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Top 10 Reasons to Let Americans Grow and Sell Marijuana

This is our contract with America, which we humbly submit in the hope of working together to build a better marijuana policy.

1. We will not kill our competitors in trade disputes.
2. We will not cultivate plants on public land.
3. We will not bribe or threaten public officials.
4. We will always ask for ID and never sell to minors.
5. We will provide fair working conditions for our employees.
6. We will abide by local ordinances and regulations.
7. We will pay state income taxes and licensing fees.
8. We will choose business locations with community input.
9. We will work with law enforcement, not around it.
10. We will stop bitching at you about marijuana laws.

These goals may seem challenging, but they can be achieved through sensible regulations. It's time to stop fighting over marijuana and start cooperating to develop a system that works for everyone.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Your heart is in the right place, but...

We can't even get current legitimate, licensed, regulated businesses like tobacco and alcohol to follow 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9. What makes you think that marijuana users who are, by definition, lawbreakers to follow these regulations? If they won't follow the rules when they're a criminal offences, why will they follow them when they're not?

cannabis users are Dr's,

cannabis users are Dr's, Lawyer"s, Judges, family men, and all kinds of people. We do not see cannabis as illegal no matter how much the law harasses us, jails us, or threaten us. Its a family tradition handed down from our fore fathers to grow and use your medicine the way it should be used unless it was a holliday and no body was going anywhere, and then we would pass the family peace pipe and sit and tell storys and laugh for a few hrs and then hit the leftovers.

What in Gods name is wrong with that, now put that in your pipe and smoke it.

You smoke this

First off, who is "we"?  Just you?  You have the authority to speak for everyone?  Do you think that there is a "brotherhood" of pot smoker's?  Are you their spokes person?  Do you somehow think that pot smokers are a righteous group?  Yes, all kinds of people smoke pot.   Dr's, Lawyer"s, Judges, family men, and everyone else including yourself, that smoke pot have just 1 thing in common.  You all think that these laws don't apply to you. OK, maybe you are above the law. Lucky you.  I agree there is a problem, and it needs to be addressed.  Personaly, I don't  believe you fully understand what is truly at stake.  You just want it legalized so you can get high without worry of being busted.  Do you really care about the important issues of legalization?

borden's picture

Unconvinced,You are making


You are making perfection the enemy of the good. By and large the currently regulated industries do follow all of those points. There are imperfections in the system and compliance is less than 100%. But do you deny that the currently regulated industries are vastly closer to complying with these rules than the criminal underground is? If so, I have some real estate in Florida you may be interested in, totally unaffected by hurricanes or the oil spill.

The reason that the currently regulated industries now, the quasi-legal medical marijuana industry now, and the future legal marijuana industry, all do a better job with these points, is that legal businesses have an incentive to obey the rules, so that they won't get caught and get jailed or put out of business.

Also, your argument lacks a logical foundation, because Scott was talking about marijuana sellers, not users, but you compared them with users. Today's sellers may or may not be tomorrow's sellers, and tomorrow's sellers in any case will have an incentive to play by the rules. Compliance will be less than 100%, but that's the same in any area of business.

Leaving aside your personal

Leaving aside your personal attacks I will address your response, even though you fail to answer the two very simple and straightforward questions I propose.

I certainly agree that compliance will never 100%, but this article proposes legalization as a "solution" to the issues addressed by each point. I disagree that legalization will have the proposed effect.

To say my argument lacks a logical foundation is the pinnacle of irony as this short piece lacks any logical foundation. This piece states that Americans should be able to grow marijuana for 10 reasons, which make up the basis of the "contract" between marijuana growers and America. However there is no evidence that anyone would follow these rules, and plenty of evidence to the contrary. If alcohol and tobacco retailers, probably the two most heavily regulated consumer products in the country, rarely ask for ID and sell to minors on a daily basis, what backwards logic would make you think that marijuana retailers would be any more diligent? Furthermore there are already vast networks of black market marijuana growers and retailers. What makes you think legalizing marijuana will do anything to stop them? They already have the infrastructure, the manufacturing capacity and the distribution methods established, meaning that they will quite likely be able to provide superior and cheaper product for the foreseeable future.

I would direct you to find an article written in The Atlantic by Te-Nehasi Coates for an excellent articulation on exactly why commercial marijuana would be a terrible idea. This reason would be the formation of a marijuana lobby. Every day the alcohol and tobacco lobbies work tirelessly to bribe and threaten public officials, reduce worker's rights, evade and eliminate legal regulation, evade and eliminate taxes and licensing fees, ignore community input, work against law enforcement, and "bitch" about alcohol and tobacco laws.


In short, the "contract" is naive, and legalizing (and especially commercializing as the author implies) the production of marijuana would most likely run in direct contrast to the majority of the points made in this article. Again I ask: why would a group with a proven propensity to ignore the law put any credence in mere regulations when criminal laws do not deter them?

There are myriad good reasons for legalization, but the majority of these are not among them.

"If alcohol and tobacco

"If alcohol and tobacco retailers, probably the two most heavily regulated consumer products in the country, rarely ask for ID and sell to minors on a daily basis, what backwards logic would make you think that marijuana retailers would be any more diligent?"

What proof or statistics do you have that show alcohol and tobacco "rarely ask for ID...?"  I think you are making this up to make a point against marijuana.  I think your entire argument is based on nothing more than hate for marijuana growers and users.

Legal Markets Will Defeat Illegal Markets

(1)“ …rarely ask for ID and sell to minors on a daily basis….”

I don’t know where you live, but where I live selling tobacco and liquor to minors and asking for IDs is a really big deal.  Where I live, enforcement agencies hire nice looking teenage girls to canvas neighborhoods to get retailers to sell them cigarettes or alcohol.  If the retailers bite, they’re busted. 

A business can lose its business license if they consistently violate the laws and sell to minors.  In other words, a legal enforcement arm for this sort of thing already exists.

(2)“What makes you think legalizing marijuana will do anything to stop them?”

Legalized competition will stop them.  It will force them out of business.  Cannabis consumers will prefer purchasing their weed from brick and mortar establishments where quality can be guaranteed and methods are in place for customer grievances should they arise.  When a person buys cannabis from some stranger in a public park, there are few guarantees of quality or even an accurate weight, much less getting your money back if you’ve somehow been ripped off. 

As a further example, one rarely if ever sees California medical marijuana patients purchasing cannabis on the street, even though it might be cheaper.  That’s because medical patients have a safe place they can go during daylight business hours to get a consistent, quality product without having to mess with street dealers.

(3)“…alcohol and tobacco lobbies work tirelessly to bribe and threaten public officials, reduce worker's rights, evade and eliminate legal regulation, evade and eliminate taxes and licensing fees, ignore community input, work against law enforcement, and "bitch" about alcohol and tobacco laws…

If I were a public official, and the alcohol or tobacco lobbies threatened me, as an official I would probably have the resources to cut them off at their kneecaps, depending on the threat. 

Evading taxes is not something the liquor industry can avoid, and it’s not something they need to avoid because the production costs of a fifth of scotch whiskey retailing for $50 amounts to about $0.75.  In the case of both the liquor and tobacco industries, both haul in the cash despite taxes. 

The distillers have no reason or desire to see untaxed liquor hit the market, because that’s moonshine, and it’s competition for their labeled product.  In this way, legitimate distributors can invoke the tax laws to protect their market.  The same will be true for cannabis.


"Furthermore there are

"Furthermore there are already vast networks of black market marijuana growers and retailers. What makes you think legalizing marijuana will do anything to stop them?"


I don't know maybe the evidence provided by prohibition? 

I'm sure some bootlegging of alcohol still goes on but its so much easier to go to the store and get it.

Why wouldn't that apply to the end of marijuana prohibition?

Medical and 19

 Prop 19 analysis by Dennis Peron's own lawyer:
"Prop 19 is the best thing to happen to medical marijuana patients since Prop 215" 

Unconvinced, I'm sure that no

Unconvinced, I'm sure that no comment here will be able to get you to change your position but you came to it by making assumptions and speculations that you then decided would be certainties.

Incremental legalization unfortunately is a political necessity/reality. It's going to have problems but it will be a start in the right direction. What would be optimum would be comprehensive legislation putting in place a full production, distribution and sales regulatory framework modeled on beer and wine and to a small extent, tobacco. We've already done this and it works to most peoples satisfaction if not 100% perfectly.

What would be far more functional would be a statewide framework. Localities can tinker about some minor specifics but the "localities decide" thing is too balkanized to work optimally.

The single most important factor for success in eliminating the black market is adequately scaled production enabling use of the most efficient, lowest cost methods. Right now production remains severely constrained and prices remain at prohibition levels. Legal cannabis can and must undercut the black market. Cannabis is very prolific. CA has a very suitable climate for production of the highest levels of quality using carbon footprint friendly sun rather the totally unnecessary indoor methods.. Compare cannabis flower production to wine grape production. Nobody grows grapes indoors. Large agribusinesses grow vast commercial quantities of very acceptable quality on large tracts that result in retail bottles of average quality wine for about $5 retail. Then smaller more boutique producers work most laboriously producing much smaller amounts of much better quality. These get to consumers at $10+ per bottle. Production scaled this way means no one has any incentive to make and sell black market wine. Consumers are offered all qualities at all price points. Excise taxes are collected, IDs are checked far more than not, sales taxes are collected, and this system succeeds with all it's goals almost all the time. Guerilla growers are not invading and spoiled public lands to grow grapes. Cartels are not smuggling tanker trucks of wine into the US. A steady source of illegal profits are not available to tempt and bribe public officials illicitly. The police need only concern themselves with impaired drivers. The court system is far less burdened by processing numerous nonviolent "offenders". That means incarceration facilities are burdened, probation and parole officers have lighter workloads and can concentrate on monitoring more actual dangerous persons.

Legal production could achieve retail prices for good commercial dried flower for smoking of dollars per oz. This model however is a paradigm change that many currently involved would not like to see. Then cannabis is no longer high profit on small volume. However availability to consumers will have to get down to these prices to put cannabis pricing in line with alcohol and tobacco and make it affordable to all income levels. Get to that point point and the only "harm" from cannabis will be the occasional oddly slow driver and increases in ice cream sales.

Nice speech.  However, I tend

Nice speech.  However, I tend to disagree with your last sentence about the only harm being the occasional slow driver and an increase in ice cream sales.  Have you ever seen an accident where people have died because of someone being "blown away" behind the wheel of a several thousand pound vehicle.  I didn't think so.  Its not much different than a drunk driver.  The results are often the same.

the order

I think no.10 should be first.

I think this might be the

I think this might be the most appealing point to a great many politicians & government bureaucrats, (most) law enforcement officers, lawyers, parents, professors/teachers, social workers, etc. And I mean a seriously long "Etc."

"10. We will stop bitching at you about marijuana laws."

But if you won't do the decent and common sense thing and keep your hands off marijuana users, you haven't hear anything yet regarding bitching about these creeped out bigoted laws. They're going down and the sooner America takes care of business the sooner we can all get back to business instead of wasting so much time and money on this.

DreamOfGreen's picture


I don’t think there’s any way that there’s not going to be some problems and issues once it’s made legal. For something that’s been such a heated issue for so long how can there not be? But I hope and believe that in a reasonable amount of time it will be shown and proven that we are better off without prohibition than with.

And for “does people who will use it in the wrong way”, what way would that be? Rectally?



No doubt

Lemme try that again

I think this might be the most appealing point to a great many politicians & government bureaucrats, (most) law enforcement officers, lawyers, parents, professors/teachers, social workers, etc. And I mean a seriously long "Etc."

Seriously, the bitching is only just starting

Cannabis prohibs don't have a fucking leg to stand on. Their drug alcohol is FAR more dangerous than cannabis, as news reporting makes clear on a permanent ongoing basis. (If you have a strong stomach read the report in the NY Times today about the gays tortured by some alcohol culture types). Prohibition empowers the cartels who are a murderous national security threat, and local dealers who institute their own reign of terror in many U.S. communities (and who are often happy to sell to kids), usually poor communities that were already suffering. The full extent of the unnecessary suffering caused by the sadistic suppression of medicinal cannabis/MMJ research is coming into focus. Etc, etc. The more they stonewall full, honest debate on the subject (recreational cannabis, MMJ, and industrial hemp), the louder they're going to get called for their wild hypocrisy and bigotry, and their war on science and their fellow citizens.

Let's use a little wisdom

Legalizing marijuana will open a whole new can of worms.

1)  How will law enforcement be able to prove a DUI case when they stop a motorist?  A breathalizer test?

2)  What about the work place?  Failed urine tests?  Cost of insurance for employees at the work place?

     How about a work place injury?  Workman's comp vs pothead?  Even if the person wasn't high when the

     accident happened, that person could still fail the "piss" test.  What then?

3)  How would the government tax it?  You know they will want to.  Will the feds have control to regulate it?

4)  What about our youth?  Haven't they already been corrupted enough by the immorality of their role models?

5)  What would a person do if they caught someone stealing their plants?  Shoot them?  Is that worth 

     killing someone?


      I can see the use of it for medical reasons.  I can appreciate a person's right to do what they want in the privacy of their own home.  I can see a need  to decriminalize its use under certain conditions, but total legalization could prove to be a big mistake!

reply to some of "let's use ..." points

1. You're telling me that for 70+ years they've been arresting people for mere possession of weed and they still don't have a test to show when people are too intoxicated to drive UI weed? Whose fault is that? Sounds like they haven't been too worried about the problem, presumably because it's a relatively minor problem, because people don't think they're Superman when they're high on weed and the impairment of driving skills is much less than with alcohol to begin with.

4. Current policy is sending a clear message that alcohol is less dangerous than weed. It's not hard for kids to see for themselves that it's the other way around. Kids need honesty from adults, and accurate information on relative dangers. What's immoral about allowing adults to use a safer substance than alcohol, I don't understand why you are bringing up morality.

5. The only way to make growing your own cannabis safer is to legalize and lower the price of cannabis as Prop 19 will do. Can you think of any other way to make it safer? If weed is legal, the victim of a theft has recourse to the police and courts, currently their only option is the vigilantism you're afraid of.

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