Many people who work in the emerald triangle’s underground economy think of it as just a job. However, for the majority of people outside the cannabis industry there is a lot of mystery. It makes sense, a black market is by definition veiled, secretive, and hidden in the shadows. We all know there is a lot of money to be made growing cannabis, but for outsiders that’s usually the limit of their economic understanding. There is a lot of resentment, because people feel that the rule breakers and outlaws are getting rich easily while the rest of us work hard for much less.
So how much are people making? Who’s getting rich? and how rich? To answer these questions I have spoken with dozens of people working in the industry. It’s time to bring some transparency to the black market economy that so many benefit from, yet so few understand. Given the nature of the business, hard data will probably never be available, so consider this more of a sketch than an exact measurement.
Graph via wikipedia.com
Over the past few decades the Department of Justice has commonly asserted, “most violent crimes are committed not because people want to buy drugs, but because people are on drugs.” This has been the logical basis for policy regarding enforcement of illegal drugs. Although past policy seeks to validate its enforcement, research suggests that enforcement (and not use) may lead to increases in non-drug related crime.
One of the main arguments that opponents of cannabis legalization make has to do with it getting into the hands of young people. It’s a powerful argument. Even though many of us started experimenting with cannabis at a young age (and presumably turned out fine), in general, people on both sides agree that it isn’t for kids. There is good reason behind this and quite a bit of research that suggests regular cannabis use can be harmful to young people.
The argument that we should not legalize cannabis because it will lead to more young people using it has been largely unsubstantiated until recently. In fact a handful of studies done in the United States have even found the opposite to be true, showing declining use after the implementation of more liberal cannabis policies. Recently the first large scale international study of this issue was published and the findings are surprising.
Rubbing shoulders with knowledge driven Professors often bares fruit for us toiling outside of academia. Sometimes when strong relationships are forged, nugs of knowledge are passed our way. They remind us that our current conception of the world might be a tad off; and that’s what this new research from Scientific Reports demonstrates.