COLORADO AND MARIJUANA – THE BUBBLE WILL BURST

52 comments

Posted on 11th January 2014 by SSS in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

For years I have advocated decriminalizing pot possession for an amount deemed personal use. Decriminalizing means moving personal pot possession into a misdemeanor category instead of a felony. In other words, you get a fine, pay it, and go about your business without the stigma of a felony on your record. This is a common sense position for which I am constantly criticized by the “legalize and tax” crowd. Let’s try another track.

Admin recently posted an article, “Dude – Where’s My Pot,” about legal marijuana sales for personal use in Colorado, which began on January 1, 2014. The article included a sign in a marijuana store that essentially said “Sold out. Please check again tomorrow.” This initial buying spree and accompanying euphoria from the legalize and tax crowd will soon meet the reality of the black market: vastly decreased marijuana sales tax revenue and increased criminal activity, which will lead to skyrocketing law enforcement budgets. In the end, it is distinctly probable that legalizing marijuana will COST Colorado more than it makes. Here’s a stark, real-world example of why that will happen.

Today, the number one black market commodity on the planet is cigarettes, and that is certainly the case for the state of New York, where 60% of the cigarettes sold in the state are smuggled. That’s not a misprint. 60%.

New York taxes cigarettes to the tune of $4.35 a pack, and New York City tacks on another $1.50 a pack. When you add the federal tax (Obama upped it to $1.01 a pack from 39 cents), New Yorkers pay either a whopping $6.86 tax on every pack of cigarettes in NYC or $5.36 tax a pack elsewhere. Yikes.

Let’s jump on Interstate 95, which goes through the New York City metro area and head south. In a few hours, you’ll be in Virginia, which has a 30 cent tax on a pack of cigarettes. Keep on going. In North Carolina, it’s 45 cents, South Carolina 57 cents, and Georgia 37 cents. Double yikes. A carton (ten packs of cigarettes) of Marlboros in Virginia costs about $45 versus about $120 to $150 in NYC.

Now, let’s crunch some numbers using cases (there are 20 cartons of cigarettes in a case) of cigarettes. A case of cigarettes is not that large ….. 10 cases will fit in the average trunk of a car. Cases of cigarettes are sold in stores at many of the interchanges on I-95 in Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia. Gee, I wonder why? Clerks at those stores will tell you that most of the buyers show them driver’s licenses issued by the states of New York and New Jersey. Gee, I wonder why?

So, if you buy a case of cigarettes for $900 in Virginia, in just a few hours of driving north to NYC, it’ll be worth $2,200 (the retail stores in NY which buy black market cigarettes will pay up to $110 per carton and tack on their profit). Multiply that by the 10 cases you buy and put in the trunk of your car, and your PROFIT jumps to $13,000 per trunk load. If you own a van or SUV which can hold 50 cases, you now have a cool $65,000 profit in non-taxable dollars sitting in the back of your vehicle. That’s more than enough to buy a truck with a hard-shell cover over the trunk bed which will hold 200 cases. Yep, that’s $260,000 a truck load. In your pocket. Rinse and repeat.

So who’s involved in these smuggling operations? Everyone. It ranges from Mom and Pop smugglers to organized crime syndicates to drug traffickers to, get this, a member of al Qaeda who was arrested for smuggling cigarettes to fund terrorist operations such as sending people to al Qaeda training camps in Africa and Asia.

Back to marijuana, which already carries a 25% sales tax in Colorado. Well, isn’t that special? And the law excludes purchases of marijuana by anyone under the age of 21. Well, isn’t that special? A ready made guarantee for young pot buyers, those with the least amount of disposable income, to stick with where they currently buy Mary Jane, the black market. Do you think some of those young buyers aren’t going to figure out that they can make some quick bucks by reselling  weed to older customers who can’t or won’t pay the highly taxed “legal price”? I do. Ta dah. Just like cigarettes, you’ve now created a felon. It gets worse.

Legal marijuana sales in Colorado, undoubtedly spurred by the initial high demand, is already selling for 2-3 times the price you would pay on the black market. Just like New York and NYC, which enjoyed an initial explosion in cigarette tax revenues when they enacted Draconian taxes, this will not last. The Mexicans who control the marijuana black markets in Colorado will see to it. “In 2012 the Mexican Competitiveness Institute issued a report saying that Mexico’s cartels would lose as much as $1.425 billion if Colorado legalized marijuana.” That’s not pocket change, and the people you’re trying to take that money from carry guns. Guns with high capacity magazines, which are against the law in Colorado. Heh. Don’t you just love the irony?

I have said repeatedly in the past that these violent organizations will not go quietly into that good night. Over time, I will be proven right. And it will be sooner rather than later because the stakes are so much higher. Avoid the rush and express your appreciation for this keen market analysis with your effusive praise as soon as possible.

52 Comments
  1. sensetti says:

    Some People will just grow their own pot just like people do with vegetables. They may sell what they don’t need to a friend or neighbor. But there will still be many who want to buy from a commercial dealer. They still tax and sell fruits and vegetables in local supermarkets, the fact that some grow and sell their own vegetables has not killed the commercial market. Pot will be the same.

    Pot is very, very easy to grow, it’s a fucking weed.

    11th January 2014 at 7:54 am

  2. Administrator says:

    Sounds like a win win to me.

    Anything that destroys the existing corrupt governmental apparatus is OK in my book.

    Let it burn baby.

    SSS still wants to keep the status quo. He is too old to see that the existing structure MUST be swept away and replaced.

    State governments are already bankrupt from their pension guarantees and social programs. If this pushes them off the cliff, then yippee.

    Politicians are idiots. They should pay for their idiocy.

    11th January 2014 at 8:09 am

  3. Stucky says:

    Music, DVDs, money, clothes, watches, games, pornography, perscription drugs, smokes ……. all these things are legal ……… yet, a Black Market exists for all these items.

    Generally, items which are legally transfered in usual open commerce can get into The Black Market. Prices are higher or lower, because they are outside of the usual and public open markets. In general, Black Markets exist because the consumers are not ‘happy’ with the market equilibrium price for those items or the state control of the commerce.

    In other words, one can NOT write a law that is perfect. People will ALWAYS find a way around it … whether the item is “legal” or “illegal”.

    That a Black Market will exist for marijuana is no reason to not make it illegal. The legalization of pot is/was the RIGHT thing to do. It SOLVES more problems than it creates.

    An, oh, the Black Market will exist BECAUSE of the government and their ridiculous desire to steal (tax) the product. Fuck them.

    11th January 2014 at 8:18 am

  4. Crat says:

    Applying the same logic as the article, we would still have Prohibition. War on drugs has been a bust, time to try a different tack.

    On a more Libertarian way of thinking, as long as I don’t present a direct threat to others or infringe on other’s rights, what I smoke should be my own business.

    11th January 2014 at 8:25 am

  5. harry p. says:

    The reason for such a strong cig black market is the taxes that are 400% of the products actual cost. If the greedy govt trolls didnt try for so much per pack it wouldnt be worth going around the system. The only truly free market is the black market.

    Violent organizations will continue to try and control markets and there is no organization more hellbent on power and prone to violence than the US govt.

    11th January 2014 at 8:42 am

  6. flash says:

    SSS- Decriminalizing means moving personal pot possession into a misdemeanor category instead of a felony. In other words, you get a fine, pay it, and go about your business without the stigma of a felony on your record.
    So in SSS’s mind , decriminalizing only pertains the degree of criminal the state perceives you to be.They can still bust down you door, body slam your wife and kids, shoot you dog in his kennel and since you have the audacity to attempt to defend your castle, blow your shot away too….but …but at least it was all for only a misdemeanor..right?Just like a DWI , another misdemeanor which is part of your permanent criminal history, never goes away and is available for for any employer to see, current or future …what the harm in that ..eh…only misdemeanor right..completely harmless.

    SS-This initial buying spree and accompanying euphoria from the legalize and tax crowd will soon meet the reality of the black market:

    What SSS mean is the state may be forced to compete in a free market and every mewling milksop of a statist knows that the state cannot compete in any market ,even those they attempt to force upon US…e.g. US postal Service or as SS lamely points out , cigarettes.Just think about it you live in a country that forcibly -at the point of a gun- controls the manufacturer and sales of cigarettes…cigarettes I tell ya!!!
    What would those poor red savages think of the blunderbuss wielding demi-gods that arrived on their shores over 4 centuries.Scorn mingled with a healthy dose of disgust would likely be their initial emotions at finding out the white warrior nation has become a nation of gutless serfs petitioning their masters for permissions to own, work ,travels ingest and pro-create.
    Yep, thanks to statist assholes like SSS , we have indeed become not a nation of men, but a nation of permission seekers and control freaks,
    Good job SSS.

    11th January 2014 at 8:44 am

  7. Crat says:

    Flash- well said.

    11th January 2014 at 8:54 am

  8. flash says:

    I think SSS should really re-think his spew decriminalization. If there is no crime , then why a fine, and why the stigma associated with recording the non-crime, which can then be analyzed by both employers and potential employers alike ,probably costing your job or job prospect….but at least you’re “decriminalized” in your crime ,whatever the fuck that means.

    11th January 2014 at 8:57 am

  9. Welshman says:

    SSS,

    While I do not think you are a asshole, you write about the negative side of black market marijuana, but I see the positive side. I like to read about trends, and this one certainly will be played out.

    I was a cigarettes smuggler in the Navy, we got two cartons of cigarettes per week for 2.00. We taped them to our legs (bell bottoms) , took them on shore leave and sold them for 1.00 per pack. Big bucks way back then.

    From your home state they truck tractor tailers of aluminin/plastic bottles to CA, as we have a much higher redemption fee. People need income and that is life.

    11th January 2014 at 9:34 am

  10. bb says:

    Damn, I need to be in the cigarette smuggling business.I had no idea there is that much profit in smuggling cigarettes in New York City.I have never been a smoker and haven’t paid any attention to the price of cigarettes or the taxes on cigarettes.

    11th January 2014 at 10:16 am

  11. Mark says:

    Nonsense, the best way to reduce pot consumption is have the government get involved with it and attempt to maximize profits from it.

    The government has the power to imprison its competition and steal not only contraband for redistribution but money as well.

    Yes, the government can raise prices on anything by the way it treats the competition. It can afford to use some profits for new jails or chain gangs.

    11th January 2014 at 10:29 am

  12. Thunderbird says:

    “The legalization of pot is/was the Right thing to do. It SOLVES more problems than it creates.”

    I have to disagree with this statement. Legalization means the creation of laws that will benefit no one but the monopolies and the government. What will happen is brands will be created that will be bought up and controlled by the monopolies with the competition eliminated by government regulation. Pot will enter the regulated market just like everything else has. We will go from the drug war on pot to regulating it for profit.

    The mega corporations do not create anything. The buy up ideas and products to make them their brands. Pot will go the same way. Right now there are a lot of small producers with their brands in the black marketplace. Then there are many producers in the medical marijuana marketplace selling their brands. Once pot is legal by law then these small producers will be regulated out of the marketplace as large commercial producers take over production of brands and set up distribution systems in the medical and recreational industries.

    With the aging of people with their old age ailments one can see a coming booming market as the boomers look for something besides the traditional legal drugs (with their hazardous side effects) to remedy their pains.

    As Obamacare kicks in and people realize the shortage of care & doctors to relieve them of their ailments then pot is going to be the drug of choice to die with.

    To legalize a plant is in itself a contradiction. The plant has it’s right to be here just as we do. If there are problems associated with this living plant being around us then it is problems we have created; not the plant. Legalizing the plant rather than decriminalizing one’s activity with it says that the intent of the legalization is for commercial reasons. Isn’t it something that those making the laws can go from making laws that punish people for using pot to now making laws for it’s commercial use. Isn’t that a contradiction! It just goes to show how petty human thought can be.

    The real point is every commercial product in our society is regulated. Now that the war on pot has failed then the controllers are switching from fighting it to bringing it under the laws of commerce so it could be taxed and sold.

    11th January 2014 at 11:23 am

  13. ottomatik says:

    SSS my personal favorite part of Statist spew had to be your final point. Suggesting we Coloradans forego Liberty increaseing LEGALIZATION out of fear of assult weapon packing Mexicans. What a spineless douche bag. Thank god Americans like you have largely been marginalized to date. Dont fret though the tide is clearly turning, Hillary is building a coalition and i am sure youll be welcome.

    11th January 2014 at 11:31 am

  14. flash says:

    Now that the war on drugs has been successfully administered by the various alphabet agencies of bums, let the war on pop commence…

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/367903/white-ghetto-kevin-d-williamson/page/0/2
    Last year, 18 big-city mayors, Mike Bloomberg and Rahm Emanuel among them, sent the federal government a letter asking that soda be removed from the list of items eligible to be used for EBT purchases. Mayor Bloomberg delivered his standard sermon about obesity, nutrition, and the multiplex horrors of sugary drinks. But none of those mayors gets what’s really going on with sugar water and food stamps. Take soda off the list and there will be another fungible commodity to take its place. It’s possible that a great many cans of soda used as currency go a long time without ever being cracked — in a town this small, those selling soda to EBT users and those buying it back at half price are bound to be some of the same people, the soda merely changing hands ceremonially to mark the real exchange of value, pillbilly wampum.

    11th January 2014 at 11:44 am

  15. dilligaf says:

    SSS says: to, get this, a member of al Qaeda who was arrested for smuggling cigarettes to fund terrorist operations such as sending people to al Qaeda training camps in Africa and Asia.

    Good to see you did not forget the terrorist angle, but you forgot to add how it also kills kittens.

    GASP!

    11th January 2014 at 12:14 pm

  16. SSS says:

    Do I hear the sound of one hand clapping over my article? What a surprise.

    “SSS my personal favorite part of Statist spew had to be your final point. Suggesting we Coloradans forego Liberty increaseing LEGALIZATION out of fear of assult weapon packing Mexicans. What a spineless douche bag.”
    —-ottomatik

    How “spineless” was it to have written and posted that article? You Coloradans are in for a rude awakening once the Mexican marijuana traffickers in Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque, and El Paso start heading your way. And you can bet that the traffickers in Denver, C-Springs, Pueblo, Ft. Collins, and elsewhere have already started their engines. Enjoy the unintended consequences.

    11th January 2014 at 12:16 pm

  17. SSS says:

    “On a more Libertarian way of thinking, as long as I don’t present a direct threat to others or infringe on other’s rights, what I smoke should be my own business.”
    —-Crat

    I agree. But therein lies the problem, and it begins with the words “as long as.”

    11th January 2014 at 12:23 pm

  18. SSS says:

    “SSS still wants to keep the status quo. He is too old to see that the existing structure MUST be swept away and replaced.

    State governments are already bankrupt from their pension guarantees and social programs. If this pushes them off the cliff, then yippee.”

    Calling for the decriminalization of marijuana possession for personal use is anything BUT the status quo. I believe Ron Paul and Barney Fwank tried that years ago. It went nowhere.

    Otherwise, you appear to be somewhat agreeing with me re Colorado’s legalization of marijuana in that I said it will COST the state treasury in the long run rather than ADD the expected revenue from marijuana taxes. That’s how it will eventually play out. Book it, Dano.

    11th January 2014 at 12:31 pm

  19. Brazil66 says:

    Here in Los Angeles, CA, you can get a medical marijuana card when you turn 18. Now everyone’s walking around in a fuckin’ stupor! My son is 9 and into skateboarding, so I’ve been taking him on a tour of all the skateparks in our area. It’s really sad. The scene at these parks is fairly uniform. There’s always a couple of older dudes (who undoubtedly have their 215 cards) sitting on the benches looking hyper-vigilant. They openly take hits on their pipes and (less openly) sell little plastic pill bottles of weed to kids. The skateparks are usually located within a larger municipal park that has a play apparatus (jungle gym, slides, etc.), and moms and dads are around (pushing the kids in the swings, etc.) and surely smell the weed, but don’t say anything. I’m usually the only adult skating, and I don’t say anything either. By and large, skatepark kids are the ones who are kinda raising themselves, and I can’t believe this high-potency weed is being sucked down by 14 year olds. 17 years ago (when I first moved to LA) pot smoking in broad daylight in a skatepark just didn’t happen. I haven’t smoked pot for more than 25 years (high school), but I’ve been told by my smoker friends that taking a few hits of this super weed would feel like an acid trip! I’m all for personal freedom, but the last thing our society needs is igadget kids getting stoned.

    11th January 2014 at 12:33 pm

  20. SSS says:

    “thanks to statist assholes like SSS ….. ”
    —-flash

    I am not a statist. Whether or not “asshole” applies is a matter of opinion. Heh.

    11th January 2014 at 12:53 pm

  21. SSS says:

    “Here in Los Angeles, CA, you can get a medical marijuana card when you turn 18. Now everyone’s walking around in a fuckin’ stupor!”
    —-Brazil66

    And wasn’t fun to watch the LAPD spend all that time and money investigating and shutting down hundreds of illegal medical marijuana clinics in LA that sprouted up like mushrooms? Another success story, for sure.

    11th January 2014 at 1:04 pm

  22. Thunderbird says:

    Decriminalization will probably lead to less use of pot while legalization of it will lead to it’s commercialization and wide spread use. Commercialization means advertising and promotion.

    There is a place for everything and everything in it’s place. 14 year old children smoking pot is dumb.

    What is coming out in our society is that our normal state of consciousness is no longer acceptable to a large segment of the population. People want to experience other states of consciousness. We don’t know what this will lead to but we are going to find out.

    11th January 2014 at 1:14 pm

  23. Thunderbird says:

    Don’t be surprised when second hand smoke laws come out about pot smoking. I can see many new laws about pot smoking and it’s secondhand smoke effect coming down the pike.

    11th January 2014 at 1:17 pm

  24. SSS says:

    Regarding SSS’s belief — ” once the Mexican marijuana traffickers in Phoenix (etc) start heading your way…” — Horsepucky!! SSS is afraid of his own shadow.
    —-Stucky

    Phoenix is the kidnapping capital of the U.S., and nearly all of it is due to rival drug gangs. Those guys don’t mess around, and many of them bring their propensity for violence from Mexico into this country. You have read about the extreme violence of the drug cartels in Mexico, haven’t you?

    11th January 2014 at 2:35 pm

  25. SSS says:

    Admin

    That’s an impressive story about marijuana stocks and companies. Stock prices breaking through the one cent level. Sales of $455 with losses of $472,000. Look out Apple and Wal Mart, here we come.

    11th January 2014 at 2:40 pm

  26. IndenturedServant says:

    I don’t see how the beaner drug cartels can gain a foothold in any state that allows you to grow your own medical marijuana. I have plenty of friends and acquaintances with medical cards. They are allowed to grow four plants each but NONE of them can smoke four plants worth of weed by themselves. Instead of modifying their growth schedule, they keep four plants going at all times and literally give away what they can’t smoke.

    Even prior to the medical marijuana cards I’d bet you could not swing a dead cat around here without hitting a house that did not have weed growing inside. That was ten years ago. I can’t think of a single friend who partakes who has actually paid cash money for end product weed. They do however pay or trade for live clones of high potency plants.

    Because the beaner drug cartels are always in the news, I’m always asking around here about the availability of beaner weed and the answer is always the same. There is none and no one would smoke it if it was.

    Like I said in the other marijuana thread, legalization will lead to all kinds of unintended consequences for the casual smoker. A few years from now they’ll all be sitting around baked, trying to figure WTF happened.

    I don’t think it should be illegal in the first place but since it is, decriminalization would have been a better way to go. Just wait until the anti-gun crowd starts going after casual smokers for federal, felony firearms violation.
    I_S

    11th January 2014 at 3:21 pm

  27. dduck says:

    Recreational pot sales in Washington State are expected to start this spring. There is a slight catch with possible dire ramifications. Not only will the buyer have to show a photo ID but they will also be video taped!! So what could the ramifications be further down the road? Duh…I don’t know. How about fired/not hired, kicked out/denied rental, affecting child custody cases. character assasinations in court cases. etc., etc. If one is a pot user, I recommend you stick with your original (illegal) supplier.

    11th January 2014 at 3:33 pm

  28. Stucky says:

    I hope they legalize pot real quick here in NJ … it’s the only way I’ll be able to deal with having to see Fatfuk Krispycream Christie’s face every goddamned day.

    11th January 2014 at 3:41 pm

  29. ss says:

    I used to believe for many years that drugs of any kind should never be made legal since this would just encourage users even more. However the so-called “drug war” is a joke and is only wasting enormous amounts of taxpayers dollars while government also wastes tax dollars on many other things.

    I finally came around to the idea that if marijuana and some other drugs were made legal and properly regulated, this could take the profit out of the entire drug cartel system, reduce violence, and a good percentage of the profits from sales could be used to help prevent addiction in the first place which is the most ideal situation of all. But I shudder to think about the enormous mess this would be with government trying to run anti-drug programs when it can’t do most other things. Also, human nature being what it is, people will too often choose self-destruction instead of using drugs responsibly. However, taking the profit out of the current Cartel controlled system would be a huge first step – If in fact, this is possible.

    Bottom-line is that people shouldn’t be hooked on any drugs in the first place since this, alcohol, sports and entertainment fanatics, and uninformed citizens all contribute to apathy and the destruction of our country. Many may criticize this as nothing but moral grandstanding, but it’s the truth.

    11th January 2014 at 4:15 pm

  30. SSS says:

    “Because the beaner drug cartels are always in the news, I’m always asking around here about the availability of beaner weed and the answer is always the same. There is none and no one would smoke it if it was.”
    —-Indentured Servant

    Not to sound like a smartass, but you live in Washington state, right? Please go get a map and identify that thingy just north of you. Would it be Canada, more specifically British Columbia? I’ll bet it is.

    Is a lot of marijuana grown in British Columbia and smuggled into the U.S.? I’ll bet it is. Is some of that marijuana famously potent and known as “BC Bud.” I’ll bet it is.

    Does that help to explain why Mexican marijuana is scarce in your area? I hope it does.

    11th January 2014 at 4:35 pm

  31. IndenturedServant says:

    SSS, perhaps BC Bud does have something to with it but I have not heard of anyone I know buying BC Bud in a decade. As I said…….everyone is growing weed and I can’t think of a single person who is even paying money for weed. I hear that you can buy weed out of Humbolt county CA but my friends all claim the local weed is better. I find that astonishing because Humbolt was some of the BEST weed I ever tried. Even Home Depot and Lowes cater to the growers by offering hydroponic equipment.
    I_S

    11th January 2014 at 5:04 pm

  32. Marc says:

    While all taxes are bad, sin taxes rank among the very worst. They represent the nanny state’s way of saying, “We overseers, like stern parents and good shepherds, regard this activity/habit/pleasure/substance to be immoral and/or potentially harmful and therefore assume the legal authority to prohibit it at our discretion. In this particular instance, however, we have generously decided to grant you scum bag serfs certain limited privileges in return for huge chunks of money from each transaction.”

    11th January 2014 at 5:16 pm

  33. IndenturedServant says:

    SSS, about 10 years ago in my city, just a few blocks from my house the feds broke up a large grow operation. A group of three business men bought about ten, million dollar+ homes on what could be called a rim rock drive with magnificent views. These houses are enormous. They were all set up with hydroponic grow systems that were controlled via computers from an office downtown. Every room in every house was filled with plants.

    Even prior to that I had knowledge of dozens of individuals growing their own weed in PhotoTron machines purchased out of High Times Magazine. I’m telling you, the shit is EVERYWHERE and no one I know of even pays for the stuff anymore. I’ve even seen baggies of weed just laying on the sidewalk. I’d bet that more BC Bud passes through here on it’s way further south than is consumed here by a wide margin.
    I_S

    11th January 2014 at 5:18 pm

  34. Kill Bill says:

    Ocular pressure

    11th January 2014 at 5:42 pm

  35. MikeG says:

    I think what everyone seems to be forgetting here is that even though its now legal at the state level, Pot is still illegal at the federal level. I know our Disaster in Chief said he wouldn’t do anything about it… but what are this clowns promises really worth? Also, if you have a medical marijuana card you’re volunteering to be in a database and volunteering to be a Felon. Not that people bother to anymore, but they could have their right to vote taken away, as well as other things.

    11th January 2014 at 5:54 pm

  36. Iska Waran says:

    As Mike says, I’ve heard that having a medical marijuana card (for California or elsewhere) could make you fail a background check for a gun purchase, since you’ve presumably broken federal marijuana laws. They may not be “failing” people for that now, but just wait. There should be no such thing as federal marijuana laws. Gonzales v Raich was Scalia’s worst decision.

    11th January 2014 at 6:44 pm

  37. SSS says:

    “I’m telling you, the shit (marijuana) is EVERYWHERE and no one I know of even pays for the stuff anymore.”
    —-Indentured Servant

    That may be true for Spokane and the rest of your neck of the woods, such as Coeur d’Alene, but it doesn’t hold water on the southwest border and most of the rest of the U.S. Smuggling marijuana into the U.S. is a multi-billion dollar business. Period. End of discussion.

    11th January 2014 at 7:39 pm

  38. IndenturedServant says:

    It’s hard to imagine with all of the small scale growing being done here that it is not a US wide phenomenon. Hydroponic supply shops are becoming as prevalent as drive up coffee shops.

    I try to do business with as many mom & pop shops as possible. We have a local garden/pet shop I use quite often. I went in there one day to get some liquid fertilizer for a small AeroGarden I use for growing Padron Peppers year round and there was no way I could convince the guy helping me that I was NOT growing weed. He began to piss me off. He said that what he sold me would work for “peppers” or weed. It does grow some damn fine peppers!
    I_S

    11th January 2014 at 8:20 pm

  39. IndenturedServant says:

    SSS, the thumbs down are not from me. I usually don’t play that game. I generally respect the difference of opinion encountered here, even yours.
    I_S

    11th January 2014 at 8:22 pm

  40. BOOSH! says:

    I find your premise flawed. Cigarettes aren’t illegal in the other states, that finishes that. The Colorado Law just went into effect, so of course you are going to see a short run shortage. What will most likely happen is that pot will now flood into the state, and possibly at some point may become really cheap while the price-finding of the market is being done. Ultimately what will happen is that an equilibrium will be found. The cost of bringing the pot to market (legal and illegal) will most likely be the determining factor in whether a black market will remain (the underage argument is bunk because a black market for underage patrons will also be affected by the retail price of pot.) As in all “free” (I always hesitate to use this word with out the ” ” because there is not true “free” in this country) Markets, what will ultimately happen is that quality will go up while price comes down.

    The pisser is for other states where pot is still illegal……all of their quality weed will most likely end up in Colorado where the penalty for dealing in weed is either diminished or gone altogether, along with a greater demand due to pot tourists and people who move to Colorado for the pot.*

    On a side note: I don’t know the law regarding firearms in CO, but if you own a Medical Marijuana Card in CA, you are not legally able to own a firearm…..think about that for a bit…………Even though I’ve never smoked it, I don’t think it should be illegal, it’s your body, you can do what you want with it as long as others are not infringed or harmed. I’m damn glad I moved from CA to TEXAS two weeks ago…….**

    *I do not know the particulars of the law in regards to where the pot is sourced from.

    **The entire post was written while drunk, please excuse any lapse in logic.

    12th January 2014 at 12:06 am

  41. SSS says:

    “I find your premise flawed. Cigarettes aren’t illegal in the other states, that finishes that.”
    —-BOOSH! @ SSS

    A premise is a statement that an argument claims will induce or justify a conclusion.

    Whoopsy doosy, Booshy. My premise was based on free market forces, not the law. That finishes that. Thanks for playing.

    12th January 2014 at 12:51 am

  42. BOOSH! says:

    So, you were not stating that the black market for cigarettes in NY is what the black market for marijuana in CO will be? So that was merely a red herring? You need to relate apples to apples not meth to pot……you can’t legally buy pot in NM, TX, WY, MB, KS, OK……no matter what you say, your primes, the way it was written was to equate pot to cigarettes.
    -Boosh

    12th January 2014 at 1:09 am

  43. BOOSH! says:

    BTW, to give me a thumbs down because I disagree with YOUR article is super gay.

    12th January 2014 at 1:10 am

  44. SSS says:

    “BTW, to give me a thumbs down because I disagree with YOUR article is super gay.”
    —-Boosher

    What a powerful argument. So powerful that I’m coming out of the closet. I’m gay. At some point or another, I’ve given everyone who has ever posted on this site a thumbs down. No exceptions. My favorite target is Admin. I’m queerer than a three-dollar bill.

    12th January 2014 at 2:23 am

  45. taxSlave says:

    I am offended by two things never mentioned:

    The “Black” market
    The “White” house

    Get me Sharpton on the phone right away. /sarc

    12th January 2014 at 9:30 am

  46. SSS says:

    “So, you were not stating that the black market for cigarettes in NY is what the black market for marijuana in CO will be? …… You need to relate apples to apples not meth to pot……you can’t legally buy pot in NM, TX, WY, MB, KS, OK……no matter what you say, your primes, the way it was written was to equate pot to cigarettes.”
    —-Boosh

    Let me try to explain one more time, this time with gusto.

    My article was intended to debunk the popular “Legalize marijuana and tax it” crowd who haven’t thought the issue through. Well, I have thought the issue through, and my intention was to show what happens when you heavily TAX any item for any reason in a free market.

    What did I focus on with my real world facts about cigarettes? Taxes, nothing but taxes, and mostly state taxes. From 30 cents a pack in VA to $5.85 a pack in NYC. A pack!!!!

    Now what did I focus on with legal marijuana in Colorado? Taxes, specifically the 25% sales tax that Colorado charges for legal weed. It’s not only overtaxed from the outset, but you also have to consider the ENORMOUS overhead legal pot retailers face that the black market traffickers don’t even have to think about.

    Building leases or purchases, upgraded plant security, personnel security for the business (Colorado law states marijuana sales will be cash only, oh goody), cost of licenses, and a whole host of other shit the “Tax It” crowd has NEVER considered because they’re too fucking lazy to think about what they’re saying or supporting. That includes the majority of voters who passed this stupid law.

    This legal vs. illegal pot footrace in Colorado will be over in less than 3 years. Traffickers will win.

    12th January 2014 at 5:00 pm

  47. flash says:

    SSS-Let me try to explain one more time, this time with gusto.

    Gusto…your Guatemalan caddy? Unless in your case there was popcorn involved.

    12th January 2014 at 7:34 pm

  48. MikeG says:

    I agree that all of these stores wont do very well, and I don’t think that the people who started these petitions had any intention of it being a “look how much money we can make for the government!” kind of deal. They knew what they were doing.

    If you’re an average blue collar guy who doesn’t touch the stuff, this law reads to your eyes something along the lines of “Government needs money, has to take it from someone, better them than me!”

    but I appreciate the article more than you could know.. If you knew someone who was buying bootleg cigarettes by the case, I might even appreciate it more.

    12th January 2014 at 10:11 pm

  49. FEAT. RON PAUL, KEVIN SMITH, & JASON MEWE says:

    13th January 2014 at 7:21 pm

  50. Sensetti says:

    God Damn Tripple S is bringing this shit up again? We’ve already established pot is good regulation is bad. And most golfers get high, before and during play. Move on folks

    16th August 2014 at 8:42 pm

  51. Mr Chen says:

    Avoid the rush and express your appreciation for this keen market analysis with your effusive praise as soon as possible.

    Radio personality El Doggy has a second banana, El Garbanzo, who always exclaims, Bravo, bravo, Maestro (clap, clap, clap). SSS deserves such praise for the clarity of his argument, that folks here refuse to admit it is not his fault. The evidence is there in the prohibition days that someone mentioned above. This time is no different. Oh sure, blacks will engage in smuggling but they will have to take a back seat to the Mexican Mafia that will not allow any incursion on its turf. Then we have biker gangs and plain vanilla moms assigned to pick up a load for hubby who is in jail.

    When swimming in shit becomes a popular sport, the swimmers contaminate everyone close to them.

    16th August 2014 at 10:03 pm

  52. Mr Chen says:

    16th August 2014 at 10:05 pm

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