December 26, 2013

"A year of controversial products."

6 of them, collected at The New Yorker. One of them is marijuana:
Colorado and Washington have been hard at work setting up marketplaces for marijuana, after both states legalized the sale of the drug. “What the state is doing, in actuality, is issuing licenses to commit a felony,” Mark Kleiman, a professor of public policy at U.C.L.A. and a drug-policy analyst, told Patrick Radden Keefe for “Buzzkill,” a piece that ran in this magazine in November. While the laws had strong support in both states, their implementation has not been without its controversies. “Earlier this year,” Keefe writes, “the liquor-control board unveiled a logo for Washington State marijuana, with a cannabis leaf superimposed on a map of the state. After an outcry that the state was ‘promoting’ pot, the design was abandoned.”
Here's the whole article "Buzzkill," which I highly recommend. There are so many complexities to the problem of "legalizing" marijuana, much more than you can see from that squib. It's fascinating! Notably:
When legal marijuana goes on sale, sometime next spring, the black market will not simply vanish; over-the-counter pot will have to compete with illicit pot. To support the legal market, Kleiman argued, the state must intensify law-enforcement pressure on people who refuse to play by the new rules. A street dealer will have to be arrested in the hope that “you will migrate that dealer’s customers into the taxed-and-regulated market.”

[T]ax revenue from the sale of legal cannabis will be devoted to substance-abuse prevention and research — not to police or prosecutors. Who, then, was going to pay for such a crackdown? Although Kleiman urged state officials to set aside funds for increased law enforcement, he can get impatient with such complaints. He likes to say, “You don’t get any of the revenue for arresting robbers, either.”

19 comments:

mesquito said...

Could the components of marijuana smoke pass muster with the FDA?

The Drill SGT said...

The Feds and states have a huge problem with Tobacco tax stamp avoidance.

These people don't see it coming to the grass market?

EDH said...

Will status symbols ever become controversial?

that kind of luxe just ain't for us.
We crave a different kind of buzz.


Reflecting a declining expectation of material affluence among the younger generation, or healthy rejection of the lifestyles of the media royalty?

Seventeen year-old Lorde.

Royals

I've never seen a diamond in the flesh
I cut my teeth on wedding rings in the movies
And I'm not proud of my address, in the torn up town
No post code envy

But every song's like gold teeth, grey goose, trippin' in the bathroom
Blood stains, ball gowns, trashin' the hotel room,
We don't care, we're driving cadillacs in our dreams.
But everybody's like cristal, maybach, diamonds on your time piece.
Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash.
We don't care, we aren't caught up in your love affair.

And we'll never be royals..
It don't run in our blood,
that kind of luxe just ain't for us.
We crave a different kind of buzz.
Let me be your ruler, you can call me queen B
And baby I'll rule I'll rule I'll rule I'll rule.
Let me live that fantasy.

My friends and I we've cracked the code.
We count our dollars on the train to the party.
And everyone who knows us knows that we're fine with this,
we didn't come from money.

Oooh ooooh ohhh
We're bigger than we ever dreamed, and I'm in love with being queen.
Oooooh ooooh ohhhhh life is game without a care
We aren't caught up in your love affair.

And we'll never be royals,
it don't run in our blood
That kind of luxe just ain't for us
We crave a different kind of buzz
Let me be your ruler, you can call me queen B
And baby I'll rule I'll rule I'll rule I'll rule,
let me live that fantasy

Lance said...

I thought legalizing marijuana was supposed to dry up the illegal market on its own. Have the editors at Reason been lying to us?

Trashhauler said...

Pot smokers seem to have difficulty in imagining secondary consequences. This becomes evident whenever the topic turns to what they mean by "legalizing marijuana" and "stopping the war on drugs."

John Lynch said...

Never mind how many people will ruin their lives because pot is legal.

Drug tests still exist for many jobs (ie the better jobs) and the Feds can still arrest you any time they want.

Choosing to be a weed addict limits your life to a few, mostly bad, paths. It limits what jobs you can perform, who you can marry, and where you can live.

The older I get, the more harmful marijuana seems to be. Watching forty year old stoners is really sad.

David said...

Duh.

A really stupid idea on a zillion levels.

The underlying stupidity is the notion that mj is not harmful.

Patrick said...

Funny, I thought it was "Diamonds on your tongue piece."

Joe said...

I thought legalizing marijuana was supposed to dry up the illegal market on its own. Have the editors at Reason been lying to us?

The problem is that the politicians (and electorate) aren't letting the free market act; instead they are heavily regulating and taxing the hell out of the market. That combination guarantees a black market will thrive.

(Black markets will always exist if for no other reason that there are a whole lot of dumb people in the world who convince themselves that the black market goods are superior or that they are getting a better deal. An odd proof of that is going onto eBay and watching people bid the price of items above what you'd pay on Amazon or any local store!)

T J Sawyer said...

Typical New Yorker article, too long to read!

But, I got this far:
"The law, which was sixty-four pages long and contained hundreds of specific provisions, ..."

I don't need to read the rest to imagine how the legislators brought the ACA approach home to Olympia!

I don't suppose any legislature could ever bring themselves to actually repeal a law.

mccullough said...

What illegal activity will drug dealers undertake if they can't sell pot? After Prohibition was repealed, the mob didn't go away.

Ann Althouse said...

"I thought legalizing marijuana was supposed to dry up the illegal market on its own. Have the editors at Reason been lying to us?"

Consider:

1. Underage consumers (of which there are a lot).

2. Taxes (which may be enough to make the illegally sold stuff cheaper, even considering that the illegal seller must charge a premium for the risks he's taking by committing crimes).

Ann Althouse said...

"What illegal activity will drug dealers undertake if they can't sell pot?"

But they will sell pot. There are black markets for products that also have legal markets. These drug dealers will want to continue their business, and the issue is who will still be their clients. The answer is: Consumers who are under 21, those who don't care enough about legality to change their source, and those who are price sensitive (if the taxes are high). The illegal sellers aren't going to go legit. They'll stay in the game and compete, unless there is enforcement against them.

Ann Althouse said...

Realize that it's going to get much easier to grow marijuana. Is the state really going to be able to track all those plants? The illegal seller will have competition, but his work will also become easier.

Eric Jablow said...

The police do not receive any of the profit from arresting robbers, but in most states they get the money from civil forfeitures. I am sure they'll do that in marijuana cases too.

Back when I was a college student, I learned in a sociology course that the illegal numbers game gave people better odds than state lotteries. That will be the same in the marijuana business too.

gadfly said...

So Colorado is suddenly concerned with the dangers of burning grass on the ski slopes. But no one cared when the ballots were marked.

The ski resorts await expected musical concerts from Method Man and Redman.

jr565 said...

When taxes get too high on cigs people just go to jersey to but the cigs and not pay the taxes.if taxes drive up prices on pot the local dealer can always charge less and not pay the tax. And besides, people might like a little hydro and angel dust in their pot for a better high.

jr565 said...

Trashhauler wrote:
Pot smokers seem to have difficulty in imagining secondary consequences. This becomes evident whenever the topic turns to what they mean by "legalizing marijuana" and "stopping the war on drugs."


Legalizing pot will get govt more in your lives than before. Legalization means regulation. Which requires govts involvement.

jr565 said...

Joe wrote:
"The problem is that the politicians (and electorate) aren't letting the free market act; instead they are heavily regulating and taxing the hell out of the market. That combination guarantees a black market will thrive."


But proponents of legalization used the argument that it would lead to an increase in tax revenue. Why then would they expect that somehow it wouldn't involve taxing the hell out of the market. That was supposed to be the whole point and why it was a social good.
Suddenly that's a bad thing?
And since when does the free market not involve taxes? What other drug that is legal isn't regulated and taxed?