The Denver Post
"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it." — Ronald Reagan
Today, not much about Colorado's economy moves. The state is broke and releases prisoners because it cannot afford to keep them. The governor slashes the higher education budget 40 percent. People lose jobs, homes and financial security. Our leaders face serious issues.
And what keeps some politicians up at night? That sneaking suspicion that some suffering cancer patient may gain limited pain relief through medical marijuana, coupled with that gnawing certainty that someone, somewhere, actually grew the plant for that patient.
But government cannot repeal the laws of supply and demand, and cannot extinguish the spark of freedom in peoples' hearts. Now, the marijuana distribution chain becomes legal. Responsible entrepreneurs open shops to supply a skyrocketing demand for medicine. These small businesses serve needy patients. They pay taxes. They hire employees. They lease space. They advertise. And the drug war industrial complex can't stand it.
Most elected leaders have a good sense of proportion regarding this issue. A minority of politicians, however, avoid reasonable proposals to tax and regulate marijuana, and instead irresponsibly fear-monger in the worst tradition of Prohibition-era "Reefer Madness" propaganda. We hear racially charged tales of "Mexican cartels" supposedly running the medical marijuana business, when the truth is Colorado homegrown marijuana puts foreign cartels out of business, and it is law enforcement that enriches cartels through hostility to medical marijuana.
We hear local bureaucrats complain about dispensaries, and then in the same breath enact moratoria, thus granting government-enforced monopolies to the very shops that offend them, and shutting out newer entrepreneurs who would do more responsible business. Government can help lower the high cost of medicine, but artificially restricting supply has the opposite effect.
Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?
Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.
If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
The Denver Post