Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Economics of Legal Marijuana in Washington State and Elsewhere

Like a majority of my neighbors, I voted in favor of Initiative 502, legalizing the sale of marijuana, in
the 2012 general election. Some voted for the measure so that they could get canabis of reliable quality at a reasonable price without risk of arrest. I voted for it because I believe in markets.

For the better part of two years, nothing happened. There is still no marijuana shop in our village shopping center. But this week things are starting to change—or are they? On Monday, the first licenses were issued for legal marijuana outlets. Will users get the safe and reasonably priced product they need? Will nonusers be free of the spillover of violence from drug criminals and the waste of law enforcement resources devoted to failed efforts to suppress them? The news says, “no.” Instead, at least in the short run, it looks like we are going to get shortages and high prices for the trickle of product that makes it into the handful of legal shops, while criminal purveyors continue business as usual.

Here is how I would explain what is going on to my Econ 101 students: >>>Read more

Follow this link to view or download a classroom-ready slideshow on the economics of legal marijuana markets

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