I’ve just spent most of the past week as one of the judges of the Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival in Palatine, Illinois. Awards were announced this afternoon and will probably be posted online soon. It was quite an amazing festival with incredible films in a wide variety of categories. It makes me feel good about the future of independent film.
Keith Humphreys manages to define two mostly fictional opposing straw camps in a rather bizarre, though creative way and then give us the low-down on what legalization will look like:
This will be tough for baby boomers to hear, but the current generation of Americans doesnâ€™t know Woodstock from chicken stock and understands the Viet Nam War about as much as they do military action in the Crimea. If the U.S. legalized marijuana today, those now fading cultural meanings would not rule the day, capitalism would. Cannabis would seen as a product to be marketed and sold just as is tobacco. People in the marijuana industry would wear suits, work in offices, donate to the Club for Growth and work with the tobacco industry to lobby against clean air restrictions. The plant would be grown on big corporate farms, perhaps supported with unneeded federal subsidies and occasionally marred by scandals regarding exploitation of undocumented immigrant farm workers. The liberal grandchildren of legalization advocates will grumble about the soulless marijuana corporations and the conservative grandchildren of anti-legalization activists will play golf at the country club with marijuana inc. executives, toast George Soros at the 19th hole afterwards and discuss how they can get the damn liberals in Congress to stop blocking capital gains tax cuts.
Wow. That’s certainly a passionate future view.
I think that the reality would be much more along the lines of Eli’s comment on that post (and others):
Big Pot? Really? If anything it would seem more like microbreweries â€“ and many of those potential customers simply existing outside of the market because of the relative ease of growing your own, and the fact that such smaller quanties will ever be required by the average user. I think there might be a scenario in which regulation and health care might create a sort of small pharma marijuana industry. But even there, it would be less Pfizer and more fish-oil-type supplement.
I agree that alcohol is much more likely the model of cannabis legalization than cigarettes, with both the budweiser version as well as the fine wines and single-malt scotches. If you’re looking at tobacco as the model, it would be more likely the cigar/pipe model than the cigarette model.
Marijuana is consumed much more like alcohol or fine tobaccos than like cigarettes. People will want different strains for different moods (just as I like The Balvenie when I’m at home relaxing, but prefer Lagavulin 16 when I’m out with friends).
Oh, and most legalization advocates are not against people making money from the sale of marijuana. We just want it to be legal money, not criminal profits.
Speaking of cannabis and tobacco, the UCIA News Blog reports on Tokepure â€“ a campaign whose time has come
A campaign to get cannabis users to stop smoking tobacco is the biggest and simplest harm reduction campaign the government could and should be running. This is an issue that affects millions of mostly young people. In all honesty, tobacco use is by far and away the biggest danger to health cannabis users face, strange then that the government has never done anything to address the issue. The cannabis law reform campaign CLEAR in association with UKCIA is about to put that right.
I have always been a bit baffled by the tendency for people in the UK to smoke their cannabis mixed with tobacco. It’s never made much sense to me, and it certainly doesn’t make sense from a health perspective.
Of course, governments are never willing to suggest to people how to do a criminalized activity more safely â€” they’d much rather prop up their failed wars than save their own citizens’ lives.
Best of luck to the Tokepure movement.