Obvious Lessons From the Current State of the California Pot Market

by pjamesbeardsley

Cord Jefferson in the Spring 2012 Issue of Good Magazine, published an article entitled, “After the Gold Rush,” decrying the decline and uncertain future of the marijuana industry in California.  Regardless of how you feel about marijuana or marijuana legalization, it’s a good read.  A particularly interesting bit is the following:

     No jobs, lax laws, lower stigma.  To thousands of people like Maldof [the subject of the piece], it was the perfect opportunity to cut their losses in the regular economy.  At the forefront of legalized pot, sunny California seemed like a place where any man with a will to succeed and a few weed plants could find a fortune, or at least a living.  The green-gold rush was on.

But three years later, California narcotics officers began noticing a change in the pot operations they were busting.  Growing marijuana is technically only legal for individuals, who are allowed to possess up to six mature and 12 immature plants.

Thing 1: Freedom makes jobs.  Obviously.  Industrious people satisfying their natural perceived best interest will try to do so, and they will engage in peaceful, mutually beneficial market exchanges.  The government doesn’t need to “do things” or “create jobs.”  Government needs to get out of the way.

Thing 2: Anti-free market regulation kills jobs.  Arbitrary, artificial capital requirements placed on the producers of marijuana hurt consumers by raising prices and making the job market more uncertain.

Thing 3: Imagining that people somehow forfeit their rights by coming together in groups, be they ‘unions,’ ‘NPOs,’ ‘charities,’ ‘farms,’ or, yes, even ‘corporations,’ is silly and damaging.

And since these lessons are so obvious from one of your very own pieces, Good Magazine, I suspect you’ll stop your silly practice of encouraging higher taxes, more regulation, and parroting the latest silly left-wing bumper sticker, “Corporations aren’t people.”