Back in 2737 BC, a Chinese Emperor named Shen Nung discovered that marijuana could deliver relief from the incessant turmoil of managing a dynasty. Old Shen was so impressed that he recommended the stuff to help with gout, malaria and, get this, absent mindedness. Slowly, the herb worked it’s way across India and then found favor in Europe. When you are stoned, there is little doubt that many of your ailments, real and perceived, take a back seat to the mellow hallucinogenic euphoria that accompanies the ingestion of this ever more powerful drug. Why are we in a hurry to embrace this mind altering weed? Money……..Mildred………and lot’s of it.
Back in the 80’s, an engaging patrol Criminal Investigator, David LePage and I were tasked with developing a program to introduce every trooper in the state to the art of drug interdiction on our highways. Our presentation was well received and a good number of enterprising officers used the techniques to remove millions of dollars worth of marijuana and other street drugs from circulation. We were stunned at the quantities and profitability back then……..and those of us who were in that struggle are now well beyond stunned. The money circulating around the recreational use of marijuana is astounding. It is what is driving the rapid push to legalize the stuff for recreational use…….a concept soon to be law in Missouri and Arkansas.
A recent study by a credible think tank (Arkansas Economic Development Institute) estimates that recreational marijuana could easily add $2.4 billion to Arkansas’s economy and add 6,400 jobs by 2027. Their studies are predicated on the experiences of other states who have moved from the hilarious “medicinal” use of the drug to the recreational use. There is absolutely no reason to expect Missouri’s experience to not mirror Arkansas’s projections, if not soundly exceed them. The stoners are on the edge of total success, having relied on the escalation of marijuana use by way of the medical use portal. Money, folks, is the icing on the cake. By the way, taxing the stuff is going to be difficult, as anyone with a grow light and potting soil can cultivate his or her own stash. Home based grow operations, along with your electric iron horse are really going to tax Mr. Biden’s energy vision for the future.
America has a fixation on staying calm and mellowing out. What have we learned from the recreational use of alcohol? Not much, really. It is reliably estimated (CDC) that alcohol consumption in this country results in an annual loss of $28 billion in healthcare, $179 billion in work force productivity, $13 billion in collisions and $25 billion in criminal justice expense. Hold on, the new numbers, courtesy of marijuana are going to be mystifying
So there you have it. Budweiser, Coors, Angry Apple and Miller Light will be set aside in favor of an ounce or two of Hindu Kush, Purple Kush, Acapulco Gold, Afghan Kush or Maui Wowie. Pictures of the grandkids on the mantle will be replaced with the latest in soothing water bowls. Folks will be sporting the latest smoking paraphernalia, beauties like the Hitoshi Trident or Power Hitter will replace the coozy and flask. You can bet on it!
I wish it were not so. Our children and grandchildren deserve better.
Have a great week!