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Friday, March 18, 2005

More spurious drug numbers 

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 | |

About us:

This weblog is an ongoing, if periodic, effort by several friends to stay in touch, in reading material, and in ideas.

Lucky Luciano is a former Italian Stallion real estate hustler and Benedict Arnold CEO turned shady lawyer-to-be. He lives in Denver.

Ben is a Paramedic and would-be philantropist who lives in Denver. He knows everything about nothing.

Fuzzy Dunlop lives in Manhattan. He is more than capable of standing up to the stresses of a high crime urban environment.

Jess is a teacher. But have YOU given her an apple? No, you haven't. You should be ashamed of yourself. This crazy feminist currently rests her copy of Awakening in Jersey City.

Matt is a pariah, iconoclast, and professor of gambling living in Oakland.

Miguel Sanchez is not Lionel Hutz.

Daddy Brooklyn lives in Brooklyn. He hates Republicans, though he wouldn't mind being ensconced in the landed elite of New York City.

Paul just smoked my eyelids and punched my cigarette.

Ziggy Stardust has no past.

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