« The War on Drugs | Main | Should Marijuana Be Decriminalized Nationwide?—Posner »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


The benefits to Mexico may be more than ridding themselves of murderous drug cartels and especially so if they legalized in the same time frame.

While "street prices" of MJ should fall dramatically object of "midstream" cartels is to max out the spread between what "dribbles down" to the farmer and what they get from street prices held high by our and Mexico's futile "drug war". The higher price created by the added costs of ducking US and Mexican authorities is precisely why there are always those willing to chance tough penalties.

I wouldn't count on elasticity to do much to dampen demand as those most have jobs good enough to say "Well, no more costly than a couple of martinis or glass of wine, and somehow it seems those of lesser means find ways to buy cigs, pay fairly high cellphone bills and imbibe a bit.

If our Coast Guard or other enforcement wins a few rounds they simply raise the stakes for more creativity and higher pay to offset risk to "mules".

Becker is right in counseling "strapped states" NOT to count on legalization as a huge cash cow as the economics are very different. Most of us have little incentive to try to make a good wine or bottle of distilled spirits at home to save, "high taxes and all" $10 - $30 a liter, and have little expectation that we could make a finer product.

MJ would be very different at levels from "savers" growing a few plants at home, to hobbyists striving for their own distinctive product to be exchanged with and "liked" by their (Facebook?) "friends".

It's interesting to reflect upon war time scarcity and high cig prices creating the flurry of "roll your own" either skillful hand means or by those little wallet shaped machines, but that $5/pack or so seems not to create any lash back today.

Steven Walser

Of course marijuana should be legalized. Years of experience shows that cannabis use and a vigorous and peaceful society can live hand in hand. On a personal note this rent seeking farmer would just as soon not see legalization on a nationwide basis until I have a few years taking advantage of Washington States deliciously restrictive legalization regime which will serve to accomplish several things. By it's restrictions requiring shareholders and their wives to all pass criminal and financial background checks they have effectively kept the growing, processing and retail sales of cannabis widely dispersed in local businesses hands. By the severe restriction on numbers and amount to be licensed to growers and the number of retail locations the state has effectively established what will likely be a VERY lucrative cartel that will not, for the effective future, have a chance to meet the demand that legalization will create thus ensuring that growers and retailers will regulate demand by price just as is happening in Colorado where prices have soared. By limiting the amount that any individual grower or grower group can produce the state has ensured that there will be a geographically diverse group of relatively small growers that will bring great prosperity to their areas and all without fear of the law. This law is a cannabis growers dream and one can expect the value of licenses to skyrocket as sales commence. I have farmed legal crops for many years and let me say that the prospect of raising a crop with a value in the thousands of dollars per pound and with the power of the state restricting the propensity of farmers to overproduce has this old farmer giddy!

jim kirby

I don't get all this talk about treating "addiction." If a person spends all his time sleeping, playing video games, eating or copulating, we don't normally call him and addict or consider fines, imprisonment or AA meetings.

I condemn fellow Amerikans for addiction to religion, dogs, cats, work, new cars, recycling and organic food, but I wouldn't think of fining or imprisoning them.

What's the deal, Becker? Is an "addict" merely someone who obsesses about something you disapprove of? Carlson is a chess addict, after all, as was Bobby Fischer, who went so far as to learn Russian to support his addiction.

B Wilds

A recent Pew Research Center poll found that for the first time a majority of Americans favor legalizing the use of marijuana. Indiana Governor Mike Pence is not among them. With the rest of the United States moving towards relaxing marijuana laws, Indiana seems to be bravely marching into the past. The Hoosier State's penalties for marijuana are getting tougher after Gov. Mike Pence requested, and was granted stricter laws for low-level cannabis offenders.

In Indiana lawmakers have gone so far as proposing that felony charges for possession be extended down to cover one-third of an ounce of marijuana, down from 30 grams or one ounce of marijuana. More on the direction Indiana is going and why in the post below,



Any comment on the teratogenic effects of marijuana consumption? It's surprising that not more research has been done. The effects will should be seen in the 2nd generation offspring of marijuana users, i.e. it should show up in the grand-children of baby-boomers.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Become a Fan

May 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31