We said it before it started getting attention, yet it was still one of the biggest selling points of allowing legal pot: legalization (we were told) would put an end to the illegal drug trade.
Lo’ and behold: that was not true. It turns out people are not into being put on a list as users of a still-federally-illegal drug, permitted solely on the current president’s word that he would allow it, with no guarantees for the future.
Remember those costs we said would jack the price of legal weed through the roof? It turns out that was true as well. When the price can be as much as five times as high for the same quality in an arguably riskier market, it should not be a surprise that many are not jumping on the bandwagon.
Oh, not to mention the other things like fears of having federal grants and funding cut for users, inability to tax the product because banks will not accept their business, revocation of Second Amendment rights,
Additionally, recreational legal pot and medical legal pot are not treated equally. One can still get a doctor consultation and medical card for about $235 on the high end of the scale. This makes it incredibly easy for those just young enough to qualify for medical marijuana to supply those below the legal age limit, without anything to really get in their way and plenty of incentive to do so.
All sorts of reasoning is being used to justify the legalization of marijuana, including this brilliant line from the Marijuana Policy Project:
For an adult on his way home…which option would he be more likely to choose: calling everyone he knows to try to find some marijuana, or stopping by the nearest store and paying a bit more?
What the MPP fails to acknowledge, though, is that many people already have a well-established network of people they can call. It does not take calling every person one has ever met—it is usually a handful of people and maybe 5-10 minutes. For most people, it does not make much sense to spend the extra money and drive out of the way when they can get cheaper product of the same quality delivered to their place of residence over a period of time.
That same representative said: “There’s a reason there’s not an underground alcohol market with beer and moonshine being trafficked around the state.”
Except, there is. There are parts of the country that still happens—I happen to be living in one of them now. Even the Discovery Channel has (or had) a series or two on that very subject (forgive me, I have not had TV for more than half a year, and I am a bit out of the loop).
The reality is much of what was promised in exchange for legal pot has not come true, or only in the most basic ways. But what did we expect? When addicts want something, they do what they must to get it.
What is your thought on the whole legal pot debate? Let us know in the comments below!