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Legalizing Marijuan A Case Study

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WAYS TO LEGALIZE MARIJUANA To legalize marijuana, it needs to start from the supply chain. There are 12 ways a state can regulate the supply of marijuana, grouped into three categories. The first category covers the two familiar models: maintaining prohibition but reducing penalties, a policy being increasingly adopted, and the commercialization Colorado and Washington are testing out right now. Another category explores two extremes: maintaining prohibition and increasing penalties, and repealing prohibition without passing any kind of regulation of the marijuana industry. A third category explores eight options that fall somewhere in the middle. Reducing penalties One of the most familiar options is maintaining prohibition but decreasing…show more content…
Have the government manage the supply of pot Another option familiar to the residents of 17 states is a system in which the government runs production, a common model adopted after alcohol was repealed in 1933. And such systems have largely been good for the public, the authors argue. “Given the wealth of research suggesting that alcohol monopolies are better for public health than less regulated options (see reviews in Room, 1987, and Pacula, Kilmer, et al., 2014), we focus special attention on this particular supply alternative,” they write. “However, we want to stress at the outset that direct state participation in the supply chain could cause the state to violate federal law (Mikos, 2013).” A state government monopoly is arguably the best approach to legalizing the supply of marijuana, they write, but it is also the model that most directly conflicts with federal law. They identify four benefits of government-run marijuana: 1. It would minimize diversion to the black market by giving the government close control over the product. 2. It’s easily reversed. A government monopoly on production is a good stepping stone. It wouldn’t be hard to make the switch model from a government monopoly. But doing the reverse switching from a commercial system to government-run sales would be much harder, as businesses would lobby against any such…show more content…
Finally, a government monopoly on pot would prevent a price collapse, which the report’s authors fear could allow proliferation of the drug: For most consumer goods, lower prices are a cause for celebration, but, if consumers are vulnerable to overindulging, low prices might be problematic. For example, some view innovation that has led to very low prices for soda pop, junk food, and candy to be a curse, not a blessing. Government monopolies are often considered inefficient, but when it comes to producing a psychoactive substance that could be a good thing, the researchers argue. 5. Have a public authority do it One alternative to a government monopoly is granting a public authority control over which the government can exercise tight control. The advantages include the fact that this would shift the burden of violating the federal prohibition onto the authority and off of the state. But that also means the state would give up some level of control over the system. Such a model would also see a big portion of profits federally taxed, which isn’t the case with a government monopoly. 6. Allow only nonprofits operators to sell and distribute the
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