Thursday, October 1, 2009


The Coming Marijuana Legalization

Of all the predictions I've fired off on this blog in its short life, the one I'm most comfortable with--in terms of the risk/reward tradeoff in terms of geeconosphere reputation--is that the Obama administration will greatly liberalize the marijuana market. You've got hit shows about a white, upper middle class mom who sells pot, and now CNBC is running stories with lame pot jokes.

I'll get high to that
They'll eventually legalize it because they will realize how much money they could steal in taxes.
"They'll eventually legalize it because they will realize how much money they could steal in taxes."

If the feds stand to make so much by taxing marijuana why aren't they doing it right now? It's not as if the general public is overwhelmingly against legalization. And yet the feds are critical of state and local attempts to legalize even for medicinal use. What gives?

You're overlooking the staggering number of vested interests that benefit from marijuana criminalization. Police, lawyers, judges, prisons, bureaucrats, etc etc.

If you were a cop, which would you rather do, try to hunt down dangerous criminals like robbers or rapists, who are probably armed, or arrest a few stoned teenagers who will comply with your every command?
Robert Murphy, if you were following the issue more closely, you'd be less optimistic. Although President Obama has said encouraging things in the past ("this is not the best use of resources") he continues to allow the DEA to make raids inside of medical marijuana states and also allows the Federales to assist local law enforcement as they prosecute peaceful people for making a choice that harms no one.

Besides policy on this issue is mostly made by state and local authorities. They note that the marijuana movement (hey dudes, what's up?) lack both money and votes.

It's too bad, because smoking pot is tasty, mostly pretty safe, and less destructive than drinking beer, what with alcohol's attendant hangovers, vomiting, fist fights, car crashes, and cirrhosis.

If you're interest in Obama's "talk left, run right" marijuana policies, see here and here.
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