Pubdate: Thu, 18 Aug 2016
Source: Reno News & Review (NV)
Column: upfront
Copyright: 2016, Chico Community Publishing, Inc.
Author: Dennis Myers


In an interview with Guy Farmer in the Nevada Appeal, prohibitionist 
Genoa lawyer Jim Hartman said of Colorado marijuana supporters, "They 
claimed the marijuana black market would disappear with legalization, 
but it didn't."

Here's the part Hartman didn't tell Farmer-legalization never came to 
Colorado. It came to certain places, but remains illegal in more than 
240 towns and cities and broad swaths of the state. So there is still 
a black market. Colorado Amendment 64, enacted by voters in 2012, 
left it up to communities to decide whether to make marijuana legal.

Moreover, this they-claimed-the-black-market-would-go-away pitch is 
repeated often by critics of marijuana, but they rarely cite sources. 
Hartman does not name anyone he is quoting. Colorado supporters of 64 
didn't necessarily all speak with one voice. Some may have made the 
claim, but certainly not all. We have been unable to find anyone who 
said the black market would just go away. Rather, they tended to say 
illicit marijuana sales would be reduced. For instance, this is the 
Denver Post in 2012:

"[Mason] Tvert and other supporters of the measure have said it will 
generate tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue for state and 
local governments. They said it would shed light on the black-market 
marijuana industry and ultimately cause dangerous cartels to wither." 
Ultimately is a good word to keep in mind. After decades of 
prohibition and government-generated crime, it takes a while for the 
effect of restored liberty to be fully felt.
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