Put that in your pipe

Many marijuana issues were on ballots in yesterday’s election. Marijuana was legalized in Colorado and Washington. The city of Detroit passed a law decriminalizing marijuana possession. The state of Massachusetts passed a medical marijuana law. Several ballot measures involving marijuana were defeated, notably in Oregon and Arkansas.

When my book The Economics of Prohibition was published 20 years ago I was often asked my opinion if marijuana should be or would be legalized. My stock answer was that medical marijuana would start to be legalized in 10 years and that marijuana would be legalized in 20 years, probably during an economic crisis. My only prediction in print was that the reform process would begin after the turn of the century i.e. after the year 2000.


  1. There is some lefty liberal bumper sticker that goes: “it will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and the air force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber.”

    I have an update:

    “It will be a great day when all drugs are legalized and the CIA has to hold a bake sale to buy a drone.”

  2. Locally, from Seatle, it’s going to be a “freer” market, moving in the right direction,eventually.

    The “nullification” aspects may prove to be the most satisfying to watch, especially as the Obama Administration trys to work out the repsonse.

  3. This is not good news in Washington state. Cannabis will have an excise tax of 25% at EVERY level of production, from harvest/sale to state-licensed stores to sale to consumers. It prohibits people from growing their own plants. With these two restraints, people will find ways to undercut the price, thereby keeping the black market alive and healthy. This law merely substitutes one thuggish cartel for another.

    Additionally, it discriminates against cannabis smokers by prohibiting them from smoking in view of the public; meanwhile, it’s still legal to puff on cancer sticks and blow it in people’s faces in public as they walk by.

    Finally, the Washington law will punish people who might not be intoxiciated for driving; heavy users (including MMJ patients) can test at or above the legal active THC levels two days after smoking.

    This law is bad, bad, bad.

    What we needed was decriminalization and a free market in cannabis. What we got was more state distortion of the market.

    • It will be interesting to see how many resources the Feds want to put into going after small time users. Maybe they will go after dispensaries (I assume these will be springing up soon?) or growers, or any big-time dealers. I don’t expect to see any offerings at WalMart’s pharmacy anytime soon.

      • I imagine that in going after medium or big time sources the feds will work their way up from the bottom. I just know that a bunch of unsuspecting users are gonna get caught up in it. If its voluntary exchange between two people I don’t want anyone from the federal government depriving anyone of their liberty. I don’t think it will be a whole lot of people but one person is just to much for me.

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