Fresh Air on legalization and regulation of marijuana: "A Growth Industry"

WHYY's Fresh Air radio program did a recent special on Legalizing And Regulating Pot.The hour-long special is really worth a listen. Of particular note, the piece profiles Colorado's tightly-regulated commercial pot growing market, and the developing MMJ business culture there.


  1. I may be overly optimistic here, but I feel (and hope) we have seen the beginning of the end of prohibition. 

    As a side note, if I ever decided to get into the pasty white dude rap game, I should call myself MC MMJ. 

  2. Big Picture – any discourse about legalization is built on false premises if it does not address Federal Aid to local police forces for drug arrests.

    Did you know that the federal government provides financial intensives to local law enforcement to arrest drug offenders?  This happened in the 80s and now law enforcement has become dependent on that financing.  Indeed, Police Chiefs and Sheriffs (both political positions in nature) would be bad for their locality if they did not build their policies around this money coming in from the Feds.

    States might legalize this or decriminalize that, but local police chiefs and sheriffs will always speak against it, as will the Feds.  Obama might *talk* about legalization, but until he actually uses his influence (or power via executive order), to take MJ off the Controlled Substances Schedule, its just talk.  He’s just being a good politician, making people think he’s on their side.

    War on drugs = federal insentives to local law enforcement to arrest drug offenders = federal control over local law enforcement = any political talk about legalization is worthless.

    Sorry for my tone, I care deeply about this stuff and it truly bothers me that no journalists are talking about these core issues.  They’d rather talk about public opinion and political races.

    1. My understanding is that in CO, there’s no longer anything for local law enforcement to arrest people for. What’s the end-run around that?

      1. Ahead of time – sorry for reducing the Fresh Air story down to a set of details (which may or may not relate to anything directly in the Fresh Air bit).

        As far as the CO law goes – I haven’t read up on it yet.  I make it a principle of mine to avoid any attempt at serious discourse during or shortly after election season.  I know, I’ve got a lot of reading and thinking to do.  If I had to guess, I’d guess that the police chiefs and sheriffs in CO opposed legalization, but I could certainly be wrong and I haven’t researched that yet.  State legislatures don’t have the same financial impetus that local law enforcement agencies do in this situation.  Also, I know that State law enforcement can enforce Federal laws.  I would imagine that local agencies are pretty upset about the law and that some might even be creating policies to supersede state law
        I’m just guessing though, and I’m assuming the worst about local Law Enforcement Agencies when it comes to bureaucratic survival.  Either way, I look forward to learning about dynamic in CO that preceded Nov 6.

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