|Be not afraid. Legalization won't turn your little white boys into Rastas|
Let’s get something out of the way. There is no good reason for anyone to go to jail for growing, selling, buying, possessing or smoking ganja. It’s a ridiculous waste of human capital.
Having said that, there are plenty of good reasons for not legalizing it.
Most people who fear the day ganja is legalized like to think that nations will descend into orgies of cannabis consumption, paralyzing populaces and production. Needless to say, everyone who wants to smoke weed does so regardless of the law and everyone who doesn’t want to smoke weed is not going to do it just because it’s legal. See alcohol prohibition.
Anyone who fears the proliferation of pot propagation in the islands of the Eastern Caribbean only need to consider that there is only one serious marijuana producing nation among us and that’s not because its leaders tacitly support it. It’s because St Vincent is just better suited, topographically, to ganja planting and the rest of the island can’t compete.
The legalization of marijuana could not, by any reasonable stretch, amount to the drugging up of nations.
However, there are dangerous side effects to legalization that everyone, especially growers, vendors and cannabis consumers need to consider.
|Be very afraid. Legalization could bring business into ganja and kick the small timers out|
Think about this: If ganja is legalized and everyone, including big business can get in on the game, the small timers will get screwed big time. Right now, marijuana is a small timers industry. Small farmers, small distributors, small consumers. There are no million dollar deals in the small island marijuana trade. A ten thousand dollar deal, considered chump change in the cocaine world, is a very big deal in Ganjaville.
Legalization would probably wipe out the small timers and end with mutli-national tobacco companies selling processed ganja in golden packets of pre-rolled, filtered ‘cigarettes. Which, of course, would defeat the entire advantage of the ganja trade – which is that it’s a bunch of small timers circulating quite a bit of cash in relatively small transactions on a very regular basis.
|Don't you guys have anything better to do?|
Marijuana revenues are also free from licensing and other taxes. The growing and distribution of marijuana is beyond regulation and so benefits from not having any regulatory administrative fees attached to the price of a five bag. Legalization would add unforeseen costs to five bags. And as everyone knows, five bags don’t get more expensive. They get smaller. Anyone who knows what a Gros Islet five bag looks like will agree that five bags should NOT, under any circumstances, get smaller.
Now, it might seem that with a little bit of creative price gouging, like what merchants did to consumers, post-VAT, there would be more profits to be made from marijuana.
But by the laws of supply and demand, as well as the thing about purchasing parity and advantages of scale, legalization would result in reduced profit margins for planters, growers and vendors, while at the same time, smokers would be getting smaller five bags. Not cool. Not cool at all.
Because there would be excellent revenues to be made on the medical marijuana end, regulation and licensing of the marijuana trade would inevitably result in the introduction of political corruption into ganja business. This, of course, would further reduce profit margins and lead to people with political power hoarding licenses for their friends, associates and pothead sons.
In conclusion, Eastern Caribbean ganja-philes don’t want legalization. The only thing worse than legalization is persecution. What is really needed is decriminalization, special dispensations for growing hemp and medical marijuana, for cops to be working hard on higher priorities and for the US Department of State and the DEA to smoke a fucking joint and cool out themselves.