I mentioned in a blog last year that I was watching the consequences of legalizing pot in my home state of Colorado. So I was back there last week with a chance to see how it is working out.
There was a strong argument that changing the law to allow cannabis to be sold openly would stop the illegal trade. That would make everyone safer because the strength and purity of pot could be openly verified.
While I was there, the local paper ran a headline that the police had raided 247 properties where illegal marijuana was being grown. WHY? I thought legalizing would put an end to all that! At least that was the argument.
I stopped to imagine that I had been growing and selling marijuana products illegally before the state made it legal. Would I be happy to register, submit to the regulators and pay taxes on my products? If I had been making a good profit, what would convince me to go to the authorities, register as a grower, welcome the inspectors and pay a good portion of my profits to the state? Would the change of law transform me into a law-abiding citizen? Not likely!
If the police are still busy trying to stop the illegal and unregistered trade in cannabis, what has changed? Well, a lot of pot is being sold legally too and that produces revenue for the State of Colorado.
So, what is the argument for making it legal to sell and use cannabis? Money.
There’s nothing new under the sun.