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, … Continue reading Questionable objections to marijuana monopoly — Updated July 28, 2015

Extreme marijuana monopoly

At one extreme is a seed-to-sale monopoly.  To provide security, the state could put the growing outdoors, surrounded by fences and cameras, in the middle of the campus of a land grant University, or at the state’s version of a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.   To identify legal product, scientists might develop genetic or … Continue reading Extreme marijuana monopoly

State marijuana monopoly? — Updated December 22, 2014

[UPDATE 22 December 2014:  Extension of the Holder memo to Native American territory opens the distinct possibility of monopolies there. And the case of Nebraska v. Colorado gives the Supreme Court a chance to address Legality (of a lesser provocation) and Standing.] You hear folks say states can’t run a marijuana monopoly because they would be … Continue reading State marijuana monopoly? — Updated December 22, 2014

Nimble Prices Make Marijuana Monopoly Better than Private Enterprise

To beat the bootlegger, you need flexible prices.  Legislatures, even at their nimblest, may prove too slow to adjust tax rates adequately.  Uruguay is avoiding that trap:  “If one gram costs $1 in the black market, then we’ll sell the legal product for $1. If they drop the price to 75 cents, then we’ll put … Continue reading Nimble Prices Make Marijuana Monopoly Better than Private Enterprise

Municipal marijuana monopoly? Delegated?

One way to get revenue from marijuana, maybe the best way, is to have a government monopoly temper the profit motive.  Professor Rob Mikos says state monopolies make no sense, because having the state do the selling of marijuana puts it in direct violation of federal law.  Now a small town in Washington is thinking … Continue reading Municipal marijuana monopoly? Delegated?

State Marijuana Monopoly under AG Holder’s Eight Criteria

Continuing to think that the best way to legalize marijuana is via state monopoly, I’m thinking that AG Holder’s eight criteria might open the door. Only this criterion — “growing of marijuana on public lands and the attendant public safety and environmental dangers posed by marijuana production on public lands” — might create some problem for state … Continue reading State Marijuana Monopoly under AG Holder’s Eight Criteria

Sin Tax-and-Regulate or State Monopoly? NC bill would tighten.

To control and derive revenue from recreational substances, the public faces a choice.  For liquor, some 17 states choose monopoly over taxed, regulated private sales.  It’s awfully hard to switch from private sales to monopoly, but a House Bill 782 in North Carolina would do just that for fortified malt beverages and fortified wine

NC poll shows 3 to 1 preference for state marijuana monopoly model over private sales

When faced with two models for legalization, state monopoly and taxed private sales, 58 percent of voters here in North Carolina (where the only retail seller of liquor is the state ABC monopoly) chose monopoly, 19 percent chose private sales, and 23 percent were undecided.  The detailed results, from Public Policy Polling, are at NC Marijuana Polling March 2013. The … Continue reading NC poll shows 3 to 1 preference for state marijuana monopoly model over private sales

Keep the Liquor Monopoly

North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue has come out against selling the State liquor monopoly.  Good for her.  Selling income-producing assets to plug revenue holes looks shortsighted.  What’s next, selling Mount Mitchell State Park, http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/momi/main.php?  Jockey’s Ridge, http://www.jockeysridgestatepark.com/?  Hanging Rock, http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/haro/main.php? Yes, we need to clean up the mess in the ABC system, but the free … Continue reading Keep the Liquor Monopoly

Allied with Christian Action League on Government Liquor Stores

Policy makes strange bedfellows.  The local paper is stirring up doubts about the state liquor monopoly, and it should look for problems, but I’m still for government sale of intoxicants, as explained here:  https://www.huffingtonpost.com/pat-oglesby/marijuana-under-president_b_8207864.html, and here:  https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR864.html (download). Here are some emails: ++++ 8/13/2018 10:09 AM Dear Folks at the Christian Action League: The Center … Continue reading Allied with Christian Action League on Government Liquor Stores

The Center for New Revenue urges keeping liquor stores

The Raleigh paper recently exposed some waste and abuse in the North Carolina state liquor monopoly.  Sure, government liquor stores create problems, but the private profit motive for alcohol sales, like the private profit motive for marijuana sales, works against public health. My public health friends have understood that tendency since the Rockefeller Report preceding repeal … Continue reading The Center for New Revenue urges keeping liquor stores

Forced conversion of marijuana businesses to non-profit? I doubt it.

I’ve learned a lot from my friend Jon Caulkins, a drug policy expert and professor at Carnegie-Mellon (we were among eight co-authors on the RAND report for Vermont, and he’s helped and encouraged me over the years).  Jon worries about for-profit marijuana businesses, and prefers non-profit businesses. Fair enough, but let’s think about practicalities. In … Continue reading Forced conversion of marijuana businesses to non-profit? I doubt it.

Why minimum unit pricing for cannabis leaves me cold

Minimum unit pricing – charging a minimum price for temptation goods – appeals to some students of cannabis legalization. To me, government monopoly or high taxes can work better to serve policy goals. I’m just starting to think about this, and looking for pushback. The successes claimed for minimum unit pricing often involve loss leaders … Continue reading Why minimum unit pricing for cannabis leaves me cold

Panel for NORML: “Legalization as an Economic Stimulus for All”

UPDATE:  Just tweeted (5 November 2017) that Oakland’s set-aside project is slowing legalization to a halt.  This link is illustrative:  “New hitch in Oakland pot permit pipeline.” +++ The NORML Conference in DC on September 11 has me on a panel that with the proposed title, “Legalization as an Economic Stimulus for All.” And we may … Continue reading Panel for NORML: “Legalization as an Economic Stimulus for All”

Provoking a marijuana audience?

I get to talk for an hour on marijuana revenue at the National Cannabis Summit in Denver on August 30 at 9 a.m. The sponsors write me: “Speakers are evaluated on several criteria, including audience engagement, and the results are posted online after the conference as part of our speaker ‘Zagat’s’ guide.” OK then. I’ll … Continue reading Provoking a marijuana audience?

State plans to grow marijuana

[Update, 10 December 2016:  For libertarians, government sales are anathema. For liberals, nullification of federal law by a state or locality has a history of association with racism and even slavery.] News from The Advertiser in Louisiana: BATON ROUGE — Louisiana State University and Southern University are set to become the state’s biggest growers of marijuana … Continue reading State plans to grow marijuana

Rockefeller, taxes, and alcohol in the early 1930s

Why did John D. Rockefeller, Jr., look for safe ways to deal with alcohol, and so commission the study, “Toward Liquor Control,” that recommended state monopoly sales? My view, which I tweeted, is: “Rockefeller liked but couldn’t maintain alcohol Prohibition; faced reality with retreat to state liquor stores.” My friend Kevin Sabet replied, “Actually, Rockefeller … Continue reading Rockefeller, taxes, and alcohol in the early 1930s