How is pot worse than fireworks?

Jacob Sullum discusses one of the provisions in the Colorado pot regs: Can Colorado’s Limit on Pot Purchases by Nonresidents Survive Constitutional Challenges?

The marijuana regulation law that Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed last month includes a quarter-ounce limit on pot purchases by visitors from other states. Colorado residents, by contrast, may buy up to an ounce at a time. As I have mentioned before, making the purchase limit hinge on residency seems inconsistent with Amendment 64, the marijuana legalization initiative that is now part of Colorado’s constitution. The quarter-ounce rule may also be vulnerable to challenge under the U.S. Constitution, since it discriminates against residents of other states.

Regardless of the Constitutional questions, one of my first reaction is bemusement that this is such a big deal.

Has anyone driven from Illinois or Iowa into Missouri? As soon as you cross the border, you see things like this:


In fact, you’re likely to see five or six of these stores right next to each other just inside the border.

Now, everyone knows that the fireworks sold here are legal in Missouri, but not in Illinois or Iowa. And everyone knows that the reason that these stores are at the border… is to sell them to people in Illinois and Iowa. And while theoretically, you might get arrested for bringing them into those states, odds are you won’t.

And unlike marijuana, these things can blind you or cause you to lose a finger.

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24 Responses to How is pot worse than fireworks?

  1. claygooding says:

    It happens at every county line in a “dry” county,,the first store you see is a liquor store as you enter a wet county but it is going to take several more years to remove the brainwashing done by the government about pot.
    With all the crap this government has been caught at recently it is apparent the government cannot operate without lying yet they cling to reefer madness like a life jacket,,,,another unexplained phenomenon.

  2. strayan says:

    Wait… something is happenning to me… I think I’m about to start channelling Mark Kleiman…

    Oh God, here it comes… *eyes roll back into head*:

    “As long as the state prevents fireworks sold under their laws from crossing state lines and thereby subverting the firework prohibition in other states… we should let the different policies play themselves out”[1]

    Woah! What just happened? It feels like someone just backed a truck over my head.


  3. claygooding says:

    I figured out the solution to the I-502 pricing policy,,$5 per syllable in the strain name so that anyone can recognize a schwag smoker cause his is labeled “pot”.

  4. ‘The worst case of scientific censorship since the Catholic Church banned the works of Galileo’
    Scientists call for drugs to be legalised to allow proper study of their properties

    This is why pot can’t be worse than fireworks. But the government would love to have you believe that it is.

  5. kaptinemo says:

    The exact same phenomenon WRT fireworks is observed in Virginia, though not as pronounced. But it’s there. As is the reason for it, namely Maryland and DC having been ‘nannied’ (aka neutered) legislatively, prohibiting fireworks purchases. Hence the many Maryland and DC license plates on cars seen on numerous VA backroads come mid-June until July 4th.

    One more example of Heinlein’s observation that political labels don’t mean much; the degree of intent upon controlling others, pursuant to your own prejudices, is the best litmus test for any such law effecting personal liberties. As the drug laws so amply demonstrate…

    • Duncan20903 says:


      People cross the river to buy cigarettes nowadays because Virginia taxes cigarettes about $2 per pack less. It’s a friggin’ felony to carry more than 2 packs with another State’s tax stamp back into Maryland. I doubt that law is enforceable since it’s unconstitutional on its face. But for some reason people don’t seem to mind when their law makers decide to be law breakers too.

  6. Freeman says:

    That fireworks stand looks just like the one near Rockport, MO on I-29 near the Iowa / Nebraska border. I used to go by it all the time when I traveled between KC and Lincoln on business.

  7. jean valjean says:

    but pete fireworks are patriotic!

    • claygooding says:

      So is pot,,George and Thomas told me so!

      • War Vet says:

        So pot and fireworks go hand in hand . . . one holds the bong and one holds the fire cracker before tossing it . . . but one should never toss a bong unless you are pretty Hollywood star.

    • Pete bulkner says:

      No they’re dangerous!! People can use them as a wepon , they need to be controlled only by law enforcement and fire marshals. Private citizins have no reason to possess them, and marijuana being “legal” is actually unconstitutional as i violates 4th and 5th and 10th amendment .

      • Duncan20903 says:

        I think your DNA is wiggling.

      • War Vet says:

        Damn Pete . . . I knew it was you all along who was unconstitutional . . . you did say that right: “i violates the 4th . . . amendments” Thank God I’m no private citizen . . . I’m a proud Army Vet of a foreign war . . . I served so I could be a part of ending the drug war –not furthering it.

  8. Servetus says:

    Arch prohibitionist and marathon bomber, Tamarlan Tsarnaev, used fireworks components to help construct his weapons of mass destruction. He also murdered his brother’s pot connection on the tenth anniversary of 9/11.

    Tamarlan viewed marijuana to be as American as the Fourth of July, and therefore worthy of attack. Yet, Tsarnaev did nothing the American government hasn’t done overseas, or to its own citizens, when it’s killed people for possessing a simple weed. The lines separating government stupidity and terrorism are blurred by the hypocrisy and ideology of drug prohibitions.

  9. A Critic says:

    “And unlike marijuana, these things can blind you or cause you to lose a finger.”

    Or kill you. More Americans have been killed by fireworks than were killed by the British in the Revolutionary War.

    • claygooding says:

      Yup,,we figure if we can keep tweaking the cannabis plant or let Mansanto GMO it and it will start killing people,,then the government will legalize it.

    • War Vet says:

      Good Call A Critic: War on Fireworks is coming to a congressional vote near you (well, if you live in DC that is) . . . that’ll teach those Brits for giving us our independence.

  10. I smoke marijuana because I have excruciating pain, it is the medicine that needs recognition and to be truthful I have never come upon a violent stoner!

    Im about to hit the bong man!

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