Tag Archives: drug laws

Public Enemy No. 1: Review of Cannabanomics

By Robert C. Koehler

“Play faster!” he cried, wildly, over and over. “Play faster!”

The dame who was tickling the ivories complied, out of control herself. The music revved to a dangerous velocity — oh, too fast for decent, sober, well-behaved Americans to bear — and . . . well, you just knew, violence, madness, laughter were just around the corner. The year was 1936 and, oh my God, they were high on marijuana, public enemy number one.

The scene is from Reefer Madness, arguably the dumbest movie ever made — but smugly at the emotional and ideological core of American drug policy for the last three-quarters of a century. The policy, which morphed in 1970 into an all-out “war” on drugs, has filled our prisons to bursting, created powerful criminal enterprises, launched a real war in Mexico and presided over the skyrocketing of recreational drug use in the United States. The war on drugs just may be a bigger disaster than the war on terror.

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How Marijuana Became Legal (for White People)

hemp leaf (300 x 362)By Richard Gehr

Since thirteen states have legalized marijuana for medical use, with another fifteen possibly doing the same by next year, Roger Parloff argues in a humongous Fortune magazine feature (“How Marijuana Became Legal”) that the plant has essentially been legitimized, at least on a “local-option” basis. Moreover, medical marijuana in California offers the benefit of an economic model for how pot might be merchandized in the event of legalization. But watch out for that backlash:   Continue reading