Marijuana regulation won't lead to dropping prices, increased use nationwide, advocate says

Categories: Marijuana

Will pot prices drop and usage rise not just in Colorado but across the country if Amendment 64, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, passes? An author on a Washington, D.C. panel at the American Enterprise Institute seen in a video below thinks so -- but an Amendment 64 proponent calls the theory nonsense.

During this week's event, covered by the Los Angeles Times, Jonathan Caulkins, a Carnegie Mellon professor and co-author of the book Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know, pointed out that "legislation is unprecedented -- not even the Netherlands has done it." But thanks to Amendment 64, as well as weed-related proposals in Washington and Oregon, "it is entirely possible it will happen this year," he added.

jonathan caulkins.jpg
Jonathan Caulkins.
If that happens, "the effects will be enormous," Caulkins stressed. In his view, pot's illegality keeps prices high, which prevents use from exploding. Should Amendment 64 win approval, he argued that more people would obtain grower's licenses, instantly transforming Colorado into what the Times describes as "a good home for exporters of marijuana."

As Caulkins put it, "They would be able to provide marijuana to New York state markets at one quarter of the current price," thereby putting pressure on the federal government to crack down or allow the situation to degenerate into economic chaos.

Is this scenario realistic? Not in the view of Amendment 64 supporter Brian Vicente.

"I think it's fundamentally false," he says. "I really don't think Professor Caulkins has even read the Colorado law, from what I could gather, or else he wouldn't draw these conclusions."

Examples? "When this passes, it would remain absolutely illegal for anyone to send marijuana out of state under both state and federal law, in the same way other portions of our state law remain in place, including making driving while impaired illegal. To his point, it would be a federal offense, and we assume the federal government isn't going to stop enforcing marijuana laws entirely as it impacts other states."

Additionally, he continues, "we can look to the other sixteen medical marijuana states where marijuana has been partially legalized for adult use -- and surrounding states haven't had these massive decreases in the price of marijuana, and usage rates have not skyrocketed. So really, his entire premise is flawed."

Page down to read more about the price-decline theory and see a video of the marijuana panel.


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71 comments
jsiskwell
jsiskwell

Marijuana USED to be far less expensive, but a larger percentage didn't smoke then!  Just crazy assumptions and unsubstatiated projections from people who just don't like it.  So many lies about drugs, it's amazing that anyone listens to "authority" figures anymore.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

Caulkins is an idiot -- if Carnegie Mellon has not granted him tenure, it should reconsider his future with the University.  Writing an ill-informed book and posing in front of a library of law books does not make Caulkins any sort of expert on the subject other than a self-anointed one.  His analysis of the effects of Amendment 64 suggests that he lacks even a passing acquaintance with Federal law and policy, much less an understanding of Colorado law.  To assume that provisions in the Amendment will lead to a drop in the price of good cannabis nationwide is so great a leap, so uninformed by Federal legal realities, that terming him an idiot is a mild rebuke.

 

The Federal Controlled Substances Act makes almost every act furthering the conduct of the dispensing of medical cannabis a dire Federal felony.  The existence of the entire industry is predicated on a willful misreading of the now superceded Ogden Memorandum, which stated that persecuting those in compliance with state medical cannabis laws would not be a Federal priority -- now, Federal priorities in enforcing the law are based on the Cole Memorandum, which says merely that persecuting seriously ill patients will not be a priority.  We have been fortunate that there has not been more Federal interference in the Colorado General Assembly's unconstitutional marijuana distribution scheme for patients, but nowhere in either of the official statements of policy from the Department of Injustice (DOI) or in any other statement from this Administration is there the slightest support for the notion that the DOI and DEA would not vigorously oppose an attempt to license the general retail sales of cannabis to adults.

 

Amendment 64 does enjoin the General Assembly to create a system of licensure of general retail sales to adults, but the granting of any such licenses is certain to trigger Federal threats to arrest licensees and confiscate their property.  Simply making such threats has already proven sufficient to close sixty MMCs in Colorado, and no legal or physical opposition to these closures has occurred.  Without a revolution in Federal policy and/or a complete re-write of the Federal Controlled Substances Act (of neither of which is there any evidence), anyone attempting to retail cannabis to non-patients faces the virtual certainty of Federal prosecution and incarceration.  The provisions of Amendment 64 regarding general retail sales to adults and the cultivation of hemp are effectively moot for the foreseeable future, and Caulkins' bizarre assumption that passage would mean that enough cannabis could be diverted from what would be an impossible legal market to the black market nationwide as to lower prices for cannabis is contemptibly uninformed.

 

P.S. Amendment 64's non-functional provisions will at least put symbolic pressure on the Federal government to legalize by declaring it the will of the People of Colorado that sales to adults be permitted, but the campaign for the Amendment sticks with its pretense that licensure and sales will ensue -- hence Brian Vicente's lame claim that tight regulation will prevent cannabis legally grown for sale in Colorado from depressing prices nationwide. Caulkins' entire premise IS flawed, but not for the reasons cited by Vicente, and his response not only credits Caulkins' thesis far more than it deserves, but is reactionary to boot!

ricobell
ricobell

Of course it is about the profit, the business. That is the only compelling reason for crop restrictions. The industry loves to make grandiose claims about safety, quality and taxation, all on behalf of the poor patient or for the common good of the Colorado citizen. Every time taxation is mentioned, it is limited to sales or potentially, in the case of Amend 64, an excise tax, meaning the customer pays the tax, not the supplier. For a reality check, have you ever seen a dispensary, grower or any other member of the industry claim that their income taxes, based on their unbelievable profit margins provide an impressive percentage of Colorado State Income Tax revenues. No. They all are suffering, desperately trying to make ends meet despite the huge volume of  sales, according to the very same Sales Tax statistics they love to quote when it is convenient. Try growing strawberries using the same guidelines that either already exist or are outlined by Amend 64 and see what it would cost per ounce of the fruit. Under lights, protected under lock and key and limited to just a few plants...If the strawberry industry negotiated with the State and the outcome was restrictions and limitations at the expense of the consumer yet allowed the industry to block interstate commerce, limit competition, exclude foreign markets and collude on price...can you now see why people who really don't care one way or another about the item get fed up with the business end?

 

And, I don't suppose I am the only one bored by the ceaseless battle between DH and R. Chase and make every effort to read around their nonsense in order to see if someone else has something new or insightful to offer.

RobertChase
RobertChase

Supposedly DISQUS allows the migration of comments to other blogging systems -- having given no notice of the change, and having made so many comments on so many posts, I certainly expect WW to replace those comments.  Donkey, you don't seem upset that your own comments have been removed -- I'll take that as the measure of how much you value your own contributions.

 

You seem delighted, probably because the new system is so rudimentary -- instead of incessantly butting into other people's exchanges, you can now more easily drown out other posters with the sheer volume of your crap.  It's not as though WW responded to my complaints about DISQUS.  Had I been offered a choice between limping along with DISQUS usually working and allowing replies, editing of ones own posts, and registering approval of others' comments, or the wholesale deletion of hundreds of comments and "my VOICE online"'s flat commenting display, I would have chosen the former.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

LOL!

 

Robert Chase got what he begged for -- WW dropped Disqus, and with it ALL THE COMMENTS and DISCUSSION HISTORY on ALL POSTS ever made on EVERY article !!

 

And the new system does NOT allow editing of one's comments, so you better get your grammar and spelling correct the first time.

 

PopQuiz -- what's 2/3 of 25 ?

xlioilx
xlioilx

When the price is high it just causes violence and when something is more valuable the risk is ignored. 

 

So $400 an ounce now won't drop the price when everyone has their own grow LOL!

This guy doesn't know what he's talking about. I grew Hydro for years. Who needs to buy when you can grow as much as your electricity bill allows. I can GROW a half pound with less than $300 worth of electricity in 10 weeks.. what an uneducated BOOB!

 

Someone needs to get some green thumb skills before they voice their moronic opinion.

 

The guy's worried about people sending cannabis out of state if the law passes LOL it's already out of state. Someone is probably growing it down the street.. EVERY ONE GROWS! Old people young people Rich people Church people. EVERYONE DOES IT BUT IT"S IN THE CLOSET! THe person you suspect the least is totally smoking up right now!

 

End the war! End the stupidity! End the communism of prohibition!

 

 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Hey Robert Chase,

 

You whined and complained about Disqus ... let's see how much you like this new posting system.

 

LOL!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Wow!

 

Amazing Michael, you found two know-nothing stooges playing point-counterpoint ... who are BOTH WRONG ... and for all the WRONG REASONS.

 

Where do you find these stupefied stoners?

 

Fact is, A64 does NOT LEGALIZE marijuana, not even close!

 

A64's pathetic puny limits of 1 (one) ounce and 3 (three) flowering plants will have near ZERO effect upon the supply of the intra-state market, much less the national market.

 

Now if Colorado actually did LEGALIZE marijuana, without Government Restrictions, Regulations, Taxes and Control, and if any resident could in fact grow an UNLIMITED SUPPLY, then yes, prices would plummet to those of other mass produced agricultural commodities and Colorado would then become a net exporter of pot to other still illegal or still ridiculously regulated states.

 

Fucking idiots.

 

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @ricobell Ignore away -- one of the things you ignored though was my explication that cannabis may be grown in a greenhouse under Amendment 64.  By all means read only those "new or insightful" posts -- which agree with your misconceptions!

 

P.S.  Something else you seem to have ignored is who is doing battle -- I ignore much of Donkey's BS, but he is shoveling at a prodigious rate!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Typical Robert "Mr Magoo" Chase ... fails to contemplate the potential blowback of his own choices ...

 

... as you'll no doubt make the same ex-post-facto handwringing and lame apologia if A64 were to pass, resulting in myriad unintended negative consequences, all of which you've been repeatedly forewarned of.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @DonkeyHotay The new system apparently allows for the deletion of comments and the making of new ones, which would be equivalent to editing comments.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @xlioilx Do you grow your 1/2 pound with only 3 (three) flowering plants, and no more than 6 total, as per the legal limits of A64 ?

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @DonkeyHotay As long as they replace old comments, the substitution now appears acceptable.  If, has has been alleged, you were in the habit of liking your own comments from multiple IP addresses under DISQUS, it will be you that is discommoded by the new system, but I am not so obsessed that I am "LOL".

IcePick
IcePick

 @DonkeyHotay Contrary to the contrarians post A64 DOES LEGALIZE MARIJUANA.  VOTE YES ON A64!!

IcePick
IcePick

 @DonkeyHotay Boots are legal and they are taxed so then A64 makes Marijuana legal by the SAME DEFINITION.

kevin_hunt
kevin_hunt

 @DonkeyHotay

 

Also...."any [P]resident could in fact grow an UNLIMITED SUPPLY". 

 

Considering the last three got their supply at Oxford, from the CIA, or the Choom gang, your idea might be an improvement, Don.

ricobell
ricobell

 @RobertChase Please point out my misconceptions specifically, I would be interested. 

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @DonkeyHotay I see upon signing-in that responses are allowed -- fine, but I certainly hope that Village Voice Media plans to migrate comments from DISQUS soon.  You rhetorically pretend that I am in charge of their websites; I am not, nor is there the slightest indication that Village Voice Media based its decision to switch commenting systems on my complaints about DISQUS, so your reference to "the potential blowback of his own choices" is nonsense!  Your intent to deceive other readers disgusts me.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @RobertChase Worse that not being able to edit -- which will merely require more circumspection before posting live -- is the TRUNCATED Threading feature, where BRANCHING stops at 2 replies, the rest of the replies being STACKED.

 

Reminds me of 1st Generation commenting software, where "lively debate and discussion" was merely lip-service.

 

YOU are really going to miss DISQUS !!

xlioilx
xlioilx

 @DonkeyHotay Yes you can get 1/2 pound off 3 plants using a scrog. if you're skilled and not growing bean poles.  each plant would be no taller than 1 foot before flowering. If scrogged to a minimum of 4feet by 4 feet you can get a half a pound easy.  but it may take 1-2 additional weeks depending on strain to fill the scrog 4-5 plants would be ideal for that. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @RobertChase They won't replace the old comments, as they'd have to do that manually, via copy, cut and paste, and they lose all threading.

 

Regarding "like spoofing", Livefyre -- what a daft name -- apparently disallows unregistered guests from "liking" any comment -- which was the majority of likes delivered on Westword, so those numbers will no doubt dwindle.

 

But there is nothing preventing anyone from having multiple registered user accounts, and stroking themselves in public as it were.

 

hth.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

**** Legalize Marijuana Like Oregano !! ****

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

About 2 - 5 years in prison ...

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @RobertChase I used the edit feature as much as anyone who bothered to care about self-correcting errors or mistakes ... semi-literate stammering stoners notwithstanding.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @DonkeyHotay "... making running multi-user discussions difficult to follow" -- since you try to hijack virtually every single exchange between me and other posters, you'll love that!  Deletion of comments is not possible once a reply has been posted, so it will behoove you to sit poised over the keyboard ready to fire off instant rejoinders so as to prevent other from correcting their posts by deleting and reposting them -- but you do that already -- another advantage of the new system (for you)!

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @DonkeyHotay Come now -- when most of your posts are about mine or about me, how can you possibly deny it?  It does not matter because it is plain to all.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

You'll also note that Comment Threading is now truncated at only 2 replies per original post, the rest being stacked instead of branched, making running multi-user discussions difficult to follow.

 

Reap It, Baby !!

 

 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

You speciously deny that YOU whined and complained about DISQUS -- often due to your own user incompetence -- and demanded in your petulant internet foot-stomping that they "get rid of it!" ...

 

I told you directly that DISQUS was a relatively robust and functional commenting platform and warned you that anything they changed to would very likely not be as useful or functional ... but you being the myopic self-centered fool that you failed to take heed ... as you are again doing with A64.

 

How's that old adage go again? ...

 

REAP WHAT YE SOW, SUCKER!

xlioilx
xlioilx

 @DonkeyHotay Actually he could grow 10 pounds on a single plant with an indica strain and a ton of space. but he would need lots of patience and skill and it wouldn't be very economical in the end. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

You couldn't grow a 10 lb plant ... if you started with an 11 lb plant.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Which is why some unlucky staffers at Westword have been manually copying, cutting and pasting individual old DISQUS comments into the now vacant spaces on earlier stories.

 

HB1284 "supposedly" would "legitimize" the MMJ industry in Colorado.

 

How'd that work out?

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @DonkeyHotay Maybe I am crediting you with too much intelligence -- DISQUS supposedly allows the MIGRATION of comments into other systems; whether that works or not, I cannot say, but it does not refer to cutting and pasting!

IcePick
IcePick

 @DonkeyHotay I,m sure we can still find 26 people to like a post insulting you.

IcePick
IcePick

 @DonkeyHotay And once again greg comes out to attack the messenger because he can't attack the message.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Planting Copious Quantities of Oregano !!

kevin_hunt
kevin_hunt

 @DonkeyHotay Hey Don, it's Kevin Hunt.  "myvoice nation" gave me this lame screen name when I hit the "back" button on the browser.  Gotta get that fixed.

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