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(Economist)   Legalizing marijuana in the US could, in short, deal a blow to Mexico's traffickers of a magnitude that no current policy has got close to achieving   (economist.com) divider line 187
    More: Obvious, United States, American Election, fixed costs, social costs, drug traffickers, Sinaloa, economic cost, wholesale prices  
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2849 clicks; posted to Politics » on 04 Nov 2012 at 12:25 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-04 08:15:51 AM  
Duh.
 
2012-11-04 08:22:48 AM  
I am curious - How much would legalization cost in the form of lost jobs (due to work drug policies), unemployment due to said job losses, drug related car accidents (cost to both auto and health care insurance companies)? Has a study like that ever been conducted?
 
2012-11-04 08:38:51 AM  

Endive Wombat: I am curious - How much would legalization cost in the form of lost jobs (due to work drug policies), unemployment due to said job losses, drug related car accidents (cost to both auto and health care insurance companies)? Has a study like that ever been conducted?


I would assume that the net job loss would be very little given that there are more people convicted on drug-related charges than there are operating the criminal justice side.

I would also assume that it's remains true after taking into consideration that not all arrested/convicted have jobs. If they held for jobless rates using demographic and geographic data - it would probably be a simple model to account for.

However, the study should identify the scope anyway.
 
2012-11-04 08:39:52 AM  

Bontesla: Endive Wombat: I am curious - How much would legalization cost in the form of lost jobs (due to work drug policies), unemployment due to said job losses, drug related car accidents (cost to both auto and health care insurance companies)? Has a study like that ever been conducted?

I would assume that the net job loss would be very little given that there are more people convicted on drug-related charges than there are operating the criminal justice side.

I would also assume that it's remains true after taking into consideration that not all arrested/convicted have jobs. If they held for jobless rates using demographic and geographic data - it would probably be a simple model to account for.

However, the study should identify the scope anyway.


Now, imagine that I typed this without any errors. Thanks.

/I should stop Farking as I try to wake up in the mornings.
 
2012-11-04 08:51:21 AM  

Bontesla: Bontesla: Endive Wombat: I am curious - How much would legalization cost in the form of lost jobs (due to work drug policies), unemployment due to said job losses, drug related car accidents (cost to both auto and health care insurance companies)? Has a study like that ever been conducted?

I would assume that the net job loss would be very little given that there are more people convicted on drug-related charges than there are operating the criminal justice side.

I would also assume that it's remains true after taking into consideration that not all arrested/convicted have jobs. If they held for jobless rates using demographic and geographic data - it would probably be a simple model to account for.

However, the study should identify the scope anyway.

Now, imagine that I typed this without any errors. Thanks.

/I should stop Farking as I try to wake up in the mornings.


There would be an immediate rise in people using though, and that has been demonstrated in various European countries over the years.

I do wonder what the final push will be to finally get marijuana legalized. I suspect that on a national level, gay marriage equality will be passed first. We're getting there...
 
2012-11-04 08:58:36 AM  

Endive Wombat: Bontesla: Bontesla: Endive Wombat: I am curious - How much would legalization cost in the form of lost jobs (due to work drug policies), unemployment due to said job losses, drug related car accidents (cost to both auto and health care insurance companies)? Has a study like that ever been conducted?

I would assume that the net job loss would be very little given that there are more people convicted on drug-related charges than there are operating the criminal justice side.

I would also assume that it's remains true after taking into consideration that not all arrested/convicted have jobs. If they held for jobless rates using demographic and geographic data - it would probably be a simple model to account for.

However, the study should identify the scope anyway.

Now, imagine that I typed this without any errors. Thanks.

/I should stop Farking as I try to wake up in the mornings.

There would be an immediate rise in people using though, and that has been demonstrated in various European countries over the years.

I do wonder what the final push will be to finally get marijuana legalized. I suspect that on a national level, gay marriage equality will be passed first. We're getting there...


I'm okay with an increase in usage. In fact - we shouldn't be jailing people for offenses related to drug addiction and drug use. I'm actually in favor of legalizing all drug use and turning the saved money into free and accessible rehab centers for dependent people.

/that's just assuming you're correct in claiming prohibition is an effective deterrant
//which there are many studies that say prohibition contributes to usage and not deters from usage
 
2012-11-04 08:59:50 AM  

Endive Wombat: I do wonder what the final push will be to finally get marijuana legalized.


DEA reclassifying it as a Schedule II drug. That's it, pretty much.

It should be classified the same as nicotine and alcohol, but that won't happen in my lifetime.
 
2012-11-04 09:23:47 AM  

Bontesla: I'm okay with an increase in usage. In fact - we shouldn't be jailing people for offenses related to drug addiction and drug use. I'm actually in favor of legalizing all drug use and turning the saved money into free and accessible rehab centers for dependent people.

/that's just assuming you're correct in claiming prohibition is an effective deterrant
//which there are many studies that say prohibition contributes to usage and not deters from usage


But that's SOCIALISM WHARRGARBL!111111ELEVENTYONE
 
2012-11-04 09:30:23 AM  

Endive Wombat: There would be an immediate rise in people using though, and that has been demonstrated in various European countries over the years.


I wonder if it's more people using, or more people that were already using now saying so because there are no legal repercussions? That would be a tough study,
 
2012-11-04 09:33:57 AM  

Elandriel: Endive Wombat: There would be an immediate rise in people using though, and that has been demonstrated in various European countries over the years.

I wonder if it's more people using, or more people that were already using now saying so because there are no legal repercussions? That would be a tough study,


Well, that's one of the things that some studies discovered: how you collect data determines the degree of accuracy of the results.

Another thing that can alter the accuracy is the stigmatized nature of the topic. Respondents were less likely to provide an accurate response when that answer made them feel bad
 
2012-11-04 09:40:37 AM  

Elandriel: I wonder if it's more people using, or more people that were already using now saying so because there are no legal repercussions? That would be a tough study,


I would venture that 99% of the increased numbers could be attributed to those using previously in fear.
 
2012-11-04 09:42:05 AM  

Endive Wombat: I am curious - How much would legalization cost in the form of lost jobs (due to work drug policies), unemployment due to said job losses, drug related car accidents (cost to both auto and health care insurance companies)? Has a study like that ever been conducted?


Keeping people employed by enacting or keeping impractical prohibition is pretty much the same as breaking windows to make work. Except people don't go to prison. But it's just as dumb.
 
2012-11-04 09:53:58 AM  

hillbillypharmacist: Keeping people employed by enacting or keeping impractical prohibition is pretty much the same as breaking windows to make work. Except people don't go to prison. But it's just as dumb.


I am disheartened by how uninvolved pharmacy professionals are in the decisions made by doctors, FDA, and DEA. I've taken your advice to heart. I don't really expect much and just wait for time to resolve most things.
 
2012-11-04 10:03:56 AM  

NewportBarGuy: hillbillypharmacist: Keeping people employed by enacting or keeping impractical prohibition is pretty much the same as breaking windows to make work. Except people don't go to prison. But it's just as dumb.

I am disheartened by how uninvolved pharmacy professionals are in the decisions made by doctors, FDA, and DEA. I've taken your advice to heart. I don't really expect much and just wait for time to resolve most things.


Well, as long as privatized prisons are profitable - and those elected are being purchased by that industry - I doubt that we'll see any change.
 
2012-11-04 10:21:41 AM  

NewportBarGuy: hillbillypharmacist: Keeping people employed by enacting or keeping impractical prohibition is pretty much the same as breaking windows to make work. Except people don't go to prison. But it's just as dumb.

I am disheartened by how uninvolved pharmacy professionals are in the decisions made by doctors, FDA, and DEA. I've taken your advice to heart. I don't really expect much and just wait for time to resolve most things.


Yeah. We unfortunately have less power than I think we should. Some of it is how the profession prefers it sometimes. It's sad I think, we could be a lot better, as a profession, especially when it comes to national policy.
 
2012-11-04 10:42:06 AM  

Endive Wombat: I am curious - How much would legalization cost in the form of lost jobs (due to work drug policies), unemployment due to said job losses


If we took away the employers' right to control what we imbibe in on our own private time, this too would go away. It's just as silly as cannabis prohibition.
 
2012-11-04 10:45:26 AM  

ThatGuyFromTheInternet: Endive Wombat: I am curious - How much would legalization cost in the form of lost jobs (due to work drug policies), unemployment due to said job losses

If we took away the employers' right to control what we imbibe in on our own private time, this too would go away. It's just as silly as cannabis prohibition.


I would argue that the employers liability insurance companies are to blame.
 
2012-11-04 10:49:59 AM  

ThatGuyFromTheInternet: If we took away the employers' right to control what we imbibe in on our own private time, this too would go away. It's just as silly as cannabis prohibition.


I assume you mean as long as somebody doesn't show up to work drunk/stoned/tripping balls, etc?
 
2012-11-04 10:52:08 AM  
Destroying cartels is the absolute LAST thing the DEA wants.
 
2012-11-04 10:53:02 AM  

ThatGuyFromTheInternet: Endive Wombat: I am curious - How much would legalization cost in the form of lost jobs (due to work drug policies), unemployment due to said job losses

If we took away the employers' right to control what we imbibe in on our own private time, this too would go away. It's just as silly as cannabis prohibition.


Medical marijuana still gets people fired for popping on a test; it would be nice if it were rescheduled and covered under ADA. Until there's a need to determine actual MJ intoxication, simply establishing that a user smoked recently wrecks most of these legalization routes as employers and the government are content with the current testing schemes.

In CO, their "regulate marijuana like alcohol" amendment has problems with OUI limits, primarily if (pretending the amendment passed) one legally got high on a Saturday night, then was pulled over on the way to work Monday morning they could be busted for OUI as their THC metabolite level could be high enough to exceed the limit even though they are no longer under the effects of the drug.
 
2012-11-04 10:55:33 AM  

Endive Wombat: ThatGuyFromTheInternet: Endive Wombat: I am curious - How much would legalization cost in the form of lost jobs (due to work drug policies), unemployment due to said job losses

If we took away the employers' right to control what we imbibe in on our own private time, this too would go away. It's just as silly as cannabis prohibition.

I would argue that the employers liability insurance companies are to blame.


This is true. I don't think any employer has a vested interest in what any employee does on their time off and most wouldn't bother spending money on testing if their insurance didn't pressure them to do so.
 
2012-11-04 10:58:46 AM  

Endive Wombat: ThatGuyFromTheInternet: Endive Wombat: I am curious - How much would legalization cost in the form of lost jobs (due to work drug policies), unemployment due to said job losses

If we took away the employers' right to control what we imbibe in on our own private time, this too would go away. It's just as silly as cannabis prohibition.

I would argue that the employers liability insurance companies are to blame.


Likely, but this country is capable of legislating the rights of the worker in their relationship with their employer, this would be a good next step.

flucto: I assume you mean as long as somebody doesn't show up to work drunk/stoned/tripping balls, etc?


Of course. If an employee can drink on their off hours under the presumption from their employer that they will be responsible enough to be sober when they come to work, it can work for pot too. Hell, it happens for a lot of people already.
 
2012-11-04 11:05:10 AM  

dr_blasto: ThatGuyFromTheInternet: Endive Wombat: I am curious - How much would legalization cost in the form of lost jobs (due to work drug policies), unemployment due to said job losses

If we took away the employers' right to control what we imbibe in on our own private time, this too would go away. It's just as silly as cannabis prohibition.

Medical marijuana still gets people fired for popping on a test; it would be nice if it were rescheduled and covered under ADA. Until there's a need to determine actual MJ intoxication, simply establishing that a user smoked recently wrecks most of these legalization routes as employers and the government are content with the current testing schemes.

In CO, their "regulate marijuana like alcohol" amendment has problems with OUI limits, primarily if (pretending the amendment passed) one legally got high on a Saturday night, then was pulled over on the way to work Monday morning they could be busted for OUI as their THC metabolite level could be high enough to exceed the limit even though they are no longer under the effects of the drug.


IANAL, but I do believe people can get DUIs ofrom being intoxicated via legally prescribed pharmaceuticals. There is no instant or blood-level test for that like there is for alcohol either. Really, it's not a good reason for continued prohibition.
 
2012-11-04 11:22:36 AM  

ThatGuyFromTheInternet: dr_blasto: ThatGuyFromTheInternet: Endive Wombat: I am curious - How much would legalization cost in the form of lost jobs (due to work drug policies), unemployment due to said job losses

If we took away the employers' right to control what we imbibe in on our own private time, this too would go away. It's just as silly as cannabis prohibition.

Medical marijuana still gets people fired for popping on a test; it would be nice if it were rescheduled and covered under ADA. Until there's a need to determine actual MJ intoxication, simply establishing that a user smoked recently wrecks most of these legalization routes as employers and the government are content with the current testing schemes.

In CO, their "regulate marijuana like alcohol" amendment has problems with OUI limits, primarily if (pretending the amendment passed) one legally got high on a Saturday night, then was pulled over on the way to work Monday morning they could be busted for OUI as their THC metabolite level could be high enough to exceed the limit even though they are no longer under the effects of the drug.

IANAL, but I do believe people can get DUIs ofrom being intoxicated via legally prescribed pharmaceuticals. There is no instant or blood-level test for that like there is for alcohol either. Really, it's not a good reason for continued prohibition.


You can be intoxicated from Xanax and get OUI; I think that in most cases you'd have to be pulled over for driving recklessly or get in an accident and have evidence of pills lying around. For pot, the tests you would take like a UA (today) only test for metabolites--meaning you can be legally under the influence, but not actually under the influence. Those metabolites don't have an intoxicating effect and they can linger for days and weeks.
 
2012-11-04 11:51:44 AM  
And we wouldn't want that.

Bye-bye DEA agents' jobs!
Bye-bye prison jobs!
Bye-bye lawyers and DA's and so on.

Who gives a fark if America as a whole is better off? JOBS!!!!1!

/also, there goes our source of cheap American labor in the form of prisoners
 
2012-11-04 11:52:39 AM  
Ugh, who smokes Mexican pot?
 
2012-11-04 12:02:49 PM  

Endive Wombat: I am curious - How much would legalization cost in the form of lost jobs (due to work drug policies), unemployment due to said job losses, drug related car accidents (cost to both auto and health care insurance companies)? Has a study like that ever been conducted?


I think there are a couple things that need to be established. First, when it comes to marijuana is what are the levels of intoxication. Pot stays in your system for quite a long time even after the high wears off. Second, how can you test quickly and unobtrusively (i.e. not blood or hair samples) for actually being high and not having residual THC in your system.

Don't get me wrong, I've long been a supporter of legalizing drugs. But there are some things that need to happen in order to maintain safety and productivity.

Back to TFA. Prohibition does not work. We've spent over $1 trillion dollars fighting the "War on Drugs" and the only winner has been the government. Over 50% of the 2 million people that are in prison are there for drug-related offenses. Have any of these efforts done a damn thing to reduce demand? Nope. Demand for illegal narcotics in the 1960's was 12-15% and it's the same today.

Hell, you can compare crime stats in countries that have legalized (or at least decriminalized) drugs and you'd find that they have much lower violent crime than we do in the U.S.
 
2012-11-04 12:11:22 PM  

flucto: Duh.


Done in one.
 
2012-11-04 12:13:21 PM  
Legalizing marijuana in the US could, in short, deal a blow to Mexico's traffickers the Department of Justice and the private prison industry of a magnitude that no current policy has got close to achieving

FTFY

Also.. Hello Bontesla.. how YOU doin? ;)
 
2012-11-04 12:23:37 PM  
Legalizing marijuana would deal a blow to both drug traffickers and the private prison industry.

It's win/win.

But that noted, much like in the case of marriage rights for gays politicians will never push for it until it enters the realms of the politically feasible. That is to say polling nationally at higher that 51%. That kind of consensus building requires organization and sustained effort. NORML and other groups have been around for years and they've certainly helped changed some attitudes but perhaps not quite enough just yet. When the sea change will occur to make legal recreational marijuana politically feasible is anyone's guess at this point. It will take a bunch of state's initiatives like we're seeing in WA to make that change I reckon.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-11-04 12:23:55 PM  
If I'm running the DEA I may have enough agents to find big operations but not the many smaller ones. So I announce a reward program. If your tip leads to a conviction you get a share of the asset forfeiture. Law enforcement agencies already benefit from a similar policy. Deputy Bob smells legal-under-state-law pot when he gives you a speeding ticket. He drives by your house and sees some plants in the back yard. Call in the tip, feds seize your house, Bob gets a 10% commission on the $200,000 forfeiture.  Kind of like crowdsourcing.
 
2012-11-04 12:27:21 PM  

Endive Wombat: I am curious - How much would legalization cost in the form of lost jobs (due to work drug policies), unemployment due to said job losses, drug related car accidents (cost to both auto and health care insurance companies)? Has a study like that ever been conducted?


The drug related accidents would be the same - or do you think anyone that wants to do drugs now can't easily find them?
 
2012-11-04 12:30:27 PM  
Prohibition didn't work in the '20s either
 
2012-11-04 12:31:14 PM  

Endive Wombat: I am curious - How much would legalization cost in the form of lost jobs (due to work drug policies), unemployment due to said job losses, drug related car accidents (cost to both auto and health care insurance companies)? Has a study like that ever been conducted?


You know what would be easier to measure? How many people would smoke if it were made legal.
 
2012-11-04 12:32:42 PM  
I've always wondered how much money drug cartels donate to the campaigns of "tough-on-crime" politicians. Laundered through legitimate fronts, obviously, but I strongly suspect that they're financially invested in keeping the political climate where it is.
 
2012-11-04 12:34:29 PM  
As a less-government, more-liberties republican, I will support any law, no matter how expensive or repressive, as long as it stops consenting adults from doing what they want behind closed doors

/conservative logic
 
2012-11-04 12:35:19 PM  
Maybe we can start with a pilot program, where pot is legalized in a small district and if there are no major problems that arise, we can use that as a springboard for national legalization. I would like to nominate my house for this bold experiment.
 
2012-11-04 12:36:09 PM  
It would also take a chunk out of the alcohol industry I would imagine.

/nttawwt
 
2012-11-04 12:36:20 PM  
Legalizing marijuana in the US could, in short, deal a blow to Mexico's traffickers of a magnitude that no current policy has got close to achieving

Sounds like a good plan to me.

Someone puff puff pass over this way.
 
2012-11-04 12:36:28 PM  
There is too much money being made on both sides of the issue for drugs to ever be legalized.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-11-04 12:36:59 PM  
D-Liver

Your hypothetical legal house would look like a reality TV show as thousands of friends you didn't know you had crowded in to join the experiment.

You need a bigger legal district.
 
2012-11-04 12:37:47 PM  
How much would legalization cost?

S'rsly?

It would save a shiat ton more than it would cost while reducing prison ranks not to mention restoring a measure of respect to LEOs and reducing the power of criminal cartels.

Win. Win. Win. Win. FTW.
 
2012-11-04 12:38:03 PM  

Endive Wombat: I am curious - How much would legalization cost in the form of lost jobs (due to work drug policies), unemployment due to said job losses, drug related car accidents (cost to both auto and health care insurance companies)? Has a study like that ever been conducted?


The job losses would be offset by the people able to be hired who would have failed the drug test.

/granted, there should be some jobs where drug tests are necessary
//mostly in fields where the operation of heavy machinery is required
 
2012-11-04 12:38:40 PM  
Honestly, if anyone thinks that the Gulf Cartel pays their bullet bill by smuggling pot, then you are sadly misinformed. The big players are all meth, heroin and coke.

These are the guys causing havoc, and free pot for all will not change their bottom line one centavo.
 
2012-11-04 12:39:51 PM  
Um, duh.

Also brilliantly noted by The Economist, "Smoking cigarettes stinks and it causes cancer."
 
2012-11-04 12:40:22 PM  
As much as I agree with the merits of marijuana legalization...

kunochan.com

If we legalize, who is going to supply the demand?
 
2012-11-04 12:40:41 PM  

Endive Wombat: I am curious - How much would legalization cost in the form of lost jobs (due to work drug policies), unemployment due to said job losses, drug related car accidents (cost to both auto and health care insurance companies)? Has a study like that ever been conducted?


If you actually show up to your job baked, I have about as much sympathy for your unemployment as I would were you to show up drunk, or on.

Similarly, anyone dumb enough to drive under the influence is probably already doing so, because their problem is terminal stupidity more than anything else and a new form of intoxication is unlikely to fix or exacerbate their stupid much.

So... not really hugely relevant questions, there. Though iirc some DUI studies have been done using Marijuana and have largely concluded that it's somewhere between not much of a problem off the highway and bad but no worse than alcoholic DUI.
 
2012-11-04 12:41:08 PM  

Endive Wombat: I am curious - How much would legalization cost in the form of lost jobs (due to work drug policies), unemployment due to said job losses, drug related car accidents (cost to both auto and health care insurance companies)? Has a study like that ever been conducted?


I imagine it would have just about the same effect on those things as the ending of Prohibition did. I know of no one - not even the fierciest proponents for legalizing marijuana - who has said it should be allowed for people to show up to work or get behind the wheel while stoned.

Of course, there could be some short term job losses amonst the law enforcement community due to scaling down the war on drugs, but I'm certain they could be transitioned over to fighting crack, cocaine, crystal meth, jenkem, or cheesing.
 
2012-11-04 12:41:38 PM  
I dream of the day when I can legally smoke pot while taking my married lesbian sister (who earns the same as her male coworkers) in a high speed train to get a safe on-demand abortion. We'll celebrate with a hearty breakfast of stem cell omelettes.
 
2012-11-04 12:41:47 PM  

Turbo Cojones: Honestly, if anyone thinks that the Gulf Cartel pays their bullet bill by smuggling pot, then you are sadly misinformed. The big players are all meth, heroin and coke.

These are the guys causing havoc, and free pot for all will not change their bottom line one centavo.


Even if that were true (citation, please), at the very least we could redirect the billions of dollars in cannabis industry to legitimate cultivation and sales right here in the United States and create several jobs.
 
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