Questionable objections to marijuana monopoly — Updated July 28, 2015

Here from vox.com are two objections to marijuana retail monopoly that don’t hold up, in my opinion:

“For states to establish a monopoly on marijuana production and sales, voters or elected officials would have to approve laws that essentially give state governments control over the marijuana industry. Even if a majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana, it’s unclear whether they would support turning their state into a pot dealer — and even if they did, state governments might be reluctant to do this, since it would mean forcing state employees to violate federal law . . . ” That’s from http://www.vox.com/2015/4/27/8500531/marijuana-legalization-commercialization-prohibition.

First, voters in some states might like monopoly: A poll I did among North Carolina voters in 2013 showed a clear preference for state stores (58 percent), our model for liquor, over private stores (19 percent), with 23 percent undecided. https://newtax.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/nc-marijuana-polling-march-2013.pdf, page 2.

Second, in the face of federal law, North Bonneville, Washington, is already selling marijuana via a quasi-monopoly, a Public Authority of the kind described in Chapter 4 of the RAND Report. See  http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/a-local-government-in-wash-state-tries-to-corner-the-market-on-marijuana/2015/03/16/fccb8216-c9b7-11e4-b2a1-bed1aaea2816_story.html.  No arrests yet.

Not only a retail monopoly, of the kind that 17 states have for liquor, seems plausible.  Production monopoly offers a lot of control;  Louisiana is considering having LSU do the growing, as mentioned in a later post.

 

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Author: patoglesby

From 1982 to 1990, I worked in tax policy for Committees of the United States Congress. In recent years, I was Adjunct Lecturer at UNC-Chapel Hill's Business School and then Adjunct Professor at its Law School.

1 thought on “Questionable objections to marijuana monopoly — Updated July 28, 2015”

  1. When I was there absolutely no violence connected to Cannabis because it was so cheep and easy to get. Now with the Republicans help, people are killed in cities every day over sales turf and thousands incarcerated yearly. The GOP has NO COMMON SENSE and must be voted out of EXISTENCE. Their AWFUL POLICIES CONTINUALLY HURT US AND THIS COUNTRY. GOP/SUX

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