NV: Marijuana Opponents Missing Big Picture In Argument About Black Market


If you can find a connection to the black market, you can purchase a lot of things there.

Jewelry, guns, custom wheels for your car – you name it, and somebodys probably stealing it and selling it illicitly. Even laundry detergent became a plentiful black-market product a couple of years ago because its resale value was high enough that thieves could sell it for money to buy drugs.

But the vast majority of people choose to buy products on the regular market. Why? Maybe they consider it immoral to buy stolen goods, or perhaps they dont think saving a few bucks is worth the risk of going to prison after being caught with hot merchandise.

For Nevada voters, this is a critical point to remember in preparation for next months balloting on legalization of recreational marijuana.

Opponents of the proposal are making a big deal out of the fact that legalization in Colorado has failed to eliminate the black market for marijuana in that state. For that and other reasons, they contend, Nevada shouldnt follow Colorados lead on legalization.

Its an argument that makes no sense.

Heres why: Legalization will steer business away from criminals.

By passing the ballot question, voters would give recreational marijuana users a lawful avenue to obtain and consume the drug. And like the vast majority of buyers of car wheels or jewelry or Tide laundry soap or whatever products, the bulk of users will take the legitimate option as opposed to continuing to buy from the black market.

Legalization wont eliminate illicit dealers, but theyll no longer be the only game in town.

For proof, look no further than the explosion of marijuana businesses in Colorado and other states that have decriminalized recreational use of the drug. It clearly shows that a large portion of the public would much rather do business legitimately than with street gangs and drug cartels, because entrepreneurs wouldnt be falling all over themselves to open stores if their products werent in heavy demand.

This is all plain common sense. Given the chance, most people would be delighted to avoid the possible consequences of buying on the black market, like being ripped off, shot, stabbed, arrested or all of the above.

Nevada voters shouldnt let opponents distract them from that truth.

Look, theres always going to be a black market for marijuana. Theres still one for liquor, even more than 80 years after the repeal of Prohibition. (For proof, Google arrested for buying stolen liquor and see how many hits you get.)

Which brings us to another key point: If legalization isnt an acceptable means of contending with the black market, what would opponents consider a good alternative? Continuing the modern version of Prohibition, the War on Drugs? Gee, thats worked really well. Billions of dollars spent, untold numbers of marijuana users locked up, gross inequity in the ethnic makeup of prison populations, and for what? Marijuana remains in huge supply and demand.

Opponents have raised some points worth debating about decriminalization, including concerns about increasing the availability of the drug to children.

But their point about the black market isn’t worth the breath it would take to argue it. Just because legalizing marijuana won’t eliminate illicit sales doesn’t mean the state should keep the status quo, in which the black market is the only one for recreational users.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Marijuana Opponents Missing Big Picture In Argument About Black Market
Author: Staff
Contact: (702) 385-3111
Photo Credit: Brennen Linsley
Website: Las Vegas Sun