Dear Mom and Dear Dad: new ads regarding legalized marijuana

June 15, 2012 | By | 3 Replies More

I’ve never used marijuana and I’m not trying to encourage other people to use marijuana. But neither am I discouraging adults who want to responsibly use marijuana the same way as many people responsibly use alcohol and prescription drugs. The reason I promote the legalization of marijuana is that I am horrified by the way that our politicians make personal marijuana use a criminal justice issue. Arresting 800,000 people each year (the equivalent of the population of the state of South Dakota) is a waste of taxpayer dollars and it makes our streets violent. We should tax and regulate marijuana for the same reasons we did away with Prohibition. This position is advocated by many people with careers in law enforcement, including all members of LEAP.

Colorado is soon going to vote on Amendment 64, which would do the following:

• makes the personal use, possession, and limited home-growing of marijuana legal for adults 21 years of age and older;

• establishes a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol; and

• allows for the cultivation, processing, and sale of industrial hemp.

Amendment 64 (here’s the full text) also does the following:

Amendment 64 removes all legal penalties for personal possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and for the home-growing of up to six marijuana plants, similar to the number allowed under current medical marijuana laws, in an enclosed, locked space.

The initiative creates legal marijuana establishments – retail stores, cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities, and testing facilities – and directs the Department of Revenue to regulate a system of cultivation, production (including infused products), and distribution. . . .

The general assembly will be required to enact an excise tax of up to 15 percent on the wholesale sale of non-medical marijuana applied at the point of transfer from the cultivation facility to a retail store or product manufacturer. The first $40 million of revenue raised annually will be directed to the Public School Capital Construction Assistance Fund. . . .

The initiative does not change existing laws regarding driving under the influence of marijuana, and it allows employers to maintain all of their current employment and drug testing policies. . . .

Take a look at two commercials being run by the proponents of Amendment 64, on which the people of Colorado will vote in November:

Colorado has some smart and media savvy people working on this campaign, including Mason Tvert:

By the way check out Tvert’s comments on industrial hemp at the 3 minute mark. How bizarre is it that our politicians are so dysfunctional about the false alleged dangers of marijuana that they also outlaw industrial hemp, with which people cannot possibly get high? Listen to Tvert talk about the economic benefits of making marijuana and industrial hemp legal.


Category: Drug laws, hypocrisy

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (3)

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    In this news interview, Mason Tvert explains Amendment 64.

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    The demand curve for drugs is extremely inelastic, meaning that people don’t change their drug consumption very much in response to changes in prices. Therefore, vigorous enforcement means higher prices and higher revenues for drug dealers. In fact, I’ll defer to Cowen and Tabarrok—page 60 of the first edition, if you’re still curious—for a discussion of the basic economic logic:

    The more effective prohibition is at raising costs, the greater are drug industry revenues. So, more effective prohibition means that drug sellers have more money to buy guns, pay bribes, fund the dealers, and even research and develop new technologies in drug delivery (like crack cocaine). It’s hard to beat an enemy that gets stronger the more you strike against him or her.

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    Jeffrey Miron:

    “Prohibition creates violence because it drives the drug market underground. This means buyers and sellers cannot resolve their disputes with lawsuits, arbitration or advertising, so they resort to violence instead.

    Violence was common in the alcohol industry when it was banned during Prohibition, but not before or after.

    Violence is the norm in illicit gambling markets but not in legal ones. Violence is routine when prostitution is banned but not when it’s permitted. Violence results from policies that create black markets, not from the characteristics of the good or activity in question.

    The only way to reduce violence, therefore, is to legalize drugs. Fortuitously, legalization is the right policy for a slew of other reasons.”

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