Why do you support the legalization of marijuana

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Friday, 27 June 2008

Conspiracy Theory Debunked: Everyone Would Grow Their Own

Ok you and I know that I am a strong supporter of Marijuana, but I have to take our side to task yet again. There are so many theories as why marijuana is or remains illegal and no one knows for sure what the reason is, but if we start spouting off random conspiracy theories the whole legalization movement looks like a bunch of paranoid hippies, and we don’t need that reputation.

One of the most common theories is that the reason marijuana remains illegal is that it is so easy to grow the government would be unable to collect taxes on it since everyone would have there own grow op. Well to those of you who hold that theory, let me point out tomatoes are also easy to grow, and a large chunk of the population does indeed grow their own tomatoes, that being said tomatoes are still being sold by the bushel full. The reason for this is simple:

  1. the growing season is short in Canada
  2. growing any plant takes time and effort
  3. farmers actually know what they are doing, and given time will produce high quality weed then you’d be able to grow in your basement mini grow op.

In short buying a product is easier and more convenient to 90% of the population, and they will even pay a premium to not have to produce their own produce. I know that if it were legal I might grow a plant for myself, but I would be more likely to just buy from the store then grow.

4 comments:

  1. Paranoid hippies are the downfall of the pot legalization movement. No one takes them seriously because they act like wackos. There's no need to discuss why it's not legal yet. Only a need to focus on how to change those ignorant views and laws.

    Once again your blog makes complete and total sense. Thank you for the clear voice of reasoning. I'll enjoy reading more.

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  2. Your tomato analogy misses the fact that tomatoes are perishable, cannabis much less so. Another important difference is that the production capacity of a full-sized cannabis plant is orders of magnitude greater than a tomato plant in terms of weight produced per plant vs the weight required for a 'serving' by the end-user.

    For an individual to grow enough tomatoes to last a whole year would require a lot of effort, either in producing a huge crop in the best season, then preserving them, or in constructing greenhouses and the like to be able to grow for more of the year.

    In contrast, to supply an individual or household with enough cannabis to last a year might require only 1-6 large plants, which would require much less work.

    Furthermore, cannabis is easy to preserve and won't rot and spoil like tomatoes.

    If cannabis could be cultivated openly, mini basement grow-ops would not be necessary (though some would still prefer them).
    In any case, I'd disagree with the statement that home or backyard growers would not be able to produce cannabis of equal or higher quality than commercial farmers.

    To summarise, it's legal to produce your own beer and wine (and grow your own tobacco), partly because the quality of the home-made product is rarely if ever superior to the commercially available version, and also because those two products can't be produced on a large scale in a normal home. Therefore, the home-made version does not compete with the taxed commercial version and the industry is safe.

    This is not true of cannabis. Notice also that home-production of spirits is also illegal. The fact that amateur spirits can blind and kill has a lot to do with this, but so does the capacity to produce a lot of potent product in a small space.

    I agree that if cannabis were free to grow, there would be a large commercial market for it. However, the price would be pushed through the floor due to agri-businesses competition and the fact that private growers could produce something of equal or better quality for minimal outlay.

    Tax revenue would likely be nowhere near as much as that from tobacco or alcohol, as any huge tariff on commercial cannabis would make the price unattractive, as compared to privately-grown.

    Also, IMHO, easy availability of cannabis would reduce the tax revenue from tobacco and alcohol, as cannabis would be a direct competitor as often as it was a complementary product.

    So, basically, tomatoes and cannabis are comparably easy to grow. However, cannabis produces much more usable plant matter, even in a short growing season and its produce lasts much, much longer.

    Finally, tomatoes don't compete with the incredibly lucrative markets of alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceuticals. Cannabis unquestionably does.

    I *can* envision a future where cannabis is for sale from approved government sources, while the penalties for growing your own are even more draconian than today.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Excellent rebuttal Primary Sauce, thanks for the input.

    Yes tomatoes was a stretch of an analogy for sure, no doubt about that one. However it served its purpose.

    Despite your arguments I think that commercial pot would be much more popular then most home grown pot. While Cannabis is extremely easy to grow and cultivate it still takes time and effort, add to that the effort of rolling, and pre-rolled joints are bound to sell well. I think you are vastly underestimating peoples capacity for laziness.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for your response.

    I think we're basically in agreement. You're right that there would be a very big market for cannabis as a consumer product if people could simply buy it any time they wanted from dispensaries (or 7-11).

    My point is that because private individuals could produce their own cannabis for free (in terms of taxation and sales, not growing costs), this would undermine the commercial market and drive down the current, massively inflated price.

    There would be little cash incentive for large-scale 'illegitimate' growing, but every incentive for smokers to grow a few plants of their own.

    This kind of growing would be difficult or impossible to tax, but there would be a massive economic/legal obligation to attempt it anyway, because of the aforementioned price-lowering effect of home-growing and, obviously, because big business hates any sort of unfair taxation. Cannabis agri-business would collectively squeal like a pig farm to make sure all the outlaw growers shouldered their share of the tax burden.

    That's why I can honestly imagine a future where one could buy Marlboro Brown or official Monsanto Northern Lights (TM (R) (C), but could also receive a decade in jail for breaking the narcotics *and* tax laws by growing half a dozen plants.

    In such a situation, I could even see the general public, raised on cannabis-related cognitive dissonance, swallowing such a situation, where cannabis was half-illegal.
    It's fairly basic doublethink...

    ReplyDelete

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