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(The Atlantic)   Marijuana should be legalized--but it should also be very, very expensive   (theatlantic.com ) divider line
    More: Obvious, marijuana, pot laws  
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7720 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Jul 2014 at 12:57 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-07-05 10:29:07 AM  
If you initially try to keep legal marijuana so expensive to prevent people from using it then you will need laws regulating who can sell, who can buy, and at what price. Set that price high and you will have a black market, which is more or less what we have now. Most of the problems and expenses that we have with todays failed drug criminalization system will still be there, maybe not quite as bad, but there.

You need to drive organized crime out, and the only way to really accomplish that is to undercut them in the market place. Once their distribution system is gone, and the supply areas of the world do not need to rely upon the crime systems as viable middle-men then you can start raising prices. Starting from scratch against an established and legal system would be expensive for black marketers, as long as authorities aren't so stupid to raise the price too soon, or too much. Economics always plays into any type of black market, it would be nice to see the government acknowledge that and use it to their advantage for once.
 
2014-07-05 10:33:46 AM  
Yea, pretty much what Steve said.
 
2014-07-05 10:47:06 AM  

Steve Zodiac: If you initially try to keep legal marijuana so expensive to prevent people from using it then you will need laws regulating who can sell, who can buy, and at what price. Set that price high and you will have a black market, which is more or less what we have now. Most of the problems and expenses that we have with todays failed drug criminalization system will still be there, maybe not quite as bad, but there.

You need to drive organized crime out, and the only way to really accomplish that is to undercut them in the market place. Once their distribution system is gone, and the supply areas of the world do not need to rely upon the crime systems as viable middle-men then you can start raising prices. Starting from scratch against an established and legal system would be expensive for black marketers, as long as authorities aren't so stupid to raise the price too soon, or too much. Economics always plays into any type of black market, it would be nice to see the government acknowledge that and use it to their advantage for once.


I agree that at a certain point price will allow a black market to flourish, but legalized pot doesn't have to be cheaper than black market pot to make that market unviable.

If there are penalties to being caught buying black market pot the risk/reward calculation can make it more worthwhile for most people to pay a noderately higher amount for pot from a legal source.  Add in the other benefits of a regulated market in safety (don't have to go to the skeevy part of town and deal with unsavory characters) and quality control (knowing what you're buying and not taking the risk of getting ripped off) and legalized pot can justify some price premium.
 
2014-07-05 11:08:38 AM  
The fall back position where they have erected the new Anti Marijuana Goalposts contains no more actual fact and truth than Anslinger had 80 years ago.
Just substitute teenager for black musician and you have pretty much the same same bullzhit derp.

America, get yer head outa yer ass.
 
2014-07-05 11:24:09 AM  
So many lies have been told about weed....

I actually believe there are some good scientific reasons to keep teenagers away from (heavy) pot use. The whole developing-brain thing seems to have merit. It's just too bad that for almost a century all the reasons given to said teenagers to avoid pot have been utter bullshiat.

Perhaps the government could try something utterly different - telling the truth about the dangers of pot w/out sensationalizing or making crap up.
 
2014-07-05 11:37:14 AM  

b0rscht: So many lies have been told about weed....

I actually believe there are some good scientific reasons to keep teenagers away from (heavy) pot use. The whole developing-brain thing seems to have merit. It's just too bad that for almost a century all the reasons given to said teenagers to avoid pot have been utter bullshiat.

Perhaps the government could try something utterly different - telling the truth about the dangers of pot w/out sensationalizing or making crap up.


Like a lot of "seems to have merit" zhit, there is no science supporting the lie.
There is some research showing otherwise, but of questionable validity.
Some good science would actually be nice to go with the centuries of documented historical anecdotal information.

Marijuana is not something new!
 
2014-07-05 11:47:21 AM  
Uh yeah.  If it's expensive it's just going to encourage the black market.  Sure, set the age limit at 21 like they do for alcohol...but make it very expensive?  Not going to work.
 
2014-07-05 11:59:16 AM  
Schizophrenia is caused by second trimester foetal trauma so I'm not sure how smoking weed 18 years later would have an impact on that.

If you're citing a correlation you also have to provide at least a reasonable method of action. Not one that involves some sort of pathophysiological time travel.
 
2014-07-05 12:07:26 PM  
Nonsensical article.

That is all.
 
2014-07-05 12:19:35 PM  
This argument pretty much means that there will remain illegal growers and sellers, and essentially only says that people have little faith in any sort of market system, and is about NOT "control" but keeping profit up at the expense of competition. So long as competitors remain illegal in their grow and selling practices, then they can be kept out of a market that is hoping for the sorts of prices that they REALLY want, as opposed to letting the market sort out the prices with competition driving the model. It is an interference in the market that pretty much says, "Yeah, we got no faith, so let's price fix right out of the gate."

It comes down to REALLY hating competition and REALLY hating an informed customer base.

Boils down to it: we are going to eventually see branding of pot. There will be the cheap and easy to find stuff at dispensaries. There will be grading upward, with folks who will certainly pay more. But it comes down to essentially dispensaries and those who want to get into this business, wanting to preserve price structures that were inextricably linked to the illegality of the product, and the risk factors for growing and distributing, when the new model has to sort itself out. Price fixing seems to be the thought process, not to discourage, but to get a massive profit right out of the gate, that preserves the older pricing models, without any of the formalized risk that created that pricing structure. It is price fixing at its finest. It has zero faith in market forces. It's not being done for any reason other than to milk as much cash as possible, and limit competition by being able to sic the Feds and the local constabulary at competitors.
 
2014-07-05 12:41:08 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: Steve Zodiac: If you initially try to keep legal marijuana so expensive to prevent people from using it then you will need laws regulating who can sell, who can buy, and at what price. Set that price high and you will have a black market, which is more or less what we have now. Most of the problems and expenses that we have with todays failed drug criminalization system will still be there, maybe not quite as bad, but there.

You need to drive organized crime out, and the only way to really accomplish that is to undercut them in the market place. Once their distribution system is gone, and the supply areas of the world do not need to rely upon the crime systems as viable middle-men then you can start raising prices. Starting from scratch against an established and legal system would be expensive for black marketers, as long as authorities aren't so stupid to raise the price too soon, or too much. Economics always plays into any type of black market, it would be nice to see the government acknowledge that and use it to their advantage for once.

I agree that at a certain point price will allow a black market to flourish, but legalized pot doesn't have to be cheaper than black market pot to make that market unviable.

If there are penalties to being caught buying black market pot the risk/reward calculation can make it more worthwhile for most people to pay a noderately higher amount for pot from a legal source.  Add in the other benefits of a regulated market in safety (don't have to go to the skeevy part of town and deal with unsavory characters) and quality control (knowing what you're buying and not taking the risk of getting ripped off) and legalized pot can justify some price premium.


I don't disagree with your point, but what usually happens is some 'tough on crime' politician demands that the price point be too high, meaning you still get most of the crime with few of the benefits from legalization. There is going to be a price point beyond which people will not go if there are cheaper options, legal or not. People buy 'cheap junk' all the time because they say it's what they can afford even if they know a better quality or more safe option exists, because of the price difference.

The recording industry still hasn't learned this lesson, and it has cost them. They could have been the online source for most of the music people download or stream, but they insisted on maintaining the artificially high prices that CD's were able to command when they were the only option available, and they stuck onerous restrictions on when, where and how the music could be used. And they are still trying to sue their customers today. If they had adopted a coherent and economically practical online policy in the early to mid 1990's, before any of the other online services existed, the music landscape would look very different today.
 
2014-07-05 01:02:13 PM  
I'm ok with prices where they are, I don't care if they don't drop when it is legal, I'll even pay more just to not worry about it.  $300 an ounce or so is doable.
 
2014-07-05 01:02:26 PM  
Man it's really a good thing though that it is so hard to produce and that it doesn't grow on trees.
 
2014-07-05 01:03:16 PM  

Steve Zodiac: If you initially try to keep legal marijuana so expensive to prevent people from using it then you will need laws regulating who can sell, who can buy, and at what price. Set that price high and you will have a black market, which is more or less what we have now. Most of the problems and expenses that we have with todays failed drug criminalization system will still be there, maybe not quite as bad, but there.

You need to drive organized crime out, and the only way to really accomplish that is to undercut them in the market place. Once their distribution system is gone, and the supply areas of the world do not need to rely upon the crime systems as viable middle-men then you can start raising prices. Starting from scratch against an established and legal system would be expensive for black marketers, as long as authorities aren't so stupid to raise the price too soon, or too much. Economics always plays into any type of black market, it would be nice to see the government acknowledge that and use it to their advantage for once.


Done in one.
 
2014-07-05 01:03:27 PM  
Price fixing, in any market, has always failed miserably.  Legalize it and let the free market decide what should be charged.
 
2014-07-05 01:05:46 PM  

Tigger: pathophysiological time travel.


data1.whicdn.com
/grow the shiat in your closet
 
2014-07-05 01:06:38 PM  
The issue I've always had with the "LEGALIZE" movement is; once pot is legal, will they move on to crack, meth, coke, speed, ect? All the cartels have to do at this point is switch from pot to poppies and they've got their market back.
 
2014-07-05 01:07:36 PM  
So they want to legalize it, but still keep the black market associated with it?
 
2014-07-05 01:07:38 PM  

Prey4reign: Price fixing, in any market, has always failed miserably.  Legalize it and let the free market decide what should be charged.


Tell that to the wheat farmers. Price minimums keep them in business.
 
2014-07-05 01:08:43 PM  

iheartscotch: Prey4reign: Price fixing, in any market, has always failed miserably.  Legalize it and let the free market decide what should be charged.

Tell that to the wheat farmers. Price minimums keep them in business.


So, like who's smoking wheat, dude?
 
2014-07-05 01:09:50 PM  
Yes and it is.  I'll gladly pay to smoke legally.  No problems with it and it also keeps me as a very light to moderate smoker.  Keeps me in check, so to speak.  Have to be 21 or older in my lovely state to buy and smoke it.

/not smoking right now, may have to do a drug test
//one area that CO hasn't addressed yet, probably never will, because of at will employment, etc...
 
2014-07-05 01:10:19 PM  

Steve Zodiac: If you initially try to keep legal marijuana so expensive to prevent people from using it then you will need laws regulating who can sell, who can buy, and at what price. Set that price high and you will have a black market, which is more or less what we have now. Most of the problems and expenses that we have with todays failed drug criminalization system will still be there, maybe not quite as bad, but there.

You need to drive organized crime out, and the only way to really accomplish that is to undercut them in the market place. Once their distribution system is gone, and the supply areas of the world do not need to rely upon the crime systems as viable middle-men then you can start raising prices. Starting from scratch against an established and legal system would be expensive for black marketers, as long as authorities aren't so stupid to raise the price too soon, or too much. Economics always plays into any type of black market, it would be nice to see the government acknowledge that and use it to their advantage for once.


YOU. I like you because you seem smart.
 
2014-07-05 01:11:00 PM  
Said no one with a brain and/or no agenda, ever.
 
2014-07-05 01:11:39 PM  
I'm hearing 17 bucks a gram in Washington. At that price, expect the black market to continue to flourish. I make that about double what actual street price is, according to my, uh, friends.
 
2014-07-05 01:11:46 PM  

raerae1980: Yea, pretty much what Steve said.

 
2014-07-05 01:12:08 PM  

Prey4reign: iheartscotch: Prey4reign: Price fixing, in any market, has always failed miserably.  Legalize it and let the free market decide what should be charged.

Tell that to the wheat farmers. Price minimums keep them in business.

So, like who's smoking wheat, dude?


For one? My toaster.

/ the agg market would shrivel and die without price minimums; I wouldn't be surprised if pot got so cheap that they had to set a minimum price or all of the nice hippies would go out of business
 
2014-07-05 01:14:12 PM  
This article brought to you by Coors Light.
 
2014-07-05 01:16:15 PM  
If it ever becomes federally legal I can guarantee that you are going to have to get a license to grow it, distribute it and sell it across state lines, and those license are going to be so expensive that only your Philip Morrisons, Legetts and other mega corporations like that are going to be able to pay for them and pull down a profit without charging a kings ransom for the product.
 
2014-07-05 01:18:10 PM  

iheartscotch: The issue I've always had with the "LEGALIZE" movement is; once pot is legal, will they move on to crack, meth, coke, speed, ect? All the cartels have to do at this point is switch from pot to poppies and they've got their market back.


1933: The issue I've always had with the "LEGALIZE" movement is; once alcohol is legal, will they move on to crack, meth, coke, speed, ect? All the mobsters have to do at this point is switch from alcohol to poppies and they've got their market back.
 
2014-07-05 01:19:08 PM  
I pay $60 an ounce for some pretty good commercial, which is plentiful.  That's a damn good price for these days.   I have paid ten times that for certain exotic strains, which I enjoyed greatly.

If the price goes up, I quit.  Just like cigarettes.

Yeah, right.
 
2014-07-05 01:19:31 PM  
Some of my hard core smoking friends say the amount of strains out there are unlimited.  There's some weed that tastes like strawberries, it's to the point of craft beer making and like the good craft beers they're gonna be a little spendy.  Which is fine, I don't smoke.
 
2014-07-05 01:19:48 PM  
in essence it is
 
2014-07-05 01:20:48 PM  
Why not make the marijuana tax higher for brown people. With what was accomplished with voter suppression, an injurious dope tax might just cause brown people to rethink even choosing to be brown.
 
2014-07-05 01:21:24 PM  
But many of these same experts worry that the blaze of decriminalization will harm young people,

F*ck em.  It's time for America to have an adult society.

In any case, it will not harm the snot-nosed morons as much as jail, prison, or the criminal record that have been the approved courses up to this point.
 
2014-07-05 01:21:38 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: Steve Zodiac: If you initially try to keep legal marijuana so expensive to prevent people from using it then you will need laws regulating who can sell, who can buy, and at what price. Set that price high and you will have a black market, which is more or less what we have now. Most of the problems and expenses that we have with todays failed drug criminalization system will still be there, maybe not quite as bad, but there.

You need to drive organized crime out, and the only way to really accomplish that is to undercut them in the market place. Once their distribution system is gone, and the supply areas of the world do not need to rely upon the crime systems as viable middle-men then you can start raising prices. Starting from scratch against an established and legal system would be expensive for black marketers, as long as authorities aren't so stupid to raise the price too soon, or too much. Economics always plays into any type of black market, it would be nice to see the government acknowledge that and use it to their advantage for once.

I agree that at a certain point price will allow a black market to flourish, but legalized pot doesn't have to be cheaper than black market pot to make that market unviable.

If there are penalties to being caught buying black market pot the risk/reward calculation can make it more worthwhile for most people to pay a noderately higher amount for pot from a legal source.  Add in the other benefits of a regulated market in safety (don't have to go to the skeevy part of town and deal with unsavory characters) and quality control (knowing what you're buying and not taking the risk of getting ripped off) and legalized pot can justify some price premium.


Perhaps, but that price equilibrium probably isn't what you think it is.  See;  The east coast cigarette black market.
 
2014-07-05 01:22:45 PM  

fight club: iheartscotch: The issue I've always had with the "LEGALIZE" movement is; once pot is legal, will they move on to crack, meth, coke, speed, ect? All the cartels have to do at this point is switch from pot to poppies and they've got their market back.

1933: The issue I've always had with the "LEGALIZE" movement is; once alcohol is legal, will they move on to crack, meth, coke, speed, ect? All the mobsters have to do at this point is switch from alcohol to poppies and they've got their market back.


Except, in 1933, most of that was quite legal, or didn't exist yet.
 
2014-07-05 01:23:42 PM  

fight club: iheartscotch: The issue I've always had with the "LEGALIZE" movement is; once pot is legal, will they move on to crack, meth, coke, speed, ect? All the cartels have to do at this point is switch from pot to poppies and they've got their market back.

1933: The issue I've always had with the "LEGALIZE" movement is; once alcohol is legal, will they move on to crack, meth, coke, speed, ect? All the mobsters have to do at this point is switch from alcohol to poppies and they've got their market back.


I wonder who he thinks distributes crack, meth, coke and speed now?
 
2014-07-05 01:24:16 PM  

Trocadero: This article brought to you by Coors Light.


What I came to say.  Also, if you make it expensive, this guarantees a black market, so you can continue to put young brown-skinned men into the prison-for-hire industry because KEEP AMERICA SAFE.
 
2014-07-05 01:25:29 PM  
Just to show you the black market theory will always exist, my wife has a guy at her work that sells cigarettes on the side for around5-6 bucks because here on the islands you pay at least 9-12 bucks a pack. I guess he gets them from a friend on the mainland off of a Indian reservation smoke shop and just flat rate ships.

Brilliant!
/wishes I would have thought of it
 
2014-07-05 01:25:41 PM  

jso2897: fight club: iheartscotch: The issue I've always had with the "LEGALIZE" movement is; once pot is legal, will they move on to crack, meth, coke, speed, ect? All the cartels have to do at this point is switch from pot to poppies and they've got their market back.

1933: The issue I've always had with the "LEGALIZE" movement is; once alcohol is legal, will they move on to crack, meth, coke, speed, ect? All the mobsters have to do at this point is switch from alcohol to poppies and they've got their market back.

I wonder who he thinks distributes crack, meth, coke and speed now?


The CIA.  Duh.
 
2014-07-05 01:26:16 PM  

iheartscotch: The issue I've always had with the "LEGALIZE" movement is; once pot is legal, will they move on to crack, meth, coke, speed, ect? All the cartels have to do at this point is switch from pot to poppies and they've got their market back.


I certainly hope so. Prohibition doesn't really accomplish anything.

fight club: 1933: The issue I've always had with the "LEGALIZE" movement is; once alcohol is legal, will they move on to crack, meth, coke, speed, ect? All the mobsters have to do at this point is switch from alcohol to poppies and they've got their market back.


Ooo, me too!

The issue I've always had with the "LEGALIZE" movement is; once pot is legal, will they move on to Vicodin, Oxycontin, dilauded, codeine, ect? All the pharma companies have to do at this point is send in the lobbyists, and they've got their market back.
 
2014-07-05 01:27:13 PM  

jso2897: fight club: iheartscotch: The issue I've always had with the "LEGALIZE" movement is; once pot is legal, will they move on to crack, meth, coke, speed, ect? All the cartels have to do at this point is switch from pot to poppies and they've got their market back.

1933: The issue I've always had with the "LEGALIZE" movement is; once alcohol is legal, will they move on to crack, meth, coke, speed, ect? All the mobsters have to do at this point is switch from alcohol to poppies and they've got their market back.

I wonder who he thinks distributes crack, meth, coke and speed now?


The CIA, FBI, NSA, DEA, democratic mayors of Chicago and Methodists?
 
2014-07-05 01:27:14 PM  

Toy Boat: I pay $60 an ounce for some pretty good commercial, which is plentiful.  That's a damn good price for these days.   I have paid ten times that for certain exotic strains, which I enjoyed greatly.

If the price goes up, I quit.   Just like cigarettes.

Yeah, right.


That was my breaking point, now I enjoy a cigar everyonceinawhile.
/staring at a hand rolled Vegas 5 limited release 1890
//after we grill meats
///with a scotch
 
2014-07-05 01:29:55 PM  
Put the BS aside. In Colorado & CA, anyone with a wart on their pecker or labia major can get a 'prescription'. Devise a system where those truly in need (i.e. chemo patients) can get it on the dirt cheep. All others (i.e. rec users) pay the premium price.

/Haven't smoked since 1976. Been told I should.
 
2014-07-05 01:29:59 PM  

iheartscotch: The issue I've always had with the "LEGALIZE" movement is; once pot is legal, will they move on to crack, meth, coke, speed, ect? All the cartels have to do at this point is switch from pot to poppies and they've got their market back.


What do you mean switch?

So what if they did, it doesn't mean that there are no real immediate benefits to legalizing it.

You talk about it as if people who aren't using heroin are going to just start using it because... Cartels?
 
2014-07-05 01:30:36 PM  
Cannabis products should be taxed at least as heavily as tobacco and alcohol, and their sale at least as location and age restricted as tobacco and alcohol. It will be a license to print tax dollars if handled properly.
 
2014-07-05 01:30:51 PM  

DrSansabeltNoShiatSlacks: Put the BS aside. In Colorado & CA, anyone with a wart on their pecker or labia major can get a 'prescription'. Devise a system where those truly in need (i.e. chemo patients) can get it on the dirt cheep. All others (i.e. rec users) pay the premium price.

/Haven't smoked since 1976. Been told I should.


Please do, then revisit this issue after you've thought about it.
 
2014-07-05 01:32:21 PM  
It's not like really good weed is going to be cheap anyway - it's going to be relatively expensive, for the same reasons that saffron, long stemmed roses, and Kobe beef are. It is intensively hand-cultivated, and requires 12-14 weeks to produce.
It will get cheaper - but not cheap.
 
2014-07-05 01:33:44 PM  
It already is legal, dispensed by unlicensed pharmacists to undocumented guests.
 
2014-07-05 01:36:31 PM  
I tried marijuana once.

It made me want to rape and kill.
 
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