“…It continues to be totally off the radar of prominent politicians – but polls indicate that large and growing numbers of Americans are open to the idea of legalizing marijuana.
Gallup broke ground last fall with the first-ever poll showing 50 percent of respondents nationwide wanting to legalize -
- and a more precisely worded poll from Rasmussen in May had 56 percent in favor of “legalizing marijuana and regulating it in a similar manner to the way alcohol and tobacco cigarettes are regulated today.”
Thus far those polls are outliers, and most surveys show more voter skepticism than that.
But as elderly voters are more pot-phobic than the young, legalization’s support is likely to increase over time and surely it will work its way onto the national agenda sooner or later.
There’s been relatively little analysis of what a legal marijuana industry might look like.
One key but little-appreciated fact is that, according to persuasive research by Jonathan Caulkins, Angela Hawken, Beau Kilmer, and Mark Kleiman in their new book Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs To Know -
- is that legal pot would be amazingly cheap.
In fact, midgrade stuff would be so cheap that it might make sense for businesses to give it away like ketchup packets or bar nuts.
Conventional thinking about pot pricing is often dominated by people’s experience buying weed in legal or quasi-legal settings such as a Dutch “coffee shop” or a California medical marijuana dispensary.
But this is badly misleading.
Neither California nor the Netherlands permit growing or wholesale distribution of marijuana as a legal matter.
If pot were fully legal, its growth, distribution, and marketing would work entirely differently…”
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