Government will have to learn the hard way that if they want to reduce illegal diversion to the black market in the marijuana industry, they have to reduce taxes per gram to the level of a specialty agricultural crop (like heirloom vegetables), not a high-priced, artificially rare commodity like laboratory-produced medications or diamonds.
They’ll do it wrong at first, because they want to cash in on the green rush too. The established marijuana industry will help them by raising barriers to entry (ones the pioneers weren’t required to deal with when they began). Corporate-government collusion starts early. Oligarchies will quickly develop as competition is squashed and larger businesses consolidate, and they’ll come with all their associated ills. Our government sure seems to be good at promoting and protecting oligarchies right now. Too bad it’s horrible for the average citizen, the consumer.
The people will continue to assert their right to grow what they want to on their own property. Civil disobedience on this issue is quite prevalent in our society.
Thankfully the government started letting up on home production of alcoholic beverages and fostered good business conditions for microbrews to develop in the ’80s-’00s. This greatly increased the variety and quality of beer, while providing a thriving market alternative to the big beer oligarchy of Miller, Coors, Anheuser-Busch, et al. All we need is legislation allowing home distilling, and we’d be on the road to a free market.
It seems pretty obvious to me, though, our country is inexorably moving towards a decriminalized system of drug control. As it should. Denying civil rights to and imprisoning nonviolent drug users is a downright criminal practice. Our police have been using these same laws to take the very same rights away from regular, hardworking, law-abiding American citizens. People are starting to get fed up with always being treated like a criminal. We’re only now realizing the drug war has poisoned our police against the people, and the people against the police. Police brutality and even sometimes illegal activity are getting filmed at alarming rates because so many people at large are aware of the deep cultural issues in LEO communities now. There’s a desperate need for cops that can defuse a tense situation rather than beat, maim, or kill it.
Cannabis is just the tip of the iceberg. They’ll eventually have to legalize all plants. Research will gradually open up on all prohibited substances like marijuana — first tryptamine-bearing plants like iboga for addiction, ayahuasca and psilocybin for mental illness, and maybe some substituted phenethylamines and probably eventually khat and even a few substituted cathinones.
Having marijuana available as a chronic pain treatment will reduce patient dependence, and therefore the demand and legal supply of opiate narcotics. That’ll in turn help restrict the black market in opiate pharmaceuticals.
Allowing a small scale individual growers market of poppies and opium will eventually need to happen. People will no longer need the doctor or pharmacy as much if allowed to cultivate medicinal plants of any type. Coca cultivation must also eventually be allowed. It’s quite effective as a local anaesthetic. Each plant – marijuana, iboga, psychotria, psilocybe, papaver, peyote, coca, khat – they all yield pharmaceutically relevant compounds we don’t need doctors for. They grow from the ground. And they are the legacy of God’s generosity to all men in giving them all the abundance of life on earth to cultivate, keep, raise, and enjoy.
Medical professionals will eventually recognize heroin’s usefulness as one more tool in the kit for hospice care. Regulating, manufacturing, and distributing pharmaceutically pure diacetylmorphine will also help restrict illicit production or distribution. Tax revenue from it can help fight the black market in it.
The war against drugs is futile, doomed, and bipolar, flopping awkwardly between downright pathetic and menacingly aggressive. It is literally a war against any substance that a person could possibly enjoy, no matter how safe or innocuous. Demonizing the safe ones hurts our attempts to regulate and restrict the unsafe ones. Focus tax dollars where they will do some good.
Does it make sense that I could possibly raise acres of castor beans with no government attention, then extract large quantities of the deadly poison ricin, yet I can’t grow a cannabis plant that we’re pretty sure even if someone could consume 40 lbs of it, they still might not die? Jimson weed, belladonna, foxglove, oleander, and datura are all completely legal, ubiquitous, yet extremely dangerous — even in small quantities! In fungi many varieties of Aspergillus, Fusarium, and Podostroma, despite being extremely deadly, are totally legal – while Psilocybe is perfectly safe, yet still a Schedule I substance.
The tired old argument that the government is only restricting drugs “for our own good” is quickly becoming so laughably transparent that people are losing faith in government oversight and intrusion into their lives. We’ve lost faith in government altogether.
The country is ripe for a political revolution — a revolution for individual civil rights and against excessive government intrusion into our personal privacy.
All free individuals should be free to do what they will, as long as it infringes upon none other’s natural rights. That is the credo of the American spirit, and I’ll fight for this principle ’til the day I die.