Join Date: Jul 2012
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Re: Cannabis use on board
The bottom line with sin taxes is the new spendable revenue. It's what sells them every time. A black market is alive and well for gambling, prostitution and will remain for marijuana. If you tax a product, you add an artificial cost that will never be incurred by the black market. By definition, they have a competitive advantage.
I don't think there's a black market for alcohol, even though it's about as easy (maybe easier) to home brew beer in your basement than to grow a cannabis plant. The reason why is that consumers want a good, consistent, safe product. The same will happen with cannabis. Obviously, there is a balance to find with taxation, and if taxes are high enough then a black market will remain. But I expect the illegal black market for cannabis to dwindle away once consumers can simply walk into a legal store and select from 100s of safe, tested and regulated cannabis products at a reasonable cost.
For what it's worth, I'm very much in favor of allowing and encouraging people to grow and gift their own cannabis, and to keep the retail production and sales industries small and local within state borders. I do not want to see big corporations buying up all the marijuana businesses and operating them like the big international pharma and alcohol companies.