The issue of legalizing marijuana continues to maneuver its way into the spotlight, and I have previously shared my libertarian argument to legalize weed. This controversy can be addressed through multiple platforms, and this time I want to attack it from an economic perspective.
All it takes is an understanding of the 1920’s prohibition of alcohol to understand what I am talking about exactly. Most people today will agree that prohibition was an absolute failure since alcohol is legal today. Ironically, marijuana, which arguably does more for society than alcohol, is deemed illegal and has become a victim of the same stigma which prohibited alcohol in the roaring twenties.
Low Supply, High Demand = More Guns
The biggest problem with these types of policies is that markets are dictated by supply and demand, not legality. It is a basic rule of economics that where there is a need and money to be made, there will be a businessman or entrepreneur to capitalize on such an opportunity.
The profitability in an illegal industry is massive. Attempting to stomp a highly demanded substance out of existence is only going to send prices soaring. This is because supply is small and well-protected. These resulting high profits mean substantial capital to invest in bigger crops, more hired guns, and deadlier weaponry.
The destruction is an unfortunate consequence because disputes in the drug trade cannot be solved by the courts. A drug lord can’t protect their crop or property through enforcement of law obviously, so they must find alternative ways to safeguard their assets. What sort of methods will drug cartels use? They will harness age-old and effective tactics that focus on fear, terror, and violence.
Just take a look at the Mexico-US Border and the gruesome images originating from this contested region. These cartels are using rifles and automatic weapons to defend their cash cow of drug traffic. Anyone that might pose a threat to these revenue streams such as government officials or law enforcement are dealt with harshly. Countless civilians will lose their lives as collateral damage.
End the Drug Cartels’ Monopoly on High Demand Substances
How is it possible to fight against this tidal wave of power and violence?
Legalize marijuana and legitimate businesses will immediately jump in to capitalize. Violent cartels will no longer have a stranglehold on a small, limited supply. In other words, they won’t be able to hold on to their monopoly of power.
Prices on marijuana would plummet which would be especially positive for users while also serving as a death blow to cartels. With lower prices comes reduced profits for these groups. They would no longer be able to afford and command such powerful armies. Legitimate businesses would replace gun-toting outlaws.
War On Logic
The war on drugs, especially against weed, fails on all counts of rational thinking. There is no evidence that supply is reduced at all due to drug policy, but on the contrary, there are plenty of indicators showing it to be a foolish and deadly way to handle the issue of drug abuse.
I predict legalization of marijuana fairly soon, especially as my home state of Washington continues to bring up legislation that would legalize it. I look forward to it as I feel confident the marijuana industry in this area will see substantial growth and new jobs will be created and banning of illegal substances will again be presented as a feebleminded strategy.
I encourage anyone to share their point of view on legalization of marijuana especially as it pertains to the economic side of the issue. Don’t forget to show your support for The Effects of Weed Network by learning about why you should always vaporize weed instead of smoking it!