Legalization/Decriminalization

The Marijuana Exception

Discussions About Legalizing Marijuana Should Start With a Few Basic Truths.

One is that legalization would save the law-enforcement and social costs of arresting hundreds of thousands of adults each year.  ( Most proposals would keep marijuana illegal for those under 21.  ) Another is that pot’s underground economy – estimated at $15 billion to $30 billion annually – would be largely wiped out if marijuana were legalized throughout the country.  Finally, it is clear that legalization would greatly decrease price and, therefore, increase the number of both recreational and heavy marijuana users.

Beyond these facts, the ramifications get extremely murky.  Being honest about the uncertainties involved is the price of admission to any serious discussion about marijuana legalization.

When my RAND colleagues and I tried to project the consequences if California passed a 2010 marijuana-legalization ballot initiative, we started by calculating the cost of producing… Continue reading

Marijuana Prohibition: Required or Ridiculous?

Recently, the Huffington Post ran an article stating that according to more than 300 economists, the U.S. government could potentially save $13.7 billion dollars by not enforcing the prohibition and taxing it like tobacco and alcohol.

As someone who has always been pro-legalization, I found this interesting and saw it as a ray of light through the thunderstorm that is this ridiculous marijuana prohibition.

So, if it could potentially save the States billions of dollars, what about Canada?

According to the 2009 Angus Reid poll, 53% of Canadians were in favour of legalizing cannabis.

Obviously, possession, trafficking and growing of marijuana is illegal in Canada.

Simple possession ( anything under 30 grams ) can result in a maximum $1000 fine or six months in jail, and trafficking can result in anything from a slap on the wrist and a fine to jail time.

Drug prohibition in Canada started in 1908… Continue reading

Legalizing Medical Marijuana: Tennessee

There’s another attempt in Tennessee to try to legalize marijuana for medical use. Advocates say 25,000 sick Tennesseans use pot.