Economics of Legalized Pot

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Mark Kleiman, professor of public policy at UCLA and co-author of Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know, discusses the economic impact of legalizing recreational marijuana use in Washington and Colorado.


Mark Kleiman

Comments [19]

John A., It is presently your choice to find obviously crazed people who you talk to for hours and hours. But after the State jails you for pot smoking, you can't walk away from your cell-mates, no matter how obviously crazed they are.

Nov. 14 2012 12:13 PM

Karmen R. from Upper-West Side wrote: "We have no idea what medical uses it might have."
We have a pretty good idea that marijuana treats:
Glaucoma; depression; Tourette's syndrome; epilepsy; nausea; cancer; pain; spasms; cramps; loss of appetite; chronic wasting; MS; fibromyalgia.
There is a long history of research:
2700 B.C.: The first written record of cannabis use is made in the pharmacopoeia of Shen Nung, one of the fathers of Chinese medicine.
550 B.C.: The Persian prophet Zoroaster writes the Zend-Avesta, a sacred text which lists more than 10,000 medicinal plants. Hemp is at the top of the list.

Nov. 14 2012 10:52 AM
Keith Miller from North Plainfield, NJ

Where's the audio from today's shows? Only the "Coastal Development" segment has audio on the page, and none of them are in iTunes.

Nov. 13 2012 03:20 PM
jonny goldstein from Pittsburgh

Where's the audio archive? Inquiring minds want to listen!

Nov. 13 2012 02:23 PM
John A.

"John, how much force do you want the State to use against you, to imprison you, for how long, to punish your admitted crime?"
Laws as they are now, or perhaps decriminalization with fine. I'm just sick of finding obviously crazed people who will tell you for hours and hours that MJ has had no iill effect on them.

Nov. 13 2012 01:45 PM


Nov. 13 2012 12:39 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Prescribing marijuana for headaches? What does that make it, grasspirin? "Toke 2 joints & call me in the morning"?

Nov. 13 2012 11:50 AM

No increased risk for road trauma was found for drivers exposed to cannabis.
SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research, Leidschendam, The Netherlands.
The driving performance is easily impaired as a consequence of the use of alcohol and/or licit and illicit drugs. ... A prospective observational case-control study was conducted in the Tilburg region of The Netherlands from May 2000 to August 2001.
Cases were car or van drivers involved in road crashes needing hospitalisation. ...

Nov. 13 2012 11:24 AM

John A. wrote: "The role of State is to deny these distractions...."
If the State is John's slave-master, he may be correct.
They can't have their slaves diminishing their productivity.
If the State is John's nanny, he may be correct. If MJ is really bad for him.

But if the State's proper role is to prevent the initiation of force, the threat of force, or fraud against other people or their property, prohibition is counterproductive.
John, how much force do you want the State to use against you, to imprison you, for how long, to punish your admitted crime?

Nov. 13 2012 11:11 AM

Mother Jones Magazine published “Capitol Hill’s Top 75 Corporate Sponsors” based on their campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures in Washington DC from 1989-2010.

Big Banking & Finance: 3 Goldman Sachs, 5 Citigroup, 10 American Bankers Association, 14 JPMorgan Chase, 16 Morgan Stanley, 23 Bank of America, 24 Ernst & Young, 28 Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, 29 Pricewaterhouse Coopers, 30 UBS, 35 Merrill Lynch, 40 Credit Suisse, 44 American Financial Group, 51 MBNA, 63 Securities Industry and Financial Market Association
The Guardian’s piece: $378 billion money-laundered by Wachovia for Mexican drug traffickers. Bloomberg’s report on Bank of America’s financing of three planes for traffickers to transport 10 tons of cocaine into America. Do they want to keep that steady flow of illicit cash into the world finance system?

Big Pharma & Healthcare: 6 American Medical Association, 20 Pfizer, 25 Blue Cross/Blue Shield, 27 American Hospital Association, 31 Aflac, 45 GlaxoSmithKline, 62 American Health Care Association, 66 Eli Lilly, 74 Bristol-Myers Squibb
Despite the AMA’s recent call to remove cannabis from Schedule I, they make the list because their reason for the call is to allow study of cannabis for its eventual pharmaceuticalization. Most would not wish to see patients growing their own medicine that reduces their need for prescription meds and leads to fewer doctor visits?

Big Alcohol & Tobacco: 9 Altria, 12 National Beer Wholesalers Association, 36 Reynolds American, 41 Anheuser-Busch, 52 UST
Why would they wish to compete with a recreational substance the customer can grow on their own? They were among the initial funders, along with Big Pharma, for the Partnership for a Drug-Free America.

Defense Contractors: 18 Lockheed Martin, 19 General Electric, 33 Boeing, 37 Northrop Grumman, 43 General Dynamics
When you sell weapons of war, you’ve got to have an armed enemy firing back at you to maintain production. That enemy needs ready cash [from drug sales] to purchase illegal arms on the black market....these corporations can’t have global drug prohibition unraveling by the first step of marijuana legalization.

Energy: 46 Chevron, 49 ExxonMobil, 75 Enron
if they’ve already invested in other alternative fuel sources, why legalize hemp and create competitors or a need to re-direct investments?

Big Agribusiness: 69 Archer Daniels Midland
a symbiotic relationship between the food industry producing ethanol for Big Energy and the returned favor of producing pesticides and herbicides for Big Agribusiness. A flourishing hemp industry would produce hempseed oil for energy and the remaining hempseed becmes nutritious protein for people and livestock. Even the remaining farmers of other crops would use less fertilizers as farmers use hemp as a rotational crop and revitalizes the soil naturally.

Nov. 13 2012 10:57 AM
John A.

I have tried marijuana and liked it. I have confessed on a Defense application BTW. But do I need more and more ways to get intoxicated? The role of State is to deny these distractions IMHO.
My pet theory (unprovable) is that the Republican Party doesn't oppose marijuana very much because the cloudminded are only people that could vote for them.

Nov. 13 2012 10:45 AM
Jon Schoenberg from Battery Park

As an attorney, let me assure you that Congress can and will assert the right to control - or forbid - sale of marijuana under the Interstate Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The Commerce Clause has been used to control far more attenuated "commercial" behavior, e.g., racial discrimination in hotels, sale of liquor over the internet, etc.

Nov. 13 2012 10:43 AM

Marijuana - Hemp opponents, whose products would need to compete with hemp:

Oil Industry - Rockefellers;
DuPont: oil, plastics, paper pulping;
Hearst - Wood Pulp Paper
cotton industry,
providers of insecticides & fertilizers for cotton
alcohol industry
drug industry

1937: The year the federal government outlawed Hemp or cannabis.

-- DuPont patents petrochemical manufacturing processes for making plastics, as well as pollution-heavy sulfate/sulfite processes for producing wood pulp. For the next 50 years, these processes are responsible for 80% of DuPont's industrial output.

--In its 1937 Annual Report, DuPont informs stockholders that the company anticipates radical changes from the revenue raising power of government... converted into an instrument for forcing acceptance of sudden new ideas of industrial and social reorganization.

Hemp proponents:
Henry Ford - Planned to run cars on Hemp Deisel Oil, Built rugged body parts of Hemp fibre reinforced hemp plastic
American Medical Association

Nov. 13 2012 10:40 AM

If the FEDs start prosecuting they also have to worry about jury nullification in these states.

Nov. 13 2012 10:39 AM
Karmen R. from Upper-West Side

This guy is 100% correct: right now no pharmaceutical can do any marijuana R&D because it's a Schedule 1 controlled substance. We have no idea what medical uses it might have.

Nov. 13 2012 10:37 AM

Two cannabinoids are FDA approved: Dronabinol and Nabilone.

Nov. 13 2012 10:36 AM

Prof. Kleiman nails a key point: There is simply no substantive research on cannabis in North America. The US government, including Barack Obama, has reacted violently against any proposals to ease laws on cannabis, including for purposes of research. Until we can do solid, scientific research, there is no way to address important questions on either side of the debate. Many of the assertions of fanatical opponents of cannabis has absolutely no scientific support at all.

Nov. 13 2012 10:36 AM

So this guy wants to turn a free product into a profit center for big pharma. WHY? Too bad we can’t sell air.

Nov. 13 2012 10:36 AM
Fj from Q

Doesnt everyone know by now that cannabis kills cancer cells?any discussion that does not include this is part of the white wash.

Nov. 13 2012 10:33 AM

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