Illinois Future Black Market

Illinois was the first state to pass a marijuana legalization measure via state legislature instead of through ballot initiative. Of course, the provision included the option of municipalities to “opt-out” of having recreational marijuana stores within their limits.

The prohibitionist groups cheer on and encourage communities to do so.

I’m going to make a wager that with all the communities banning sales, the traditional or “black” market will continue in Illinois for some time. There will probably be news articles 6-9 months after the first shops open that say how the black market continues.

Prohibitionist groups will use these to further say legalization has “failed” and that legalized marijuana has not lived up to the promises.

Prohib Selective Focus – Black Market

For the prohibitionist mindset to continue in today’s age, they need to keep the blinders on while sprouting similar talking points Anslinger said since the 1930s.  One of the most recent examples of keeping blinders on comes from recent articles regarding the marijuana “black market” in California.

Prohibitionists are quick to point out, and echo ad nauseum, news articles which say the black market in California has only expanded since recreational legalization. 

Now, having legalized recreational cannabis is a significant change in society.  The traditional, or black, market will always be hard to unseat.  The two biggest challenges, of course, are getting access to legal cannabis product and price. 

According to the latest information, 80% of communities in CA have banned recreational marijuana shops from opening or operating.  Prohibitionists, of course, cheer this effort as making community’s safer from the menace on society that is cannabis.

Wait a minute!

Without access to licensed, taxed, and regulated shops, where will folks get cannabis?  From their traditional seller, of course!  CA’s recreational market has continually missed estimates on sales and tax revenue.  Having high taxes and limited access to recreational shops will make it incredibly difficult for licensed shops to compete with the traditional market. 

For every town or locality that bans or restricts recreational shops from operating, they are allowing and giving territory to the unlicensed and underground cannabis dealers.  The dealers that won’t ID who buys, the dealers who don’t pay taxes, and the dealers who don’t have regulated and tested product.

But this issue continues the duality of the prohibitionist mindset and a refusal to link together how one thing they cheer can lead to their conclusions that legalization has “failed.”  Of course, painting legalization in a negative light, whenever possible, is the goal of prohibitionists in order to satisfy their world view that cannabis is evil and a scourge on society.

Prohib’s Continued Fear of Cannabis

**Update at the bottom**

“Smart” Approaches to Marijuana, the prohibitionist group aimed at preventing any form of legalized psychoactive cannabis, never lets an opportunity pass to share their fear of cannabis.  The government has been under pressure to provide guidelines for the currently booming Hemp and CBD industry.  Recently, the USDA has released their proposed guidelines on this industry.

Not surprising, SAM took this opportunity to reiterate positions that are dangerous to the current status quo.  SAM continues to echo fears of law enforcement, a group that they have been advocating for and cooperating with on numerous occasions to support their views on prohibition.

They call out smokable hemp in their post:

“Third, USDA should work with the FDA to place a moratorium on ‘smokable hemp’ until the health effects can be fully understood.”

This isn’t about health.  As a species, we have been smoking and consuming cannabis for millennia. What they are protecting is the probable cause when someone encounters a law enforcement officer.  Since we lack any tools to differentiate the two in the field, a suspect can state they are smoking legal hemp.  This already has thrown law enforcement a curveball as states like Texas have dropped possession charges.  Recently, North Carolina is working to pass a bill to ban smokable hemp due to do LE fears. 

What is even more ridiculous, is that any ban they want is on unprocessed plant material. They are afraid of people smoking a plant as if there aren’t multiple other plants for people to smoke.

The smell of burnt cannabis has been used as a pretext for searches and arrests.  LE may see this as a hindrance to their job, since they have relied on it for so long, but this is a chance for people to gain freedom back. Legalized hemp and the SAFE Banking Act are the wedges that will drive federal descheduling.

Recently, the NYPD posted on twitter showing a 106 lb cannabis bust. The officers were smiling and happy they made such a huge bust and arrested a suspect. However, it has since come to light that the shipment was federally legal Hemp. I’ll keep an eye on this for the impending lawsuits.