It’s not about getting stoned anymore.

I was thinking about California’s Proposition 19, to legalize marijuana, and wondering why it didn’t pass. I was in California recently, and I happened to shop at a pricey organic food boutique. There were a lot of what we used to call ‘hippies’ shopping there, in the middle of the day, and filling their carts. Where, I wondered, did they get the money for all that pricey organic food?

Most people in California have smoked marijuana, and most would prefer to legalize it. That’s why they’ve effectively done so with their ‘medical marijuana’ laws. Making drug use a crime is brutal and uncivilized, like beating your child bloody for smirking at you.

But there are communities all over California whose local economies depend on artificially, criminally, inflated marijuana prices. These communities know it, and they vote their pocketbooks. There are many things you’ll justify in your financial self interest, even if they consign others to misery.

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