Colorado was once the columbine state. Then the voters, in their wisdom, legalized marijuana, making Colorado the pot state. A hopeful delusion holds that legalizing pot and taxing it will do two wonderful things. First, it is said, It will bring money into state coffers by taxing grass smokers. The proponents say that will be really cool because it’ll eliminate the black market. The illegal dope trade and the violence it may create is a drain of state resources because of the need for more police to catch the drug dealers and stop the violence. It will also save the state money previously spent on rehab programs for the addicts that are created by a black market for ganja.
That prediction never rested on solid ground and experience so far shows that it was a false promise all along. The black market hasn’t gone awa. The drug dealers are still in business converting as many thousands as before into addicts. Legalization doesn’t suddenly make pot smokers more resistant to addiction. It doesn’t necessarily make the cost to users lower than the illegal street price because the state, in it’s infinite greed, taxes it at the highest rate possible, sometimes making legal weed more pricey that the black market variety.
Legal dope (for dopes) probably increases addiction because, for many people, it gives legitimacy to the argument that pot smoking is harmless. Perhaps not every person who tokes up becomes a heroin addict, but every heroin addict started with marijuana. Right now America is hosting the worst heroin addiction crises ever. More options for bhang isn’t going to help that situation.
This wasn’t done by the Colorado legislature, it was a voter initiative pushed on us by milliions of dollars of out of state money, mostlly from the Southern California glamour world, Californicating Colorado.
The voters on November 8th last went one further in their effort to turn Colorado into a disfunctional niightmare on the order of San Francisco, Seattle and and Portland. They enacted Amendment 70 increasing the mandatory minimum wage from $8.31 per hour to $12 by 2020. Not quite as looney as California and Seattle’s $15/hour, but likely to wreak the same sort of destruction. Colorado now goes from being not just the pot state, but also the lunatic state.
I’ve written a lot here on how a minimum wage law hurts those it was intended to help, but it also hurts others, and the whole economic system as well. It heeps destructioin by creatung distortion in the economic system. Government cannot create wealth nor good jobs. Government can damn sure destroy wealth, both existing wealth and new wealth creation, and it can destroy jobs for those most in need of a job. If you are of a different mind on that I urge you to read this: Stay East, Young Man
For what’s wrong with minimum wage laws and the social destruction they sow, here is a compendium of articles on the subject. Actually it’s a great piece by Linda Gorman with an extensive further reading list attached.
Putting lots of young unskilled males out of work has serious social consequences. If you believe, and you should believe, that every new generation of young boys constitutes an invasion of barbarians, then you should not agree with anything that is going to make it harder to socialize young men and boys. Having a job where they can learn basic skills is an important step in the direction of domesticating them. When they aren’t working what would you expect them to be doing? Making trouble, of course.