February 22, 2013

"We made an industry out of cigarettes, we made an industry out of alcohol and now we're creating an industry out of marijuana – frankly, it's surreal sometimes."

Says Mary Beth Susman, a member of Colorado's Amendment 64 Implementation Task Force, which is about to report on a plan to regulate marijuana in Colorado (which is part of the United States, which criminalizes the production, sale, and possession of marijuana).
On one hand, the task force has considered new rules for what Colorado should do when it inevitably becomes a center of "pot tourism," it has debated whether smokers can use their backyard patios to light up, and it has considered how to deal with "marijuana clubs" that will appear....

How it converts a massive black market into what experts call "problematic adult commerce" on the fringes of society – akin to gambling, drinking, and go-go clubs – all amid lingering legal concerns, could provide a framework for other states to follow....

38 comments:

Lem said...

zzz

Zoning, zoning, zoning.

Lucien said...

Why should we spend another dollar of tax revenue to arrest people for using marijuana, so that we can spend more tax dollars to prosecute them in the hope of putting them in prison so that we can spend thousands more each year to house, feed clothe & care for them, all because we officially think smoking pot is bad for you? (Because it's sooo much safer in prison.)

Shouting Thomas said...

As an alternative to creating a Byzantine bureaucratic and legal structure to manage pot smoking, they could just leave people alone to do as they pleased.

That alternative never seems to merit consideration.

Future generations will be left with the task of trying to undo the do-gooder's plans for regulation. Learning something from this repetitive stupidity seems to be prohibited.

Mitchell the Bat said...

So she hasn't yet . . . reported . . . on a plan . . . to regulate.

Sounds half-baked.

dmoelling said...

This is a huge conflict with the current nanny-state liberalism. At least the hippies wanted to be left alone or to panhandle. If we returned to a 19th century system, you could drink, smoke, dope as you wished and I would be free to disapprove of your character, fire you, not put you on public disability, etc.

Look at Doyle's treatment of Sherlock Holme's cocaine use. It was a plot device, but clearly noted as both a health risk (by Watson) and a character flaw to be remedied by work.

AprilApple said...

Managing and corralling the pot smokers. Good luck.

The ninny control freaks must be in heaven. Just figure out a way to make the whole thing pay for itself and shut up.

Bryan C said...

Gambling and drinking and dancing are activities on the "fringes" of society? Was "Footloose" set in Colorado?

Marshal said...

what experts call "problematic adult commerce" on the fringes of society – akin to gambling, drinking, and go-go clubs

Somehow the reporter misspelled busybodies as "e-x-p-e-r-t-s". Maybe if our puplic schools spent less time on abortion propoganda they could have taught this poor uprooted Swede how to spell.

Larry J said...

The Californication of Colorado is complete. I lived there for over 25 years but my job caused me to move to another state last year. Frankly, I'm glad to be somewhere else.

AprilApple said...

Colorado is controlled by democrats now. Enjoy the decline.

Nonapod said...

Liberal Frankenstein says
SMOKING CIGARETTE BAD!
SMOKING POT GOOD! RRHHAAA!

TMink said...

I recall stickers on a storefront in Boulder years ago. Lots of angry no smoking allowed signs flanked by several encouraging the legalization of marijuana.

Trey

madAsHell said...

they could just leave people alone to do as they pleased.

How are you going to tax that??

SteveR said...

There has been a thriving marijuana industry for a long time, we just didn't make a public spectacle about it for obvious reasons. Its not like life has been discovered on another planet.

Fernandinande said...

What, then, did Mencken find so offensive about Americans? The matter can be summed up in one word: Puritanism.
...
Puritanism, in Mencken's memorable phrase, "assum[es] that every human act must be either right or wrong, and that ninety-nine percent of them are wrong." It was, in his view, Americans' inveterate habit to judge all thoughts and actions from an ethical perspective, and to disapprove the great majority of them as subversive of "good morals."

SGT Ted said...

Quality pot is easily grown in ones backyard or indoors, unlike tobacco or distilled spirits.

I am against any government tax schemes, as they will inevitably follow the booze and tobacco model where the government makes more money off the weed than the producers do, then uses that money to demonize the producers and product to shake down the growers and sellers for more money via higher and higher taxes.

I suspect many will stay in the non-regulated market to save money and avoid scrutiny.

Salamandyr said...

Whiskey and tobacco built this country. It seems ungrateful to complain about them now.

Shouting Thomas said...

Quality pot is easily grown in ones backyard or indoors, unlike tobacco or distilled spirits.

I believe the new Colorado law allows for growing 6 plants in the back yard. Don't know if you have to register them.

Growing your own is the key to the highest quality!

SGT Ted said...

The taxes will be high to support the usual gaggle of Medical and Therapeutic Welfare Queens that call themselves "therapists" that thrive off of turning unpopular behaviors into "disorders" and "addictions" so that they can justify taxpayer funded jobs being created specifically for them to 'treat" the "victims".

We'll get even more "reefer madness" fundraising bullshit from the American Cancer Society, the weed version of "MADD" and any other group of tax dollar leeches and strap hangers that think they can climb aboard the pot tax money gravy train and get some of that sugar. Add in all the other tax cash harvesting advocacy groups trying to pile on and get a seat on the train. They will lie through their teeth about the dangers too, just like they exaggerate the dangers with booze and tobacco.

Within 5 years, CO voters can expect to see weepy moms/children on TV talking about how their kids/mom got "addicted to pot" and that passing a new pot tax will be necessary to "pay for treatment" of the "addicts", sponsored by whatever horseshit medical do-gooders operations that have decided they need some easy tax cash instead of getting real jobs.

Avoid government leeching and starve the beast, grow your own.

rehajm said...

I'll know it's an industry when they allow big tobacco companies to produce and compete.

edutcher said...

Watch all manner of accidental deaths go through the roof.

Maybe the best thing would be to put barbed wire all around the state with machine gun towers at convenient intervals to protect the rest of us.

Richard Dolan said...

"We made an industry ...."

Who is the 'we' and how did we 'make' it? Someone should tell her she didn't build that. I know just the fellow who would be perfect to deliver that message, too.

Bruce Hayden said...

As an alternative to creating a Byzantine bureaucratic and legal structure to manage pot smoking, they could just leave people alone to do as they pleased.

Agreed, but given the alternatives of regulation and illegality, I would back the former (having voted for legalization last November - the only vote of mine, I think, that won, because Colorado does appear to have headed left).

One of the things that I think has to, at least somewhat, be remembered is that a lot of the drug trade is controlled by gangs of some sort, and we really find ourselves in a position similar to that America found itself in right before the end of prohibition. And, the state response to the ending of prohibition was a lot of state by state regulation.

Moving around the west, I am often a bit surprised as to the different ways that the various states regulate alcohol. UT, ID, and WA have state run liquor stores, with UT seemingly trying to hide them. None have really good hours, with UT, of course, with the worst. MT seems to have quasi-state liquor stores - never can quite figure out their system. CO has private ones, but the liquor stores manage keep it out of the grocery stores. AZ and NV have hard liquor in the grocery and convenience stores, but NV makes getting a bar license quite difficult and political - more so, I think, than most places. Quite the law practice in that state.

It is somewhat of a pain moving state to state. In some of the states with state liquor stores, you can't buy beer there, but have to go to the grocery store. In others, you can only get beer in the state stores. In Colorado, you can get both in the liquor stores, along with wine, but can also get beer in the grocery stores. In Montana, you can't get beer in the liquor stores, and the convenience stores often have best prices, beating the grocery stores. Oh, and wine is sometimes in the liquor stores, sometimes in the grocery stores, and sometimes both.

Bruce Hayden said...

One interesting thing going on at the local level in Colorado is that most municipalities and counties seem to be intentionally sitting on the side lines, waiting to see how the state will act. Every couple of weeks, we seem to see another city or town passing a measure that would delay their consideration until then.

What I think this means is that if the state doesn't act, the local governments must and will, and the results are unlikely to be pretty. Maybe it is just being up in ski country, but the town councils seem to be a lot more reactionary than their citizenry, esp. when it comes to drugs. Vail used to, at least, have a fairly enlightened policy on at least pot - if you weren't blatant, they wouldn't arrest you, and if they did, it was a slap on the wrist. Not so, over here east of Vail Pass in Summit County, where a lot of miscreants were doing maximum time for minimal use and possession - in a place where pot usage is probably higher.

The problem is that if the state doesn't act, the local governments have to, and some of them are going to be liberal, and some as strict as they can possibly be. This is one of those places, along with gun control, where I think there really should be state wide uniformity.

Chip Ahoy said...

We created this and we created that and now we're creating another similar thing.

You didn't create that, others did. You didn't create shit. You hopped a bandwagon that was leaving you behind. You responded to an industry that happened without you. And the problem here is that you imagine yourself a creator when you're not. When the creators are the people who are accepting the challenges of building a business, farming the product, living every day with risk, and living under your feckless governance, while you are the rider to their creativity, the unpredictable dead weigh, the unreliable anchor, another challenge to the creativity that is bursting through despite the presence of you.

gutless said...

Let people do as they wish and tell them to get fucked if they have problems. They're on their own. Oh yeah, and punish any crimes or civil misbehavior linked to marijuana use harshly. A good balance. That should do it.

jr565 said...

Bruce Hayden wrote:
One of the things that I think has to, at least somewhat, be remembered is that a lot of the drug trade is controlled by gangs of some sort, and we really find ourselves in a position similar to that America found itself in right before the end of prohibition. And, the state response to the ending of prohibition was a lot of state by state regulation.

pot is not the same as all other drugs, but it sounds like your argument is meant to be applicable to all drugs. I don't think you're going to get the criminal industries out of the pot business. Do you? if money is to be made, they will make it. And law abiding people will be in competition with the drug dealers.
The only way around that would be for pot to go big tobacco and be put out by conglomerates. It then, its going to be regulated like crazy. Do you think the same could work for bath salts, or heroin?

jr565 said...

Gutless wrote:
Let people do as they wish and tell them to get fucked if they have problems.

right. D you really expect that to happen in this society?

Aaron said...

I am for legal pot, but my past two houses have been next to pot smokers who do it outside. The smoke comes in our house even with all windows closed and is pretty strong and reeks. It actually wakes us up at 3:00 am...so I would encourage pot smokers to please smoke inside their own house.

Roger J. said...

I wonder if big tobacco isn't actively assessing how to get into the MJ production business--they have the capability to roll a really good joint--they just don't have sufficient supply of MJ.

Bruce Hayden said...

pot is not the same as all other drugs, but it sounds like your argument is meant to be applicable to all drugs. I don't think you're going to get the criminal industries out of the pot business. Do you? if money is to be made, they will make it. And law abiding people will be in competition with the drug dealers.

Profit per ounce or per pound is presumably higher for other drugs than it is for pot, but there is still apparently some smuggling of pot, so it must be lucrative.

And, yes, there still is a bit of moonshine, but it is minimal these days in comparison to taxed alcohol. I would suggest that there is a price/taxation point when smuggling and illegal manufacture or raising it becomes relatively unprofitable. Interestingly, tobacco seems to be moving in the opposite direction - towards more smuggling, due to higher taxes in some states.

So, my hope is that ultimately pot gets like alcohol, where the cost of illegally supplying it exceeds the price that will be paid, thanks to legally grown product combined with a not too onerous tax structure.

We shall see.

AlanKH said...

If we returned to a 19th century system, you could drink, smoke, dope as you wished

While drinking was widespread, didn't drugs represent a subculture that was quite limited in scope until the 1960s?

I wonder if the lefties who want people of today to apologize for slavery and the Trail of Tears woudl be on board for persuading the music industry of today to apologize for a drug culture it played a key role in spreading.

Revenant said...

I don't think you're going to get the criminal industries out of the pot business. Do you? if money is to be made, they will make it. And law abiding people will be in competition with the drug dealers.

That paragraph doesn't make much sense. What are the laws that the criminals will be breaking to gain an edge over the legal drug dealers?

There's tax avoidance, of course, but you get that anywhere you have taxes.

Revenant said...

While drinking was widespread, didn't drugs represent a subculture that was quite limited in scope until the 1960s?

Well, newspapers started running scare stories about the plague of drug use as early as the 1910s. How common it was is anybody's guess, since we didn't have the massive federal law enforcement bureaucracy then that we have now. What we do know is that overall drug use has been essentially flat since the federal government began tracking it.

As for blaming music for drug use, that's just dumb. The drug use predates the music about it. People don't smoke weed because of songs about weed; they smoke weed because it intoxicates the user!

Revenant said...

SMOKING CIGARETTE BAD! SMOKING POT GOOD!

I don't know about "good", but it is certainly preferable.

jr565 said...

Revenant wrote:
That paragraph doesn't make much sense. What are the laws that the criminals will be breaking to gain an edge over the legal drug dealers?

All you're doing is saying that things that are crimes now wont be crimes tomorrow. The people who commited those crimes today will not leave the businesss because it's somehow legal. They will still sell pot because there's money in it.

AlanKH said...

As for blaming music for drug use, that's just dumb. The drug use predates the music about it.

Major forces in the music industry made the drug culture bigger. That is a historic fact.

I note the hypocrisy of a segment of lefties. They think Americans of today should apologize for what Americans of a few generations ago did. But they haven't expressed any interest in getting the music industry of today to apologize for what some of its movers and shakers did a mere generation ago.

In reality, the only people who can apologize for the perps are the perps themselves.

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