Further Proof That Medical Marijuana Laws Are Working

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The Atlantic has an interesting story about the evolving medical marijuana economy in Colorado. The new administration's stated policy of respecting medical marijuana laws is beginning to have a visible – and very positive – impact:

Most of the farmers Kathleen works with have been cultivating their product illegally for many years--the oldest has been in the illicit business for 35, more than half have grown marijuana for over two decades. Now that they sell their product to a legal commercial enterprise, weed farmers will have to register their income and pay taxes on it, just like anyone growing tomatoes or tobacco. "To have these people coming out of the closet after so many years, that's the really heartening thing about what's happening right now," Kathleen says.
Pretty cool, huh? Just watch as the introduction of a more tolerant marijuana policy completely fails to destroy society and instead becomes the driving force behind a more responsible and accountable marijuana industry. These are nice people who don't want to be criminals and if you give them a chance to pay taxes and operate legally, that's exactly what they'll do.

All of this perfectly illustrates the absurdity of our opposition's frequent insistence that reforming marijuana policies will create more marijuana activity. Clearly, marijuana has long been part of Colorado's economy and the only big difference here is that more people will be paying taxes and patients won’t have to buy their medicine on the black market.

The closer you look, the better it gets:

Since marijuana farmers have begun selling exclusively to legitimate dispensaries, the underground market for illegal weed has been quashed, putting drug dealers out of business for lack of available stock. One such dealer I talked to in Boulder, who I will call Quark at his request, told me that with the supply of high-quality Colorado hydroponic weed redirected to dispensaries, he has only been able to procure cheap Mexican schwag for the past few months. Since the implications of indirect association with brutal Mexican cartels unsettles him, Quark is currently seeking a regular job so he will have money to pay tuition this year.
There you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Simply legitimizing one sector of the state's marijuana economy is all it takes to send shockwaves throughout the black market. Medical marijuana laws have done more to restore law and order than decades of aggressive drug war policing. It really is that simple.
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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This is awsome!

Hopefully none of the tax money sponsors wars or the war against drugs. Its definitely nice to see more rights to freedom. Peace,love,happiness,prosperity to all, and may every product you have and the home you live in be made of stems from giant medical cannabis hemp grown by dedicated organic farmers. from James

Great theory & Hope it works... despite serious doubts!

Dear Scott,

Love you brother, but you should read the CATO articles that you said you didn't have time to read in last weeks speakeasy.

They (mexico's former embassador?, etc.) contends that de facto decrim WILL lead to more recreational use (which is just fine with me) as penalties are reduced... because of increased acceptance.

Unfortunately, this decrim only applies to the miniscule number of mmj users... and not the vast majority which are recreational users!
What laws will protect the growing number of farmers supplying the growing number of recreational users... zero that I know of!

So unless there is a legal way to provide for the growing demand for recreational users the black-market won't go anywhere...justs get worse!

I'm all for reducing penalties... for everyone & esp. the majority... but not giving special rights (that don't exist) and 'stay out of jail laws' for the micro minority ie the mmj movement!

'Tax & Regulate' may be expedient, but, it won't keep the political & cultural warriors from eroding our rights... they'll just license our rights... pretending they are privileges instead? WRONG!

Choose Legality... Not Expediency!
Thomas Paine IVXX

B.S. Expediency: a regard for what is politic or advantageous rather than for what is right or just; a sense of self-interest. - Wiki

Re:

I was making a singular point about how Colorado's medical marijuana law is beginning to undermine the black market. It seems you've read too far into it.

I was actually referring to CATO articles that disagree...

Dear Scott,

I was actually referring to the CATO articles that disagree & your specific statement: "All of this perfectly illustrates the absurdity of our opposition's frequent insistence that reforming marijuana policies will create more marijuana activity."

Many 'Legalization' proponents that are opposed to the 'Tax & Regulate' model agree with the CATO articles that point out the flaw to your 'perfect illustration'.

And I'm sorry to hear you think the 'economic realities' of increasing demand w/o increasing legal supply is 'reading too much into it'... when really it's economics 101.

It was why I suggested reading the CATO articles/essays... which explains why de facto mmj decrim will increase recreational demand! If there's a medical marijuana law out there that allows personal recreational cultivation or sets up legal markets for recreational use I sure haven't heard of it? And in the absence of legal markets there will always be black-markets... and the monsters that go with it!

The only way I think a mmj law can undermine the blackmarket for recreational users is to create a legal supply for recreational users... which makes up 99.99% of all users... and why the feds are still raiding dispensories.

Dare to Disagree,
Thomas Paine IVXX

B.S. I hope the micro-minority that represents the mmj users appreciates the special rights they've attained... from where they sprang I don't know?

So 99% must smoke 'Shwag', or go without, while the market...

So 99% must smoke 'Shwag', or go without, while the market... adjusts... as it always does? New growers will fill the recreational void left by the mmj growers... assuming they aren't selling on the side too, while others will be forced to grow their own, at greatly increased risk to themselevs, while the micro-minority of mmj users gets the good stuff?

Choose Legality,
Thomas Paine IVXX

B.S. Recreational users still represent the overwhelming majority and will continue to face the greatests risks under any tax & regulate scheme that excludes recreational cultivation.

First thing I thought when I read Scott's blog on this:

So how do we rec users get any good weed any more, if all the best growers are selling all their crops to dispensaries? I refuse to quit -- it is one of the few enjoyments I have left in this life -- and I also refuse to smoke that Mexishit; guess I'll be going back into the homegrown business myself, again!

I'm pro-choice on EVERYTHING!

Legalizing Rec Use & Growing is the only answer...

Hi Moonrider,

Legalizing Rec Use & Growing is the only answer... which would require a reasoned debate and a return to some semblance of the rule of law. Which is not likely to happen anytime soon on the slow road to reform.

No great civil rights injustice ever ended by the acts of congress until a great president stood up and said make it so... and obama ain't a great president... not yet anyway... but still have hope he can change the dialog behind the scenes... again not expecting much until we can get past health care... and his legacy is secure... then gets reelected?

The odds of national legalization w/o a major shift in federal drug laws and attitudes is too depressing to contemplate! Sen. Webb is really gonna have to pull a rabbit out of his hat to make these essentials happen... he may be a former grunt but it's problably too much for him to hump up the hill and into the halls congress... just don't see it happening?

Personally, I don't think anything significant will happen nationally unless sen. webb calls for federal investigations including lots of special prosecutors and grand jurys to purge the perjurors out of the justice dept. they infest and find so profitable... monetarily and morally!

Still to foggy to see the horizon... but keep the soundings coming... until you see the beacon or the sky clears. And if you find yourself heading for the rocks... the 'prudent rule' demands common sense and a course correction. And try not to confuse sirens
with beacons... always double check your chart (feet or fathoms) and your plots!

TPIVXX

B.S. Something on a par with 'home brewing' alcohol might be best... which is not 'sin taxed' and loosely regulated. Homebrewers are allowed to brew 5 gal. per month / per adult / per household for personal non-commercial use. Tax Free, Dirt Cheap, and Environmentally Responsible... the way nature meant it to be!

That's great for MM patients,

But that sucks for others, since their dealer cannot get anything good, guess the next step is legalization, then everybody's happy.

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