There is no Peter, only Juul.

Juul has swept the public consciousness as synonymous with vaping. Vaping has been around commercially since 2006 and the technology has existed since 1960. However, the explosive growth of Juul with brand recognition has gathered ire from the prohibitionist crowd.

Juul has taken bad press recently with the vaping “crisis.” Their popularity has become a lightning rod for prohibitionists to spread more fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD).

The prohibitionists continue the tactic of conflating other substances with marijuana. They bring up issues like Juul being investigated by the FDA for marketing practices and state “do you want this to happen with bIG mArIjUaNa!?!?.”

Yes, actually we do. If cannabis becomes federally legal, the federal government will have oversight on industry practices and policy. No one is advocating children should consume recreational cannabis. Having advertising regulations at the federal level will allow the federal government to investigate these companies when they are in violation.

We have learned a lot from alcohol prohibition and reeling in Big Tobacco. We can use what we have learned to craft sensible policies on cannabis to allow safe, regulated, and tested recreational cannabis.

It is sad to see prohibitionists focus on this boogeyman. The forest is much bigger than the few trees prohibitionists focus on. This issue is complex and requires careful consideration. However, the prohibitionist tactics always drive issues to the extreme and focus on tugging on certain emotions in order to continue their outdated mindset.

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.