After reading part one you may ask yourself why is the government trying to restrict the amount of Marijuana one can grow? Why aren’t type 5 licenses being issued until 2023? The answer is the government is trying to protect “family farms”. The government of California is trying to give the “family farms” a chance to thrive before the competition from the large growers enters the market.
I believe this policy is well intentioned but it will have disastrous results.
Many people like me, who strongly believe in the legalization of marijuana, have a libertarian streak. Libertarians think it is my body and if I want to smoke marijuana why shouldn’t I be able to? Most of the time when the government tries to legislate morality it just creates an opportunity for criminals to make money. And when criminals are able to make a lot of money violence and corruption almost always ensues. In legal markets the battle over market share is fought in the consumer market. He who makes the best product at the cheapest price gains the most market share. Consumers benefit from the competition by being able to buy high quality goods at a cheaper price. But when a product is illegal, like marijuana in a large swath of this country, or alcohol during prohibition, the fight over market share becomes a violent war.
When the product in question is illegal trying to beat your competitor in the market place by providing a cheaper and greater quality product gives way to the laws of the black market where you gain market share by killing off your enemies. Gaining market share by killing the competition does not make the product cheaper or better quality. The quality and price is determined by the organization that wins these black market wars and they will charge a higher price for lower quality products because that is how they maximize their profits. In these black market scenarios the consumer loses on many fronts because they have to pay more money for a lower quality product and the society they live in becomes more corrupt and violent.
Right now because Marijuana is still illegal in much of the United States Mexican marijuana cartels are ripping Mexico apart. These cartels are fighting for market share with each other, and because they have so much money brought in by illegal marijuana sales in the United States, they are able to buy the firepower to fight a very serious and deadly war. And this serious and deadly cartel war is killing countless innocent Mexican citizens. And these civilian deaths are a direct result for our demand for illegal marijuana.
The ignorant rationalizations that are causing the cartels wars are the same rationalizations that created Prohibition in our country; the idea that you can legislate morality and tell people what they can and can’t do with their bodies.
When alcohol was made illegal, the demand for alcohol didn’t decrease, the market for alcohol just switched from the legal market to the black market. The result was the golden age of organized crime in America. Gangsters made so much money from selling “bath tub gin” in local “speak easys” that they were pretty much able to buy most of the cops, judges and elected officials in many cities; just like Al Capone did in Chicago. And of course higher market share was not achieved through cheaper and better quality products, but by killing the competition i.e. The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre. The citizens in the United States realized the only way to prevent organized crime from completely corrupting our government institutions, and pretty much taking control of this country; was the legalization of Alcohol.
A complete legalization of Marijuana across the United States would end these cartel wars in Mexico because it would cut off their money supply to buy soldiers, weapons, law enforcement and politicians. If Marijuana is sold freely and cheaply there would be no black market for the Mexican cartels to exploit, and hence their easy money supply would be shut off. There would be no black market share to fight over and in addition, without the ridiculous income they get from selling illegal marijuana, they would not have the money to buy all the sophisticated weaponry that is costing many innocent Mexican citizens their life.
The legalization of the fifth largest economy in the world is going to put a serious dent in the cash flowing into criminal coffers.