I guess I assumed that advocates for cannabis would strongly favor full legalization. Apparently not. It seems there’s substantial resistance among some advocates to the notion of a new Federal law that would legalize cannabis.
Why, you ask? Here’s an explanation from the folks at the Vox website:
Apparently, some in the advocate community objected to the idea because it could encourage huge corporations to get into the commercial pot industry, where they’d use their resources and influence to establish dominance. The way that the Altria conglomerate (makers of Marlboro) tried to do with respect to vaping when they purchased a multi-billion dollar interest in Juul.
That didn’t work out so well. Still, the argument holds. Once the truly big money gets involved, it does tend to shape the future to its owners’ selfish ends.
Arkansas is mentioned as a kind of test case. When the state legislature, like so many others, considered legalizing cannabis, most of the opposition came from the Progressive side. “It would have allowed,” the article explains, “existing medical marijuana businesses” – including some large out-of-state firms — “to control the adult-use market, and rewarded industry backers of the measure by limiting new competitors.”
Well, sure it would. From a business standpoint, that’s the goal. Not just to compete, but to dominate the market.
After all, that’s how they get so rich and powerful.
Once in control, the big boys get busy squeezing out competitors – until, hopefully, only a few players remain to divide the pie amongst themselves. You need a few survivors, after all, or the government might get the idea that you’re a monopoly. But only a few.
It’s interesting to me, given my background in treatment, that the subject of those who suffer from Cannabis Use Disorders (CUDs) rarely even comes up in the discussions. Then again, the firms that make and market liquor and cigarettes seldom mention alcoholism or nicotine dependence.
Can’t really expect otherwise, can we? No good profit-making enterprise wants to do anything that might discourage potential customers from purchasing their goods. On the rare occasions when they do address issues like abuse or addiction, it’s often motivated by fear that unless they act first, government will step in and make them do something they’d rather not do.
No sign of that on the horizon.