EconoMinute: The Economy of Cannabis

EconoMinute: The Economy of Cannabis


Welcome friends to another EconoMinute
from Democracy at Work I’m Richard Wolff and I want to talk to
you briefly about the six states that have now legalized recreational
marijuana use in the United States it’s interesting to me particularly because
of how this serves an economic purpose regardless of what you think about the
appropriateness or not of marijuana use marijuana legalization follows by a few
decades the legalization of something else that was thought sinful
inappropriate unamerican and all the rest I’m speaking about gambling and in
particular lotteries it used to be in America’s iconography America’s
religions that gambling was wrong and betting in public on lotteries is
gambling and therefore unthinkable Europe had it for many many years before
Americans even thought of the possibility well we’re all used to
lotteries and other kinds of gambling nowadays it’s everywhere and pretty soon
if the six states that have already done so or any sign and they include
California the biggest state in the Union we’re going to have legalized
recreational marijuana everywhere too and whatever the other reasons here’s
the economics of it all states across America haven’t the political will to
tax corporations in the rich since they are the funders of the political major
parties and the politicians and having locked off the taxes they don’t raise on
corporations and the rich and put them on the mass of people the mass of people
have had it up to here and will not tolerate so the same politicians are now
afraid to raise taxes on average people because then they’ll lose the votes
can’t tax rich in the corporation’s because
they’ll lose the dollars can’t tax the average person because they’ll lose the
vote what do they do they’re desperate so they borrow that’s
why so many states are in deep trouble with excess borrowing Illinois the fifth
largest state in the Union has had its credit ratings lowered because it is
literally dangerous now to lend money to the state that is the
home of Chicago and legislators have looked elsewhere for money since they’re
politically afraid to deal with the crisis we’re in and lotteries and
marijuana legalization are ways to raise money religious objections moral
objections hysteria who cares there’s no other way to what
raise money and in a disintegrating political economic situation even
lotteries and marijuana are important and that’s why we have what we see. This
is Richard Wolff for Eemocracy at Work’s EconoMinute

21 thoughts on “EconoMinute: The Economy of Cannabis

  1. I live in Colorado and it's been great since they legalized marijuana. Our state has been booming people are building every where, there are help wanted signs up in all of the stores, companies keep relocating here. It's made traffic bad but brought a lot of opportunity as well.

  2. Richard, I typically like what you have to say and even agree however, lumping MJ in with gambling is disingenuous at best. it's not the destructive devil that Harry Anslinger and Jeff Sessions would have people believe. you're barking up the wrong tree on this one brother.

  3. Legalization of marijuana is just lifestyle libertarianism it has nothing to do with socialism. The spirit of socialism is about serving others in the community, staying healthy, and minimizing negative effects on the community. Not smoking weed and playing video games all day. Stupid fucking liberals

  4. Our legislature put forth a bill to raise property taxes on corporations, and the Republican Governor has been fighting it, even though New Mexico is nearly bankrupt… The cash crop will raise money here, but the weasels catering to corporate greed must be tackled… We store nuclear waste, we have fracking and yet the money isn't enough somehow… It's terrible that we accept the risk "for the good of the country," and the state is so poor…

  5. Maybe I misunderstood the point but morality should never be considered in legislation. You do what creates a better functioning society. There's no reason to make lotteries/gambling or marijuana illegal on a logical level. Making them legal decreases crime which improves society on the whole. Things like addictions are minor side effects that should be treated rather than shoved under the rug or worse, criminalized.

  6. Many farms and dispensaries can be setup as worker owned and managed cooperatives. This is an opportunity to democratize the enterprise. You should be advocating for that.

  7. When I first read the title I got "The economy of cannibals". Not a bad take on things all things considered.

    Thanks you Professor Wolff for tying it all together again.

  8. You can't ignore the racial component of legalized marijuana. For decades the focus has been on PoC, locking black and brown people up at absurdly disproportionate rates. Now it gets legalized, and who are the marijuana dispensary owners? White people.
    http://www.npr.org/2016/03/18/471008253/as-the-legal-pot-industry-booms-african-americans-are-left-behind

  9. I enjoy listening to you prof. Wolff, but here you seem to leave out why such a harmless and beneficial plant was banned in the first place. What about the alcohols and drug companies that stand to lose huge profits if people have access to cannabis? I think there's a lot more here to consider than your explanation.

  10. hey, maybe heroine and coke next get them addicted and they can really rake in the cash as Pharma did with opioids?

  11. To all the pro-weed watchers of this video. Richard Wolff is not saying weed is wrong or bad. What Richard Wolff is critiquing is the mentality that governments use to legalize drugs and why corporations fight so hard to prevent it. It helps the government raise tax money but it causes new competition for tobacco companies.

  12. so they think they can use marijuana legalizing as a way to make more tax money? Until what, when the price of marijuana falls to the true price there wont be money to be made off a plant. Tomatoes and corn sold on the side of the road are not bringing in tax income to anyone and marijuana will end up the same. Once we produce it in large fields the price goes from $300 and Oz to pennies an oz! Good luck getting any taxes out of a plant worth a penny an oz. This is why the drug war was so bad, it inflated a price that never would have been there and created then people/cartels that wanted to make money from those inflated prices. No drug war no inflated prices no cartels making money off it.

  13. Limited licensed Use would be a far better solution than blanket legalization. It's not a great idea for people in secret sensitive employment to smoke weed. Also making random medical testing of users should be a part of the licensing bargain so that its benefits and risks might be fully understood more quickly.

  14. The ones that gamble is no-brainers what so ever. All kind of drugs should be legalized and the prices for the shit will drop to a minimum which will stop the drug wars innuendo…

  15. Marijuana is a very useful plant but I think big Pharma is fighting hard against it because they are making so much money off opiates and other drugs that help with addiction. Marijuana can be extremely helpful and much safer in helping with pain management and it has also been found to help with seizure disorders. We should also be making many more products from hemp since it is so useful and much better environmentally speaking.

  16. A bit late in the conversation but seems to me dr.wolff is just stating facts,and drawing conclusions is up to everyone of us.The fact remains that pro or against marijuana use,is not the question .What is the point is the mentality that creates "legal" and "illegal" things.
    If you cant see there the problem,you are sticking to your own excuses for whatever is you are doing.smoking or not .I am a user,i d love to be able to grow my own,and i dont think this would create a social mess.The illegallity created an army of useless otherwise "officials" and not so official ,(Police,judges,prosecutors,lawyers,prison guards,doctors and maybe a few others i cant think of right now)all live on the premise of illegal drugs,and have every reason as "members of the society" to perpetuate a lie or a fake ethical stance.
    Legalisation has nothing to do with monetisation.
    Legalisation is not about selling or buying it is about freedom to grow whatever shit you smoke..And by the way,try growing tobacco and see how fast you get tobacco companies putting you behind bars…so much for legal drugs…Wake up its is not about tolerance or anything,it isabout not allowing the rich get richer on the back of the poor.because this iswhat they are doing so far.
    Again:Legalisation is not commercialisation

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