Monday, October 10, 2011

Medical Marijuana Confusion and Irony

Another story that hit while I was in San Francisco concerns a new crackdown by the US Department of Justice over medical marijuana dispensaries -- see, for instance, "Feds' confusing crackdown on medical marijuana."

Based on my anecdotal evidence, the medical marijuana road is indeed a slippery one. Getting a prescription seems relatively easy, with prescribing doctors and dispensaries sometimes vertically integrated. And allowing medical card holders to grow their own probably allows a reasonable amount of pot to get into the general marketplace.

Irony abounds in the politics around marijuana. The Republicans, who generally favor individual liberty in the economic sphere, want to restrict our ability to do what we want with our bodies and brains. The Democrats, and the liberals, while favoring liberty in the social sphere (to their credit, I would editorialize) generally like to restrict our economic freedom. I trust the Libertarians are the only philosophically consistent ones.

And now we have the Obama administration, that up to now was averting its eye from medical marijuana, getting quite aggressive about policing the dispensaries.

One of the more interesting policing actions is that the Feds have sent letters to LANDLORDS of medical dispensaries, threatening them with alleged violations and pointing out that the penalty could be confiscation of the property.

Maybe this is why there are actually delivery services for medical marijuana in California -- the cost of renting physical property has been pushed up by the threat of confiscation??


Bill W. said...

As a very recently former student of yours, I enjoy reading your posts and trying to apply to what you taught in class. In the spirit of this week's debate on campus, I would find very useful if you wrote an article on the dilemma of what's a libertarian to do in regards to the upcoming presidential primary in NH. I certainly have some thoughts about this issue, but I would be extremely interested if you had a method for determining a "marginal value" curve of the various primary candidates vs. a hypothetically true libertarian candidate. More centrist candidates may be less inclined to support true laissez faire economic policies while being more pragmatic on social issues, yet the more 'conversative' candidates are willing to defend to the death lower taxes but also insist that same government act as the protector of moral authority in the private lives of its citizens.

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