Californians have legalized medical and recreational marijuana. Other states have also followed suit and make it legal to cultivate, produce and manufacture medical products from this drug. Analysts have given varied views on the possible impact of these new laws on the black market and the widespread crimes relating to cannabis and other drugs. But the big questions remain whether they will go away or thrive under the newly made laws. Considering the arguments of skeptics, analysts and experts, it’s not possible to have a definite answer to these two areas that are now becoming popular with researchers.
The regulatory system in charge of enforcing the different laws relating to marijuana will no doubt have to deal with new developments expected to come out as a result of the passing of the law. Those who’ll act within the law will no doubt thrive and enjoy the security given to cultivating, production and selling of the drug for recreational and medical use. On the other hand, others will find it difficult to act within the provisions of the law. As a result, they will, of course, think about option two which is looking for a way to act illegally and pretend to be within the confines of the new laws.
It’s likely that the new law will make cannabis more expensive than it is at the moment. That aside, the pot remains illegal in some California’s neighbors. Remember that some states have not yet been influenced by the strong wave that swept across more than half of the U.S states that ended up passing laws to allow the use of marijuana for medical and recreational purposes. So what will happen when the drug rises in value, and the pot is illegal elsewhere? Well, the result will, of course, be the thriving of the black market. It’s good also to note that the black market usually comes in when there are gaps, and there seems to be an opportunity that can be exploited.
John Caulkins, a public policy professor at the Carnegie Mellon University, says the whole situation is out of touch. In his book “Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know”, the professor argues that it’s not good for states to legalize the drug and pretend that there will be no spillovers to other states especially the neighboring ones. While the states which have legalized the medical cannabis might benefit and succeed to increase their supply, others might not be lucky to enjoy both economic and health benefits. In fact, these moves by states might fuel the illegal trafficking in other areas. So while we are solving one problem, it’s good to put in place measure for dealing with any unintended consequences.
Marijuana related crimes have been there year in year out, and there seems not to be a permanent solution at the moment. Some people thought that the move by several states to legalize the drug in 2016 was in one way or the other intended to stop the crimes. Well, was that the case? We can wait and see what will eventually happen now that there’s some “freedom” to the growers and sellers of the medical marijuana. But as we wait, what predictions can we make? As it stands now, it’s difficult to state clearly what is likely to thrive or go away. All we can do is look at what experts have to say about this situation.
“…that won’t really do much with drug-related crimes…” says Caulkins. It appears that the legalization won’t do much with the crimes. In fact, when we talk about drug crime we are talking about several drugs such as cocaine, meth, crack and heroin. So even if we deal with marijuana and make good laws to govern it, what will happen to the other drugs? In a nutshell, the recently passed Proposition won’t have much to do with the crimes reported every year. If we are to stop it, then we need an all-inclusive law that will cut across all the drugs. Legalizing marijuana serves to regulate activities such as the cultivation, production, and use of this drug for the two identified roles. Anything else outside of these two areas should be a different topic for another day. Therefore, marijuana laws have nothing to do with the levels of crimes witnessed in the city and countrywide year in year out.
As long as there will be no super taxes or other restrictions when it comes to the use of cannabis medically, we expect that legitimate companies and dealers will outdo those who’ve been committing crimes with the drug. If you have been operating in another market and you intend to venture into the newly clothed marijuana industry, weigh all these options carefully before making any move. Be careful not to land in the black market or drug related crimes thinking that you are acting within the confines of the new laws.