The Challenges of the Legal Marijuana Economy

Monday, November 18, 2013

A budtender pours marijuana from a jar at Perennial Holistic Wellness Center medical marijuana dispensary, which opened in 2006, on July 25, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (David McNew/Getty)

This month, Portland, Maine followed Washington State and Colorado's lead and legalized the recreational use of marijuana, and the Michigan cities of Lansing, Jackson and Ferndale voted to let people older than 21 possess up to an ounce of pot on private property.

No doubt, we’re reaching a high point when it comes to the acceptance—and embrace—of legalized marijuana.

But while marijuana acceptance is on the rise, a number of questions are emerging about how to create a viable legal marijuana economy—and how to keep marijuana use safe.

Patrick Radden Keefe explores these issues in his New Yorker piece, "Buzzkill: Why Washington State is Struggling to Create a Legal Marijuana Economy." In addition to serving as a staff writer for the New Yorker, he's also a senior fellow at the Century Foundation. He joins The Takeaway to discuss the big questions surrounding marijuana, like safety, taxes and the age of consumption. 


Patrick Radden Keefe

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer


T.J. Raphael

Comments [16]

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Feb. 20 2014 04:04 PM

Rules and Conditions-

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seeking out evidence which may serve as the basis for any charge of violating
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purposes, including sale or distribution to anyone else.
Below are some of our best sell strains

30g White Widow: $180
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Jan. 04 2014 02:39 AM
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Jan. 02 2014 11:39 PM
GE JAHN from Oregon

Regarding Nov 18, 2013 segment on marijuana, the speaker says Washington State residents consume 165 MILLION METRIC TONS per annum. With a population of about 7 million, that is about 20 metric tons per year per person!!!!!!!! That is patently WRONG, without further analysis. For something which is measured in grams, perhaps 165 metric tonnes (350,000 pounds) might be imaginable (5% of total population consuming 450 grams per year).
Please get a reasonable number and broadcast it as a correction. Another way to think about it is every person on earth would have to consume about 50 pounds per year to equal the speaker's stated number.
Lets have a sanity check, please!

Nov. 19 2013 12:06 AM

Cyndi, do you have a problem with people who drink a couple of glasses of red wine at night while they relax? seems like a pretty common, widely accepted social norm. My question to you is, what's the difference between having a couple of glasses of wine and smoking a joint?

don't feel like answering? unsure of yourself because you lack actual knowledge of what marijuana as a drug does? that's okay allow me to explain.

as the young man from over the rainbow has stated marijuana has been PROVEN scientifically, that is not addictive. there are small numbers of people who become psychologically addicted but other than some weirdo dreams for a night or two if you use chronically, there's really no danger to it all, no withdrawal. at least nothing like opiate withdrawals or something. that's the absurdity of it being a schedule I substance.
these doctors you go see for pain can legally prescribe you heroin. that's what Oxycontin basically is. heroin. but it's a high end rich mans drug.

now lets get back to your point about medical marijuana that's bs. for younger patients, kids. there is a substance extracted from the plant called "CBD", CBD's do not cause a high, all it does is help prevent seizures. if you can't get out of your dense little bubble and realize that not everyone who needs this is looking to get stoned. some are, and if they are, why should you care? all it does it make them watch movies and put money into local fast food restaurants and 7/11's.

people are ignorant as hell, and you're proof of it Cyndi.

Nov. 18 2013 07:17 PM
fbom from somewhere over the rainbow

Weed is not addicting. It's not. It doesn't cause harm. Coffee is addictive because caffeine. Please stop mixing up on this.

Nov. 18 2013 04:06 PM
Cyndi from Northeast Florida

For all the talks I hear on this subject (and I suffer from one of the diseases that there has been some sort of supposed benefit from the use of medical marijuana) I don't hear the real subject being brought up. Addiction. I grew up in a home where one of my parents could walk away from everything but pot. She even finally walked away from alcohol approx 10 yrs ago but I suspect that she's still toking. I'm not some 15yr old with a young parent. My parents are in their 60s!

Everyone wants to talk about how pot isn't addictive but I can tell you from personal experience that it absolutely is addictive and I think that by making it "ok" to say "Oh, well, I only use it because my Dr said it was ok" means you are talking about a lot of people who will abuse the drug and that leaves a lot of kids in those homes who have less protection.

When people who want to just push the so called up side of legalized pot actually take a look at the social impact on the children? Then we can have a real conversation.

Nov. 18 2013 02:30 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

What will the warning label be on pack of marihuana? ...
Eventually, marihuana will be cheaper than cigarettes and come in nicely designed boxes from a vending machine.
A pipe dream?

Nov. 18 2013 01:55 PM
WLWard from Austin TX

I feel like black market prices for marijuana are inflated due to the risk factor. One does not pay only for the product, the price includes the payment for the dealer to be holding on to large amounts of an illegal substance, making them a target for both the police and violent criminals. With this factor eliminated, shouldn't the "real" cost of a plant become evident?

Also, with alcohol, I believe the last few states holding out have finally legalized homebrewing. What is the situation with homegrown marijuana in these states?

Nov. 18 2013 12:46 PM

it's all derivatives of each other, the strains. hybrids generally still have kush, or diesel or one of those top 4 or 5 strains that have slowly been getting more and more potent over the years. then again there are those wonderful genetically altered weed that we're starting to get in to limit plant matter (what generally causes the tar in your lungs) for more, straight up pure THC. which means you'll need to smoke and do it even less.

tip for anybody who thinks pot smokers want to smoke more weed rather than get higher off less smoke, take a hit from a micro g vap pen filled with some really nice bud shatter. (hash oil) just one hit. tell me if you need to smoke again after that. you could sure, but you do not need to. all this leads to lower healthcare costs.

Nov. 18 2013 09:27 AM

you need to allow the market to flood with weed. it needs to be accessible, safe, and everywhere, then you kill the black market because there is zero reason for it to exist.

after the market goes flat then you drop prices like crazy. and it them becomes an affordable medicine. let's say you need an oz of medical herb per month for cancer, it's like 200-400bucks, depending where you get it. just for a months prescription.

I think the medical aspects are undeniable but I smoke because I enjoy it and I smoke because I want to. it tastes delicious. it's the relaxation you'd expect from a cigarette. time to just be honest about it. we want it legal because we the citizens enjoy getting high. we enjoy stimulants. we have since early man. native americans, tribes thru out south america or africa. ancient eastern philosophy and such. it's just what humans do. this will help stop people from doing synthetics that are cooked in random peoples kitchen chem labs.

Nov. 18 2013 09:19 AM

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