes” and could soon be legalized for general use.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters welcomed the country’s first group of unionized “medical marijuana growers” this week, even though their work violates federal law. The 40 freshly unionized cannabis growers live and work in California, where pot is approved for medicinal use and could be legalized all together if voters approve a measure this November. Members of Oakland-based Teamsters Local 70 include gardeners, trimmers and cloners of a company that grows medical marijuana for patients.

Their new two-year contract provides them with a pension, paid vacation and health insurance. The union deal will also boost their current $18 hourly wages to $25.75 in a year and three months. After all, working in a cannabis yard can be grueling and requires long hours. Because the work violates federal law, the sorts of labor regulations that protect workers nationwide don’t really apply.

Good thing the Teamsters Union, famous for its ties to organized crime and the mysterious disappearance of its mob-connected president (Jimmy Hoffa), came to the rescue. The famously corrupt union, the world’s largest, has about 1.4 million members that contribute handsomely to Democrats.

Numerous corruption scandals over the years have caused a substantial dwindle in its membership so it’s not like the Teamsters can be picky. However, the union would not have gotten involved with the pot growers if it didn’t believe their business was legitimate. “The Teamsters would never organize an illegal business,” assures the union liaison handling the new marijuana group.

In a different but possibly related revelation involving marijuana in the Golden State, California’s largest labor union, the 700,000-member Service Employees International Union, has just endorsed the initiative (Proposition 19) to legalize pot. The coveted endorsement could boost the pro marijuana campaign, which has struggled to raise cash for advertisements.


 

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