When California legalized recreational marijuana in 2016, politicians promised that one outcome would be to reduce the out-of-control black market of weed sales. That didn’t happen. Last month, the LA Times reported on rampant corruption inside the state’s now four-year-old pot industry—lobbyists paying politicians to vote for more lenient regulations, marijuana advocates threatening regulators, and politicians demanding bribes for granting licenses to grow and sell.
Lots of cultural benefits are promised by advocates of legalizing recreational marijuana. Instead, it de-motivates workers and production, makes traffic conditions more deadly, and threatens family stability. Kids are less likely to stay in school, and users are more likely to move on to harder drugs. And, at least in California, it corrupts government officials.
Don’t be surprised if this report out of California is ignored, or explained away. Don’t buy it. The data is in, and legalizing marijuana never delivers what is promised.
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