The long-term structures of legalization

An interesting article over at Reason on the legalization of a drug called alcohol: How Not to Legalize a Drug

Basically, the article talks about the three-tiered system of producers, distributors, and retailers that was set up with the repeal of Prohibition 1, and how that structure still affects the market today.

Fascinating reading, and worth keeping in mind as we determine models for the emerging legal cannabis industry.

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33 Responses to The long-term structures of legalization

  1. roninfreedom says:

    The Prohibitionists say”Ok,We’ll Legalize Marijuana but We’ll make Hotels,Parks Smoke-Free”.Because Tobacco Causes Cancer”.Yep,to you Buffoons what good is Legalization if everything is Smoke-Free???,but (I thought you Environmentalist Liberals would be wise but nope you’ve fallen for the whole Anti-Smoking Agenda like everyone else)it’s not the Tobacco you Jack-Ass.
    The Genetic Modifying of the Cigarettes and 600 intentional additives that Cigarette Companies such as Phillip Morris,RJ Reynolds have added to the Cigarettes that Killed your loved ones Not Tobacco.

    Tobacco came from God the Father of Christ Jesus my Lord.

    Tobacco is from nature and environment You Idiots!!!

    How Stupid do you have to be???

    It’s the Excutives at these Cigarette Companies that we should be going and arresting for Murder and Poluting the Environment,Not Prohibiting Smoking Dumb-Asses!!!

    Of course Conservatives have been Legalism’s traditional Emeny because of The Damn Bible-Trumpers and Moral reasons.

    But also

    So are Liberals because of The Save-the-Planet Thumpers and Environmental reasons.

    Yeah Liberals,you love Prohibition just as much as the Conservatives.

    Screw both of you!!!

    • Frank W. says:

      I’ll take It!!! I haven’t Been Laid for so long I’ll leave Comments on Websites!!!

      • allan says:

        Frank… lol, pickin’ on the young uns so early in the day.

      • Duncan20903 says:

        I’ve left almost 20,000 comments on websites and it has yet to get me laid. Do I have to register somewhere?

        • allan says:


          Somebody must’ve ripped chapter 10 out of your book I’ll bet… maybe Pete can get you a new copy.

    • DdC says:

      Why do you think they call it dope?

      Bigots, Ignorant profiteers with higher priorities than the health of the people. Fossil fools lumping in Hemp and Medicinal use. Tacking on hobgoblins after thousands of years of safe use. Only greed and stupidity. Drug Worrier paranoia is worthless.

      Why Do YOU Think They Call it DOPE?
      * Cannabis Hemp: The Invisible Prohibition Revealed
      * The Elkhorn Manifesto
      * Marijuana and Hemp: The Untold Story

      Comparing man made booze or man made drugs to natural tobacco or cannabis is for selling synthetics. Nothing to so with truth or reality. Booze was outlawed temporarily until Rockefellers crude oil gasoline stations were operational. Then after repeal farmers had to buy their tractor fuel instead of distilling it from crop remnants.

      Al Capone and Watergate were red herrings to divert the countries attention from the Fascist acts of eliminating competition. Booze/Ethanol or Ganja//Hemp.

      It also kept it in corporate hands with plenty of money for government interventions same as pot.

      roninfreedom you obviously missed my posts. I have called BS on smoking bans since they started! Harm = adulterants, not tobacco. Butt Probbies are not dealing with the harm, they’re diverting from it.

      Just guessing, Maybe inhaling flame retardants, burn enhancers and hundreds of other “pleasure poisons” I dunno, does harm?

      Organic Cannabis/Tobacco vs Chemical Cigarettes

      “in the war on drugs, unlike any war in American History, unlike any modern civilized war of the past two centuries in this war on drugs they are not stopping the battle and allowing the Red Cross on the field. In fact, they are shooting directly at the sick and at those who are trying to help them..and they are shooting to kill.”
      ~-Peter McWilliams, speech before the LNC, July 4, 1999

      btw you do know the most overzealous are the converts…

      • B. Snow says:

        The ‘most overzealous’ are almost ALWAYS the “converts”… Nothing worse than a “Reformed Smoker” or a “Reformed Drinker” See: Patty-Kake, Kev-Kev, and most recently.
        The very worst sort (in this regard/category) = A long-term AA/12-step survivor, Michael “face of a Botticelli & body of a Degas…” the most recent sacrificial ONDCP spokesman to Congress.
        *Face-man* Indeed, a self-proclaimed “know-nothing” in regard to many of the most basic facts & the history of the department that he’s currently employed in as the Deputy Acting Director.
        By claiming he didn’t know who Harry J. Anslinger was?

        Nonetheless, Botticelli continued on relatively undeterred. He purported to be unaware that his agency operates under a federal mandate to oppose any and all efforts pertaining to the legalization of marijuana, including efforts to study the plant’s therapeutic use, but then acknowledged that such a mandate didn’t actually constrain ONDCP activities because, in his opinion, “we are a science-based office.” (He similarly alleged to be unaware of Harry Anslinger, the 1930s architect of federal pot prohibition.)

        Although it seems someone – DID *whisper in his ear* -at some point- A few important bits of info about the ONDCP Re-Authorization – which first included the now infamous “the Drug Czar is Required by Law to Lie” language… In the section w/ the *Responsibilities of the Director*

        I’ll give him an ‘A for effort’ = In that, he tried to reference it in as coy a manner as humanly possible. And compared to his predecessors quite subtlety, To not go – “spilling the beans” and alerting the general public that the whole damn place has been a den of two-faced inequity for over 20 years!

        He really tried avoid “making news on it” – in relation to the committee hearing, I don’t think he didn’t realized that in point-of-fact = HE was “the canary in the coal mine” that day, until it was far too late.

        And, he’s a real = LONG-TERM “recovering alcoholic”, nothing wrong with that necessarily = Except for the extremely overzealous nature of these folks. Who all too often, claim to be – merely “going by their gut feelings”.

        Which leads me to the question that NOBODY ever seems to ask them, “wasn’t it their *gut feelings* – that got them into their current situation in the first place?”

        Yes – Please, Captain “Long-Term Recovering-Alchy” who – probably never used marijuana, or claimed he didn’t, and who I can say with great confidence certainly never used cannabis exclusively = or he’d know how its use & its effects differ quite substantially from alcohol & other drugs.

        So YES, Tell me all about the “Dangers of Cannabis” and be sure to do it through your “recovering alcoholic” frame-of-reference = So that it’s all but completely irrelevant!
        Now, that might be some entertaining Congressional committee testimony!
        Sadly, we haven’t seen that = YET… But we do have a few congress-people up there who’ve demonstrated they could absolutely pull it off! Maybe they’ll surprise us with a Harvest or Holiday Miracle?

  2. divadab says:

    Wow! This explains where the drafters of Washington’s I-502 sourced their model for a legal cannabis industry. They shoehorned this clumsy 3-tier alcohol model onto cannabis. But added taxes at a much higher rate in order to invoke visions of sugarplums to buy the cooperation of politicians and law enforcement, the main beneficiaries of the tax structure.

    Washington’s “legalization” is what happens when alcohol people, who know next to nothing about cannabis but prohibitionist myths, are given authority over cannabis regulation. And what has happened? The people of Washington State voted to legalize cannabis in 2012, and now over a year and a half later not even one legal outlet has opened, and not even one legal gram of weed has been sold. A pathetic SNAFU with a tax structure that guarantees the black market will continue. WHy would any connected person pay $300 an ounce for legal weed when he can get better weed from his existing network for about $160 an ounce?

    I held my nose and voted for this pig of an I-502 because I couldn’t bear to see it fail. But I’m sorry to say that absent significant changes to the structure, all the I-502 businesses will be working night and day to pay the absurdly high taxes and eking out a bare living if they can manage to stay in business at all.

    Colorado’s model is much better and already successful.

    • claygooding says:

      I hate to say it but we needed WA or some other state to show what greed could do to even a market as strong as the marijuana market will become,,until one fails there will always be greedier politicians building bigger retirement homes in FLA or Southern TX coastal regions.
      Sadly though CO is working there is one unknown,,how much black market weed is still being sod to CO residents,,,it would reveal just how big the marijuana market really is so I am sure we won’t get a SAMSA estimate on that.
      Even the greed of CO’s legislators will eventually bite them in the a$$ as more states come online,,by then there should be an international market,,when that happens then states will sue for access to that market under the Sherman Treaty and call ior interstate trade regulations,,,that is how I see it Vern.

      PS,,Morocco had 30 tons of hash busted and I am crying,,,but happy too,,this will spur Moroccan legislators into making money off the market plus making taxes off of it instead of letting the banks and criminals take all the big money out of their country,,

  3. allan says:

    friends… we lost one of our good ones last night.

    One of my best friends, an amazing man and patient advocate, Jim Greig passed on overnight.

    I’m sad…

  4. thelbert says:

    this gives new meaning to Fife Heights:

    city of fife,WA decides how much liberty to grant it’s citizens. don’t sound like much.

    • Windy says:

      The Fife city council doesn’t seem to know or understand that State, county or municipal law3 enforcement is NOT required to enforce federal law, only STate and local laws.

  5. Ned says:

    For about 5-6 years now I have been advocating for a regulation model based on beer and wine. Based on, not copied from. Having been a wine collector for many years and with many friends in that trade, I was well aware of its flaws. Cannabis regulation seemed like chance to do it and avoid the bad aspects of alcohol regulation.

    Unfortunately people who have NO idea what would suit cannabis are the ones designing the regs. The three tier system is extremely outdated. I know wine biz folks that have to battle it all the time to pursue their trade. Plenty of aspects of beer/wine regulation could be adapted to cannabis without the three tier structure.

    That the 21st amendment created 50 different sets of regs is a sad legacy for our modern world. We live in a very different society than 80 years ago. It’s a shame that with all the expertise and knowledge available we can’t draw upon to masterfully create a fair and functional 21st model of regulation.

    • Jeff Trigg says:

      “That the 21st amendment created 50 different sets of regs is a sad legacy for our modern world.”

      We have a heck of a lot more than 50 different sets of regs on alcohol as a result of the 21st Amendment. I’d suggest that is the appropriate legacy and not a sad one.

      Most of my family lives in Pope County, Ark, a dry county. No bars, no liquor stores, no beer or wine sold anywhere in the county. Most counties and cities have their own regulations – licenses, taxes, hours of operation, zoning, etc. – that would be impossible to impose from Washington D.C.. Similar to alcohol, the most important dictate from D.C. that I want on cannabis is that government should no longer have the power to lock people in cages for having and using it.

      Should we allow “dry” cannabis counties in the U.S. when legalization happens, similar to alcohol in that it can be possessed and consumed but it can’t be sold? I think we have to. Its easier to influence or leave local government jurisdictions than it is the federal government jurisdiction.

      I would agree that none of the 50 states’ regulations on alcohol are perfect, nor the counties, cities, wards, parishes or other entities. It is sad that so many layers of government have flaws in their alcohol regulations, but to me it doesn’t follow that centralized, federal alcohol regulations would be possible, let alone better than sad.

      I’m an advocate for the most decentralized and minimalist government that we can get. What are the minimum government regulations and government involvement needed in cannabis legalization? Safety of product. Honest transactions. Dispute resolution.

      Those are the basics to regulation, and anything else is a power grab by D and R politicians acting on behalf of corporations or government employee unions in most instances.

      • Duncan20903 says:

        All right, who the heck are you and what have you done with Jeff?

        • Jeff Trigg says:

          What, I’m not an anarchist. Some regulation is a good thing. I don’t want someone selling rubbing alcohol and labeling it as vodka. That would be unsafe and dishonest, and if it happened we would want government involved in dispute resolution.

          I also wouldn’t mind criminal charges against an individual who would do such a thing as selling rubbing alcohol labeled as vodka. Or lacing cannabis with rat poison and selling it. Is that more clear?

      • Windy says:

        There should be NO laws affecting any adult’s (18 or over) choices of ingestible substances whether intoxicating or not. Period! It’s MY body, MY life and the government was NEVER authorized/granted the power to regulate what I do with MY body or MY life so long as I am not violating the equal rights of others. PERIOD!

        BTW, those are NOT laws, laws must comply with the Constitution to be valid law, these do NOT, those are merely unconstitutional statutes.

        • Jeff Trigg says:

          Not sure you understood what I was saying. I was trying to illustrate that having 50+ sets of alcohol regulation policies was not a sad legacy, but is, in fact, a constitutionally correct legacy. Do you think we should have one federal policy that controls how alcohol is handled everywhere in the US? I think that’s contrary to the constitution, and should be left to states, ala, 9th and 10th amendments.

          I said absolutely nothing about laws which would regulate what you do with your body or life. My example was dry counties in the US where it is legal to possess and consume alcohol, but it is not legal to buy and sell it. There is a huge distinction there perhaps you should consider. Do you believe the Constitution grants the federal government the power to tell Pope County Arkansas that they now have to allow the sale of alcohol in their county? And tell Pope County how, when, where, etc. that alcohol can be sold?

          Now, from my example above, do you believe someone should be able to sell rubbing alcohol labeled as vodka? I’d say no, and that the regulation or law that deals with that should be written at the state and/or lower level. Same goes with cannabis laced with rat poison. The federal government doesn’t have the authority to criminalize that (unless it crosses state lines) but states absolutely have that authority under our Constitution, and I suggest they should use it.

  6. Any system that rules out the mom and pop shops in favor of big money distributors is foolish IMHO.

    • claygooding says:

      By only allowing the rich,as IL is doing with the MMJ program planned there,you leave an established group of experienced growers already willing to break the law,,you build in a black market for law enforcement to chase.

      • Illinois investors becoming active in medical marijuana business

        Cuomo’s “want list”

        New York Governor Cuomo leaked a list of demands that would be required in order to sign off on the bill. Among those demands are:

        Banning smoking – only vaporization, pill form, and edibles will be allowed

        No sharing of medical marijuana between patients

        A reduced list of qualifying medical conditions to become a medical marijuana patient

        Changes to the amount a patient can obtain/possess per month

        Medical marijuana doctors would need to have special certification to approve patients

        Out of state patients do not have protection while in New York

        Limiting the number of dispensaries allowed, and the number of organizations that oversee them

        Allow the Governor, at any time, to suspend the program

        Beware State booby trap’s! I think Clay is 100% right.

        • B. Snow says:

          Cuomo is a Tool, their whole family AFAI-Recall is a veritable workshop of full of “Tools” -well- at least the “public figures”…

  7. claygooding says:

    Here is one for Pete’s next NY tour,,T-shirts with this on it would be appropriate.

  8. Deep Dish says:

    There was legislation pending in Florida to ban microbreweries from selling their own beer. BJ Breweries is too much of a threat to Big Beer.

    The measure (SB 1714) has so infuriated craft brewers and beer enthusiasts that some on Twitter have christened it with the hashtag “#growlergate.” The Community Affairs committee approved the bill Tuesday. Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, was so incensed at the idea of craft brewers having to pay someone else to sell their own product that he likened it to a mobbed-up racket. Latvala has championed the microbrewery cause. The requirement is similar to paying “protection to ‘Vinnie’ in New York,” he said. The bill also is favored by the Big Beer lobby, which is feeling the heat from craft beer’s competition.

  9. Gag Me with a Spoon says:

    ‘Canadian’ Dr. Invents Weed Breathalyzer.

  10. Nunavut Tripper says:

    “Canada is known for its liberal attitudes towards the recreational use of marijuana, and that’s something Kal Malhi, the former Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer who worked in the drug enforcement division for four years, hopes to change. ”

    We hope this retired drug pig crashes and burns with this venture.They just can’t stop bugging us can they ?

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