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Brooks Wilson's Economics Blog: Obama and Medical Marijuana

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Obama and Medical Marijuana

(HT Drudge)  The Obama administration will wisely no longer enforce federal laws against patients who have prescriptions to smoke medical nor their sanctioned suppliers in states that legalized the sale and use of medical marijuana.  The policy is a reversal of Bush administration policy.  Fourteen states have legalized some use of marijuana for Medical purposes (Devlin Barrett, MyWay,"Feds to issue new medical marijuana policy."

The consumption and production of marijuana should be legalized despite the stupidity of marijuana consumption.  If you wish to be watching Sponge Bob at 30, and appear on Jerry Springer at 40, toke up.  But people should be free to decide what they consume so long as the externalities remain reasonably small. 

People respond to incentives.  Legalization of marijuana for medical purposes will increase the number of people claiming false pain (possible example).  As an aside, taxpayers, may not want to subsidize the medical costs of these false claims or the medical needs of marijuana users.  Something tells me that people who smoke medical marijuana will not buy health insurance.  Some doctors will write prescriptions on demand.  Overall use will increase.  Current law in most states limit suppliers to non-profit cooperatives; is their any better evidence that writers of this legislation do not understand economics.  Smoking dope is fine, but not selling it for a profit. We would be better off legalizing the consumption for adults and creating laws that increase punishment for sales to minors.   
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  1. There is an effort in California to get enough signatures to get a proposal to legalize marijuana on next year's ballot.

    It will be interesting to see how folks in Humboldt County and Mendocino County vote on the initiative if it qualifies for the ballot. Both counties have a huge underground economy that relies on marijuana production and sale. Residents of those counties may not want to see another lucrative industry vaporize, much like the logging industry in the 1990's.

  2. Leslie Elting27/10/09 9:25 AM

    I do not agree with legalizing medical marijuana. I think that it will be prescribed to the wrong person with the intention of selling it to minors.

    I agree that there will be an increase in false medical claims in order to receive a medical card to obtain medical marijuana and we know that we will be paying for the medical bills because they will not have health insurance coverage.

  3. Jason Weaver4/11/09 12:13 AM

    A good point is brought up when the post mentions the weight that the tax payers would have to bear for the implementation of medical marijuana. Unfortunately it is a point that means next to nothing to the people that would want the marijuana, or at least the people I know that would be in that category. I have a feeling that somehow Texas will find a way to make money using marijuana though. They figured out how to create a gambling monopoly using the lottery, and I don't doubt that they will pass up this opportunity even if all they do is legalize it and then tax the mess out of it.

  4. CJP said...

    I agree with NOT legalizing marijuana. I do believe that people will try and claim it for medical reasons and knowing that every house hold that probably agrees with not legalizing it has to pay for these stupid people that are trying to get it isn't very comforting! I think that eventually it will get legalized even though there will be a fair share of both people that want it to be legal and those who dont think it should be. Whatever is ment to happen will happen!

  5. Kayla Neumann8/11/09 11:35 AM

    I strongly believe that legalizing marijuana is the wrong way to go. Many people who agree with legalizing it are probably people that are unemployed, already dope heads, or do not have any type of medical inurance at all. The citizens that vote against the legalizing of marijuana will be the ones paying for it! I am almost positive that if marijuana is offered as a helpful medical drug, then many people will ask about it first rather than any other particular medicine. This can get pretty expensive for the ones being taxed for it. Another reason i strongly disagree with the idea of legalizing marijuana, is that the doctors could eventually start selling it to the wrong people- meaning that the particular person wanting the drug could possibly be faking his/her sickness and eventually start selling it to others or even minors. I believe that legalizing marijuana will create more problems than not legalizing it.

  6. Zach Dickerson8/11/09 10:10 PM

    I think legalizing marijuana would be a terrible thing to do for the united states seeing as alcohol related deaths alone already cause a 100000 people to lose there lives each year. It would be bad for the economy and bad for peoples families.

  7. Legalizing medical marijuana is great for those of whom really need it, aking it easier for them to get it, and easier for it to get into the wrong hands. Also there are going to be alot of people trying to fake an illness to get a prescription for marijuana, causing us tax payers to flip the bill.

  8. Shelby Rimlinger17/11/09 9:36 PM

    Legalizing medical marijuana could help in the economy. So many people would purchase it, then the United States would have a tax on it. It wouldn't matter if they were using it for the right reasons or not. America would still make a profit.

    -Shelby Rimlinger

  9. Erin Wilbanks18/11/09 10:32 AM

    I think that marijuana should be legalized. Yes some people may abuse it and use it for the wrong reasons, but look at how many it would also help. Pretty much anything a doctor prescribes can be abused, so you can not let that be the deciding factor. Also I believe that it would help the economy, because it is so widely used.

  10. Brianna Martinka14/11/11 10:06 AM

    I believe there should be something done about this. Marijuana is smoked by idiots, and makes them into bigger idiots. I see another person who commented, Shelby Rimlinger, said that America still makes a profit off of it. I don't care if America does or doesn't. How does marijuana help injured people? I know the affects are it can make you numb to pain, or make you forget things, and can also make you act like a complete idiot. Doctors around the world, especially in this country, need to find a different medicine to help patients. I don't care if it takes another 2,000 years, but I don't believe in using dope as medicine.