James Bowling writes:
I always enjoy reading your work; keep it up, and thanks for all you do to spread the message of liberty. I recently read your article, “The Praxeology* of the Drug War: Who Knew?” and it hit on a subject that is a great interest of mine. In addition to the aforementioned financial beneficiaries of the War on Drugs (the prison industry, the military industrial complex, law enforcement, etc.) in your article, it’s important not to ignore a few other major players who gain by not having a major competitor in the marketplace.
- Alcohol and Tobacco. Two legal drugs that are more addictive and physically harmful than marijuana. Were pot to be legalized, the sale of those two drugs would go down.
- Big Oil. Before marijuana was outlawed, a primary ingredient for oil-based consumer goods was hemp seed oil. While hemp contains virtually no THC (and therefore cannot be classified as a drug) it remains illegal to grow. Hemp is also one of the most renewable crops on the planet, yielding four harvests per year. Hemp could potentially become the primary ingredient in biodiesel fuels, if it were entered into the free market. Not to mention everything from paint to shampoos to plastics can be manufactured with hemp seed oil.
- Big Pharma. How many millions of dollars would the drug companies lose if patients swapped their existing medications for marijuana, something people could grow for free in their own backyards? (Make that how many billions?)
- Logging. Before marijuana was outlawed, hemp was predominant in the paper industry. It is perhaps no coincidence that hemp was outlawed at around the same time DuPont was patenting the process of making paper from tree pulp.
- Cotton. Hemp clothes are amazing. They are softer than cotton, and more durable than cotton. Why are they not more predominant and less expensive? Probably for the same reason other hemp-based products such as paper and paint are not—because hemp is not readily available in the free market, likely due to the stigma attached to hemp from decades of misinformation lumping hemp and marijuana together. Were marijuana to be legalized, there would be no justification to maintain this stigma.
So to summarize, here is who we are up against in the fight to legalize marijuana: the military industrial complex, big oil, big pharma, big alcohol, big tobacco, the prison system, the logging industry, the textile industry. The only way I can see that it ever gets legalized is out of the necessity to tax it. That might be the only good thing to come out of the current financial crisis.
All I can say is, “Exactly!”4:39 pm on September 28, 2009 Email Wilton Alston