Welcome to the contradictory-seeming economics of the nation's fast-changing marijuana laws. Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have now rebelled against the federal government to legalize marijuana, either for medical use or for fun. – WYNC News
Dominant Social Theme: Cannabis, gateway to heroin!
Free-Market Analysis: Something important is stirring in the United States that could have a big impact around the world. Drugs are being legalized. Or at least marijuana.
The banning of marijuana was always a somewhat dubious enterprise even though people in the US and abroad have spent decades in prison for selling it or even just for smoking it.
Cocaine (at least the coca leaf) was legal once up a time, and certainly in the US where Founding Fathers reportedly indulged and Coca Cola used it as part of the sugary soda's recipe.
But an article entitled "The Weed Trail: From California's Medical Market to New York's Underground; How legalization is changing the marijuana landscape," explains how far and fast marijuana legalization has come.
The article is posted at WYNC News and here's an excerpt:
Meet Chuck, a San Francisco marijuana dealer. (That's not his real name. We agreed to keep that to ourselves because, otherwise, he wouldn't talk to us.) Chuck came to New York from California to sell weed because, here in New York, where his trade is 100% illegal, he can make more money.
He spends pretty much every day dealing what he calls 'farm to table' marijuana. On a recent afternoon in his dimly lit New York apartment, he was just about to complete a daily ritual: loading about 50 baggies of marijuana – 3.5 grams each – into his backpack so he could head to the subway and begin making deliveries.
"We're helping keep people stoned on a Friday night in New York City," Chuck said on his way out the door. Since he moved from California to New York, Chuck says he's quadrupled his income.
Legalizing marijuana would be a sea change that would bring various kinds of economic opportunity not just in the US but probably throughout Latin America, as well.
As Wikipedia explains, "Marijuana comes from the hemp plant that can be refined into products like hemp seed foods, hemp oil, wax, resin, rope, cloth, pulp, and fuel. "
And while much hemp is grown in Asia, the plant or its variants are now grown all over the world, either outdoors or using artificial means.
Medical marijuana is one growing business, and presumably once people are not worried about hemp's illegality, many more uses would blossom.
The drug trade itself would doubtless provide a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs. Already, the article tells us, prices are coming down and quality is rising in states that have legalized the drug.
Marijuana, the next global business frontier?