MJ Doesn’t Have to Lead to Commercialization
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MJ Doesn’t Have to Lead to Commercialization
Posted by CN Staff on November 17, 2014 at 19:13:17 PT
By Mark A.R. Kleiman
Source: New York Times 
Washington, D.C. -- The voters of Washington, D.C. have overwhelmingly approved the legalization of cannabis under a system known as “grow and give” – every resident will be allowed to grow cannabis at home and to give it away, but not to sell it. There’s a strong case for ending cannabis prohibition one way or another, and “grow and give” avoids a lot of the problems created by turning production over to a for-profit commercial sector, the way states like Washington, Colorado and now Oregon and Alaska have.
Turning cannabis over to for-profit vendors carries two great risks: increased drug abuse, and illegal exports from the district to the rest of the country.The District’s elected officials are now considering whether to move beyond “grow and give” by creating another for-profit market. I’m against it.Granted, buying at the store would be more convenient than home growing for Washingtonians who want to consume cannabis, and would therefore compete more effectively against illegal growing and selling. But turning cannabis over to for-profit vendors carries two great risks: increased drug abuse, and illegal exports from the district to the rest of the country. The key factor is price: Legal cannabis will cost (before tax) a small fraction of what dealers now charge for illegal cannabis.If Washington does decide to commercialize, it will need either very high taxes or the equivalent in tight production quotas to keep D.C. cannabis from joining Virginia cigarettes on the I-95 smuggling route to New York. But why not let “grow and give” run for a while to see how it works? Deciding to make something legal doesn’t need to mean making it an article of ordinary commerce.Mark A.R. Kleiman is a professor of public policy at the U.C.L.A. Luskin School of Public Affairs and a co-author of "Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know." His firm, BOTEC Analysis, advised the Washington State Liquor Control Board on establishing a legal cannabis market.Source: New York Times (NY)Author: Mark A.R. KleimanPublished: November 17, 2014Copyright: 2014 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on November 18, 2014 at 20:10:57 PT
Comment 1 Observer
Well and succinctly observed.
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Comment #1 posted by observer on November 18, 2014 at 12:59:42 PT
re: Commercialization
Kleiman, a paid employee and apologist for the State - (government) which writes his generous paycheck - would have you fear a scary "Commercialization". Yeah, I fear a store (terror) in D.C or Oregon or Alaska, selling (brace yourself for the horror) plant material to (gasp) consenting adults. (Oh Ethel, get the smelling salts!) Where are these "Commercialization" scare-mongers when it comes to the "Commercialization" of prison? Notice how loudly they attempt to make us fear the equivalent of Budweiser sales - while they keep studiously silent about the police state, about the government's gun pressed to the back of your head. Where are they when it comes to the corrupting influences of for-profit prisons? Where is Kleiman when it comes to privatized prison and policing for profit? Mum? Silence? Big BOTEC blind spot. But typical. To the extent this government gravy-train follower, Kleiman, sees which way this thing is going, where people wake up and demand their traditional freedoms back again, and gives up on some sliver of his totalitarian apparatchik dreams of total governmental control, that's great. For example when Kleiman backed Oregon legalization - I applaud that. But when Kleiman decides (like any communist commissar or central planner) that Kleiman (in his scholarly erudition) knows better than the free market -- which that will always come down to government guns to enforce his totalitarian central planning wet dreams.The "gun" part of course was never incidental to such totalitarian plans, though they take pains to hide that from you, until it is too late. Totalitarian dreamers usually minimize the gun imagery in their rhetoric - unless they are trying to disarm you, first. That's why Sabet and other shrewd prohibitionists downplay and minimize that arrest and prison stuff. This should strike people as odd, as arrest and prison for pot is what pot prohibition is all about. But prohibitionists tend to be well dressed, have short and neat hair, and say things like that with a straight face. This will work for about 90% of the conservative base. Strike a pose of championing the "little guy" against the big bad (imaginary) foe of "Big Marijuana". That's Sabet and this BOTEC bozo. Trouble is, they way they "protect" us from this imaginary bugaboo is to arrest, jail, and with punitive fines and of course taxes. Freedom, free markets, farmer's markets, just letting adults freely buy, sell, and trade pot like they do pumpkins or peaches, is to such control freaks, anathema.
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