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View Diary: Western hemisphere decriminalizing cannabis (173 comments)

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  •  The economics of marijuana are not favorable (20+ / 0-)

    to its legalization. The prices of marijuana are feeling intense downward pressure in Colorado. Ads abound for $125 oz. and top shelf at $170 or below. This continuous downward price pressure has caused about 1/2 the dispensaries in Colorado to close. The hobbyist can grow a pound of their own with very low costs, enough to supply their friends with free or bartered weed. I assume top shelf will move to $120 / oz. retail when it goes state legal before we can see the lowest point that can be supported by retail operations.
    Marijuana cuts into everybody's take. Big pharma with the ubiquitous use dangerous and addictive benzodiazepine antianxiety drugs like alprazolam (Xanax) and clonazepam (Klonopin),  and opioid pain killers like Percodan and Oxycontin. These drugs will always have a place, but I suspect for a very significant portion of the users on chronic regimens, marijuana can replace them in whole or in part. Then there is hemp, which is illegal to grow, because as the DEA says, it's too difficult to tell apart from cannabis, so you lose. Jack Herrer wrote extensively about the high pulp / high biomass value of hemp and its direct competition with the timber industry. The prosecution-enforcement-prison industrial complex and the US State Department are the biggest losers. We could see a 50% decrease in busts and imprisonment and enforcement budget dollars with legal marijuana, and far, far less money to offer to foreign dictators and cartels to advance political initiatives.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 08:27:12 AM PDT

    •  actually (0+ / 0-)

      wouldn't all those inefficiencies tend to encourage the development of the pot/hemp economy?

      If somebody builds a better mousetrap, and the government makes it illegal, eventually word gets around and people will wise up. May take a few generations, but more effort is required to prop up suboptimal products/industries and maintain prohibition than for a suppressed market to eventually find equilibrium.

      I dunno, not an economist, just food for thought....

    •   that just about sumes it up (0+ / 0-)

      however i think there is lots of money to be made in all kinds of scams like cosmetics and health drinks

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