MONTPELIER — A House committee, poised to allow PTSD patients to qualify for medical marijuana, reversed itself Friday when the state’s top law enforcement official stepped in before the panel voted.
But as opiates ravage communities from rural Vermont to Hollywood, treating addiction has become big business. The push for national health care, and recent changes to federal health insurance laws could make it even more attractive. Substance abuse treatment is a $7.7 billion industry, according to a recent report by IBISWorld Inc., a New York research firm, and growing at an annual rate of about 2 percent.
So, the total value is more like $17 million than the $250 million in the headline.
There is an economic point to this over and above just quibbling with the numbers being offered to us. Now that we can see the price difference between a half container full of cocaine in Colombia and a half container full of cocaine in Rotterdam we can work out why people try to smuggle half containers around the world. Because thereâ€™s a $230 million profit in managing to get one half container through. And a $230 million profit on a possible $17 million cost means that the authorities have to intercept at least 12 out of each 13 shipments in order to make it an unprofitable activity.
And no, no one at all thinks they are managing to do that and nor is there anyone who thinks they ever will. Meaning that we can now understand why that War on Drugs doesnâ€™t seem to be having all that much effect: thereâ€™s simply too much profit to be made from the smuggling for the war to have any noticeable effect.
DENVER â€” Last month, Colorado diner owner Mark Rose posted an unusual job description: “Looking for part time experienced breakfast cook. Pays well, must be friendly and a team player, could turn into a full time gig by summer. 420 friendly a must.”
With that public declaration, Rose put himself squarely in the camp of employers acknowledging that marijuana use is perfectly legal in Colorado. Perhaps more significant, it also puts him in the camp of employers who officially don’t care if their employees use pot off-duty. The phrase “420” is shorthand for someone who uses marijuana.
Rose owns Dot’s Diner on the Mountain in the pot-friendly mountain town of Nederland, Colo., just west of Boulder. He says he wanted to hire a marijuana-friendly employee to ensure he didn’t have to deal with someone who might complain about his own pot use.
More employers like him, please.
For fun, here’s a delightful parody of how the media gets sucked in to all the latest hoax drug scares.