Jacob Sullum really nails it in this piece: Fear of Cannabis Commerce Didn’t, Won’t, and Shouldn’t Stop Legalization, where he takes on both Kevin Sabet and his “Big Marijuana” mantra, and Mark Kleiman’s kinder, gentler non-profit-based prohibition lite.
Sabet warns that such businesses will make money by producing and distributing marijuana, meaning they will have a financial incentive to sell as much as they can. That is all completely true, but it is scary only if you view consumers as the slaves rather than the masters of people trying to sell them stuff. Most Americans do not see the businesses that supply them with useful and enjoyable goods and services as the enemy [emphasis added]
This bolded part is one of the things that really annoys me about how we make laws, which are often predicated on the idea that we have to protect lesser beings than ourselves from the horror of having to make smart choices, since they are incapable of doing so.
It’s an extraordinarily offensive and elitist approach.
Unlike Kevin Sabet, Kleiman thinks (or at least hopes) that we can have legalization without commercialization. There is another name for this form of legalization: prohibition.