I am happy to see various states going forward with legalizing the recreational use of Marijuana. I believe cannabis and various other drugs should be available to anyone wishing to use them. My only problem is with the way they are doing it. To be a legal vendor or producer marijuana, you have to have a licensed dispensary and jump through a number of regulatory hurdles and extensive background checks that will undoubtedly shut the little guy out, concentrating the business in the hands of a big marijuana industry not unlike big alcohol, big pharmaceuticals or big tobacco. It should be noted that anyone with a drug felony charge cannot be a vendor. It also unfortunate that while this particular substance may be legal in these states, those previously imprisoned for having or selling it will remain imprisoned there.
My solution to all this is simple: rather than creating a new highly regulated market that Marijuana, why not simply legalize the existing black market. To elaborate here I five points of I favor:
1. Anyone who wishes to sell or grow marijuana should be free to on their own property, at whatever quantity or quality they please. Such quality and quantity issues should be points of competition among producers.
2. Such sales operations should have the full protection of the legal system: If someone steals or damages my product they owe me compensation.
3. People selling marijuana are not allowed to lie or deceive customers about their product in anyway, and doing so should be penalized as fraud.
4. Dealers should be free to insure their products and anyone should be free to go into business providing such insurance, and contracts between all such parties are legally binding.
5. Any taxes on marijuana should be comparable to those of other products and not excessively high, prohibitive or intrusive.
Such a regime will prevent this product from being monopolized into a cartel of big power firms, and will allow countless people to go into business for themselves, many of which would be people who otherwise could not easily support themselves. Others would be free to relax or let this drug bring out their creativity, while others of course would be free to simply not use it, if they so wished. Marijuana is a harmless substance that countless people use and most Americans have try it at some point in their lives. We should be honest about this and stop with cronyist and puritanical social engineering.