I'll admit it, I have smoked pot before, twice, once my freshman year in college and again a couple years ago while dating a pot smoker. I'm sure that's not a big shocker because most people have at least experimented with pot. Most people my age (27 on Wednesday) that says they haven't ever at least tried pot is probably lying.
The question is, what are the effects of actually having legal pot? Well they're trying that in California and for some odd reason people are panicking because, get this, prices are dropping due to competition. Call me crazy, but when prices on something I want go down I generally am a happy guy. The drug dealers are not happy though.
The best part though about the NPR piece I linked to is that they openly acknowledge that the more police crackdown on drugs the higher the prices are. What they fail to mention though is that that leads to more crime, it's the law of unintended (or maybe intended) consequences. The police crack down in the name of safety and the children, prices go up, habits get more expensive, and peaceful people get more desperate to support their mostly recreational habits.
When they get desperate they start turning to crime, they rob a bank, a convenience store, your house, whatever, in order to afford that habit. Reagen cracked down on drugs in 1983, causing a pound of pot to soar to as high as $5,000. But with legal medical marijuana and more competition that price is down to below $2,000 making it much easier to support habits.
I fail to see the panic, competition in the marketplace is good for the economy, it's good for you, it's good for me, it's good for everything and everyone.
Legal marijuana, and all other drugs for that matter, are also better for the users. Just look back to alcohol prohibition and alcohol today. Would you rather drink bathtub gin, or gin made in the marketplace in a controlled environment. You're out of your damn mind if in 2010 you would rather drink gin I made in my bathtub than gin someone made in a factory.
Part of the panic though is the fact that those who can't grow quality marijuana are losing money in the legal market. SHOCKER!!! That's how the marketplace works, in the black market you don't know what you're getting in terms of quality.
"What's happening is the people that don't have quality product aren't selling it," Blake says. "So they're the ones that are creating this panic. So it really comes back down to that, just like in every other agricultural industry. When you get too many vineyards and too many people growing vines out there, then only the good ones make it."
Matt Cohen is one of those growers who are making it. On an organic farm near Ukiah, Cohen raises chickens, grows vegetables and cultivates high-grade medical pot. He has avoided the downturn by distributing marijuana directly to patients. But other growers who rely on middlemen and dealers for legal and illegal sales are in financial trouble.
Oh the horror, "My pot isn't as good as yours and I can't compete, it's just not fair." Welcome to the legal marketplace for pot man, I'd rather light up the good stuff I know is guaranteed not to be laced or grown improperly than the low grade stuff that could have who knows what in it.
And note the 2nd paragraph in that section, the ones selling it directly are doing better. That's another downfall of government, if they're allowed to regulate pot when it becomes legal, like a lot of people want, then their regulations will force private home growers to sell theirs to the big guys. It works that way in the dairy industry, read all the hoopla over the raw milk debate going on currently. Private farmers like my cousin can't legally milk their animals and sell their raw, unpasteurized milk for human consumption, even though it has many health benefits.
"A lot of people were living on welfare and peanut butter and banana sandwiches for a long time before pot made it possible to be part of the middle class," Custer says.
Imagine that, pot is good for the economy. Why would anyone want to be a drug dealer? Well in it's illegal state you can make a fortune in that business. Legalize it all, who are you to control what myself or anyone else puts into their body? It hasn't stopped anything, just turned peaceful people into criminals and created a gang problem across the United States. Next time you talk about how times are different for your kids with all the gangs pushing drugs to kids and killing each other, stop and think first. Would we have this gang problem if drugs were legal? If everything they sell in the black market were legal, would we have problems with gangs at all? No.
Legalize it, in the name of the economy, in the name of safety, or everyones favorite...FOR THE KIDS!!!!