Another great piece from slate
on drug policy. I've been saying for years that legalizing marijuana will help lift poor regions (southern US) and poor countries (Jamaica, in particular) out of poverty. It makes a big mistake however, and one you would think an international trade law professor could spot.
Here's the problem with the piece: the estimates of the present spending on marijuana are not good numbers for the economic damages of marijuana being illegal. That's because a big part of the price of marijuana is a risk premium that results from it being illegal. So the US spent $15 Billion on weed last year? Well, $7 Billion of that is tacked on to make it worth the while of all of those involved in getting it to market (a little off topic, there's good reason to believe that those involved in the drug trade don't correctly calculate risk).
Yes, when its legal and the price falls, consumption will increase. It won't double. There is only so much weed you can smoke, believe me.But...
if spurious numbers are need to bust out the chronic, I won't testify otherwise.
-Miguel Sanchez 13:23 EST |