Weed Current Events, 15 Jan 2014

1/2 of NFL players are using weed.  What this really means is that the other half lie about it.

Joining the general trend, DC is considering decriminalizing weed possession.  I am generally in favor of this.  I favor law makers allowing the common people to do the things that the lawmakers are themselves doing anyway with impunity.  Possession would still be illegal, as it should be, but the penalty will be miniscule.

What we are learning is that the Libertarian argument of “taking the profit out of crime” simply isn’t working.  Criminal gangs are still the number one point of sale for weed in places like Colorado and California.  Banks won’t do business with legalized weed sales offices because they fear federal criminal penalties for assisting in trafficking and money laundering.  So credit and debit cards can’t be used.  The all cash businesses are having to resort to paying their bills in all cash, just like [illegal] drug dealers do.

Legitimate businessmen will still not go into the pot business.  Pot is a dangerous drug and any legitimate business that grows, sells or distributes it will eventually face civil liability for the harm their product does.  They only thing that has shielded them so far from this is the fact that use was illegal.  You are never going to see weed sold at Walmart or CVS.  So the drug gangs will still be selling it on the streets to their normal customers.

Further, we have all benefited a small degree from having weed illegal.  It’s status as an illegal substance has forced its consumers to consume privately in private homes and thus we have not all been forced to smell that reeking odor outside of every public building like we do for cigarettes.

I personally am in favor of there being fewer restrictions on private behaviors of all kinds.  In the rollback on the “war on drugs” there are several major important campaigns that need to be waged:

1.  Eliminating the current confiscation laws that permit police to keep the private property that is seized in drug raids.  The notion that some gains are Ill-gotten and others are pure is an evil idea that legalizes theft and looting.  Drug dealers should pay fines, when found guilty in court and the amount of the fines set by law, not an arbitrary amount set by the arresting officer depending on everything he sees when he makes his arrest.

2.  Make the possession and distribution of antibiotics legal.  “good drugs” need to be legalized long before bad drugs.  good drugs have good benefits and free people should have free access to them without having to get government permission.

3.  Ditto for pain killers.  I don’t care if people abuse them.  I really don’t.  I am far more interested that people in pain can find relief.  Every home first aid kit should have an assortment of pain remedies in them:  Lidocain, Percoset, Oxycontin, and morphine to name a few.  And if drug companies can convince me on a 30 second TV commercial that their pain killer is good, then I want that too.  Accidents happen.  Pain happens.  When it does, it is too late to wait for a licensed doctor at an emergency room to see you, after seeing all the illegal immigrants having babies, to get some pain relief from whacking your hand with the table saw.

4.  Stop forcing drug companies to play those stupid disclaimers in their 30 second advertizements, or those extra pages of dense fine print in magazine ads.  An ad should not have to be a full disclosure.  It’s just a tease.    If you want the whole list of possible side effects, look it up on the internet.

5.  Shut down the FDA.  They do nothing useful and they do it at a very high cost.  put all drugs out into the market place and let doctors advise sick people what they really need.  And sick people can make their own informed choices.

6.  State and federal laws need to be harmonized.  it is unintelligible for a state to say, “smoke it up” if it is still a violation of federal law to do so.  And make no mistake, it IS still a violation of federal law.  So, even if state LEO won’t enforce it, federal LEO (and there are a lot of them living in the states) will.  Federal prosecutors will.  federal courts will.  And there are plenty of federal prisons to hold the violators.  This eventually must result in a supreme court case on whose law prevails.  If a state can can make POT legal, they can also make Obamacare in it’s entirely illegal (not that they would).

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About Professor Hale

Currently living in Virginia
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16 Responses to Weed Current Events, 15 Jan 2014

  1. Giraffe says:

    1. agree
    2. MPAI and would overuse them. Doctors overuse them. We’d have drug resistant bacteria even worse than now. But I want to be pro-freedom, so I guess it is just an unfortunate price to pay.
    3-5. agree
    6. Screw the feds. Some states are reasserting their rights and making it illegal to enforce unconstitutional laws. I don’t know if anybody has the balls to take on the leviathan or if it is just bluster.

  2. Res Ipsa says:

    What we are learning is that the Libertarian argument of “taking the profit out of crime” simply isn’t working.

    A friend of mine works as a deputy sheriff here in WY. He told me that since CO legalized medical pot the street price in WY is now about half what it was a couple of months ago. Since they CO legalized recreational pot they expect the price to come down even more. He was framing this data negatively because he thinks people will be smoking more dope because it is cheaper and easier to get. Which may be true.

    As far as legal recreational pot goes, its a matter of which crook you want to see profit. Either you are in favor of Uncle Guido and MS13 getting rich or you are in favor or the government/recreation pharma complex getting rich. Either way some crook is going to profit form human weakness and misery. If pot is decriminalized then we may see the public cost of the industrial/incarceration complex reduced.

    If pot is legal in DC, at least we will know the answer to the question we ask every time a new law comes out of DC, “What were they smoking?”.

  3. @giraffe. 2. I don’t care. Any benefit we get from regulating antibiotics is swallowed immediatly in the third world. We gain nothing by denying to ourselves free access. Plus doctors seldom do anything to control the abuse outside of forcing you to pay for an office call.

  4. And sheriffs know the price of drugs how???

  5. Largely agree with what you write, however, re-legalization of MJ is impeded by banks running scared from the Feds. I’d like to see that fixed, and see what happens to all those drug gangs then.

  6. It will still be a dirty business that other businesses won’t touch. Amazon won’t sell it. Ups won’t deliver it if they do. Any customer who buys at a legal store leaves plenty of evidence to convict him

  7. Giraffe says:

    I forgot to comment on this the first time.

    What we are learning is that the Libertarian argument of “taking the profit out of crime” simply isn’t working.

    Oh come on. It still is not a free market until the threat of federal prosecution is dealt with. Also, give the supply time to catch up with demand.

    Wait a year before you declare it a failure. What is going on in CA? It has been legal there for a few years.

  8. There is no way that the legalized places can grow fast enough to satisfy demand. Not in convenient locations nor in tons of product moved. And when you add the taxes and cost of doing legitimate business, the gangs and their distribution networks still win a price war. Plus, gangs still can extort the legal places in addition to the extortion the govt agencies will be applying.

  9. Giraffe says:

    I’m fine with that. But it is taxes and govt extorsion vs. the black market. The black market is more free, so they are cheaper.

    Why can’t we just make it completely legal? Farmers can grow thousands of acres of it and bale it up with hay balers. What can gangs do against that?

  10. Res Ipsa says:

    And sheriffs know the price of drugs how???

    I assume they track such things. Our state has been watching the events in CO very carefully. I suspect that we will have legal medical MJ in a short period of time with recreational use not too long afterward. I have very mixed feelings about the entire affair. The controls I would like to see in place will never happen. I suspect that the states that legalize will create something similar to a state liquor store for pot in an effort to tax and benefit from the vice. I’m OK with that since I have no desire to smoke the stuff.

  11. Nothing. But since it is a product that grows anywhere and every user can easily grow enough for his own consumption in his apartment, I don’t see big factory farms wanting any part of this.

  12. To track it, they must participate in it. Government officials seldom get reliable information when tracking illegal activities. It seems that the criminals they deal with “lie” to them on a regular basis.

    I am personally in favor of keeping it illegal, but making the penalties miniscule. Thus, the police don’t enforce it, but it stays hidden, like masturbation. Some things do not belong in public.

  13. Giraffe says:

    Nothing. But since it is a product that grows anywhere and every user can easily grow enough for his own consumption in his apartment, I don’t see big factory farms wanting any part of this.

    Right. And then the gangs will have to resort to trafficking in meth and sex slaves because mj will be practically free.

  14. Or they will offer a superior product with seeds that won’t germinate in a home garden (aka Monsanto). Making customers happy is a path to riches and glory.

  15. Giraffe says:

    Or they will offer a superior product with seeds that won’t germinate in a home garden (aka Monsanto).

    The gangs would soon would find themselves in competition with Monsanto if pot were legal.

  16. Competition = good.

    Gangs wouldn’t stand a chance. Monsanto knows how to run a monopoly.

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