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California Marijuana Investing

Written By Jeff Siegel

Posted July 23, 2015

raid“We’re not arguing for a free market,” California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom told the Times. “We’re arguing for a very regulated market that has real oversight, that is flexible.”

Spoken like a true statist bully!

So what was Newsom referring to in this quote? What kind of market does he believe needs to operate under strict state control and in the absence of a real free market?

Clearly it must be something so dangerous that he feels compelled to protect the good people of California from this menace.

At first, I thought maybe it was oxycontin, an FDA-approved drug which has been connected to thousands of overdose cases in the United States.

Then I thought maybe it was alcohol, which the CDC says is tied to nearly 90,000 deaths per year.

Or perhaps cigarettes, which have been tied to 480,000 deaths per year in the United States.

But it was none of those.

No, this clear notice of state control was in reference to marijuana.

Profits Trump Bureaucratic Buffoonery

According to MJBizdaily, a working group overseen by California’s lieutenant governor has issued a report outlining 58 policy suggestions for regulating recreational cannabis should voters legalize marijuana for general adult use next year.

Here are some of those policy suggestions, along with my very necessary comments …

Capture and invest tax revenue through a fair system of taxation and regulation, and direct
that revenue to programs aligned with the goals and needed policy strategies for safe legalization.

There is no such thing as a fair system of taxation and regulation.

Public Safety: Ensure that our streets, schools and communities remain safe, while adopting measures to improve public safety.

There has been no greater threat to public safety than the drug war.

Medicine: Ensure continued access to marijuana for medical and therapeutic purposes for

Continued access to marijuana for medical and therapeutic purposes is better guaranteed in the absence of the state. The only entity that has ever limited access is the government.

Workforce: Extend the same health, safety and labor protections to cannabis workers as other workers and provide for legal employment and economic opportunity for California’s diverse workforce.

Drug dealers tend to create significant wealth in the absence of government meddling. But yes, perhaps they’d rather work for a state-mandated minimum wage to ensure fair pay.

Develop a highly regulated market with enforcement and oversight capacity from the beginning, not an unregulated free market; this industry should not be California’s next Gold Rush.

The Gold Rush created wealth. The government steals wealth.

Consider options that limit the size and power—both economic and political—of entities in the marijuana industry, through limits on the number and types of licenses that are issued to the same entity or owners, limits on the size of any one license, encouragement of non-commercial options and incentives for smaller players. The goal should be to prevent the growth of a large, corporate marijuana industry dominated by a small number of players, as we see with Big Tobacco or the alcohol industry.

The best way to kill innovation and growth is to cap it. Leave it to the government to take a booming market and find a way to curb its potential.

Licensing fees should be set at reasonable levels to cover the cost of regulation, certification and oversight by state and local government. They should not be so onerous as to limit smaller actors from participating in the industry.

Ah yes, the old licensing fee scam. Individual companies pay a small tribute to the boss to set up shop. That will give them the privilege of being robbed by only one criminal – the state.

Protect the ability of individuals to consume, possess or cultivate marijuana within certain uniform statewide guidelines, apart from the additional authority granted to local government.

Protection from whom? The only protection we’ve ever needed was from the government. Now you’re telling me the government is going to protect me from the government? Well shit, why do we need the government at all then?

A successful tax system will raise the money needed to pay for the increased education, public health and enforcement costs associated with marijuana use and new regulations.

Truth is, with easier access to marijuana, they’ll have less public health and enforcement costs. So this is bullshit, and the state is hiding behind the illusion of “altruistic motives” in an effort to generate more revenue.

While I couldn’t be happier to see the bedrock of prohibition begin to crumble, any effort to tax and regulate marijuana will slow efforts to ending the war on drugs.

This is why I maintain that investing in the marijuana market is crucial to curbing the violence associated with the drug war. As more and more investors pile into the space, the demand for accountability and profits becomes greater. And profits will always trump bureaucratic buffoonery.

And for the record, while there are few marijuana stocks that are worth anything these days, those that are can make you a boatload of cash. My best marijuana pick this year? GW Pharmaceuticals. (NASDAQ: GWPH).

Check it out …

This is how you end the war on drugs!