The Effects of Marijuana Prohibition

With the victories in Colorado and Washington for recreational marijuana use, 2014 promises to be an exciting year. But will this great experiment yield the results we want? Marijuana prohibition is definitely an issue in 2013. But will the State’s laws hold up under Federal scrutiny? Will the feds swoop in and turn this victory for marijuana into something that we didn’t want at all?

Will the proper legislation be passed by the states allowing for the dispensaries to operate without being a cash only enterprise? Will there be some weird rule stating that it’ll be legal to possess it, but not to obtain it? There are many questions as yet unanswered on this issue. I don’t mean to be alarmist, but I am a realist.

Marijuana Prohibition
Marijuana Prohibition is still a serious problem.

Why doesn’t the government just abolish marijuana prohibition with a Constitutional Amendment the way they did alcohol? Wouldn’t that make everything easier? Wouldn’t that lesson the probability that the line between state’s laws and federal laws would further be blurred? These are the concerns that keep some smokers awake at night. Some wonder if the taxing of marijuana in these states will allow for the commerce created to cover the cost of the new found freedom. Again, these are legitimate concerns.

In six months, these questions will begin to take center stage. As January approaches, the greedy side of business will have its’ day with legal marijuana for recreational use. All we can do is hold our collective breath and hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. No one likes a fear monger, but no one believes in fairy tales either.

The problem with good things, is that everyone rushes to them. This somehow has the ability to turn a good thing into something else. If the crime rate in Colorado or Washington climbs one single percentage of a percentage point, where will the blame go? When the first dispensary is robbed at gunpoint, as medical dispensaries have in California already have, which conservative party will carry the battle flag calling for this “mistake” to be fixed? Medical dispensaries in California now outnumber Starbucks. This is reason for alarm.

I hope these fears are unjustified, but more than that, I hope Colorado and Washington are prepared for the fallout. And good or ill, there will be one. Stay green and hopeful.



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