Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Greening of America

As in grass - marijuana.  Last November, five more states voted to legalize marijuana outright.  Here in Florida, we joined the states with legalization of medical marijuana.  Now 29 states and Washington, D.C., allow you to use marijuana either recreationally or for medical purposes.  Conceivably, with the way the trend is going, it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the country follows suit and marijuana is fully legalized.  Assuming all the states that have passed these laws would vote for a constitutional amendment, the marijuana lobby is short just four states. 

According to one poll I saw referenced, 60% of Americans already think that the federal government should legalize marijuana outright.  In 1995, that number was 25%. A Quinnipiac University poll showed more than 90% of respondents think medical marijuana should be legal at the national level.

Given all that, I think this cartoon is only missing one character.  Lawyers.
(Scott Stantis -Chicago Tribune)

Florida's medical marijuana campaign was (apparently) led by an AKC registered ambulance chasing lawyer from Orlando named John Morgan.  Morgan also bankrolled the previous attempts to amend the state's constitution, and well over a year before November's victory, Morgan was already describing the business windfall that legalization was going to bring. Who better to advise businesses setting up to provide marijuana about how to navigate the new laws than an experienced lawyer, right?
There will be greenhouses and grow houses; there will be dispensaries; there will be different industries that will produce ways to deliver medical marijuana, whether its brownie pans or pipes or whatever. And there will be real estate opportunities that will emerge.
I think it will be a tremendous boon for Florida's economy. It will be a huge tax base for revenue. There will be a boon in real estate … There will be a lot of new jobs created, which is Gov. [Rick] Scott's first, second and third priorities in Florida.
It was long rumored that the real money isn't in ambulance chasing, it's in controlling the marijuana infrastructure, and that's what he's been angling for.  He's now floating an exploratory effort to evaluate running for governor (the website is supposedly the effort of an independent friend, not Morgan himself).  Although the amendment went into effect on January 3rd, there is no marijuana industry in Florida, and the state Department of Health is saying they may have the rules defined by July.  The next governor is going to control the distribution scheme and John Morgan seems to be betting it just might be him.  A potential problem for Morgan is that he has famously backed many Democratic causes, and Florida has been more red than blue in the governor's mansion despite the influx of blue state refugees from the Northeast that the state is known for. 

The North American marijuana industry is already a $7 billion market.  Bank of America Merrill Lynch says it could be a $35 billion market by 2020 and Investment bank the Cowen Group projects the market will be worth $50 billion a decade from now in 2027.   Marijuana can be invested in through publicly traded companies.  Bonner and Partners presented this graph this week, showing four small Canadian marijuana stocks which are all up at least 270% over the past year. Two of them are up by more than 400%.
What seems to be a good list of US marijuana stocks is here.

Disclaimer: I detest John Morgan's commercials and that industry he represents (ambulance chasing, not marijuana)  That personal dislike may have permeated this piece. 


  1. I voted against the Medical Pot thing. It is gonna breed corruption like crazy. We should have gone to recreational use instead.

  2. Two things.

    If Marijuana was a valid medicine, why is it taxable? If it is taxable, then it's not really medicine, is it. Can't have things both ways.

    Here in stupidcommielizardville (otherwise known as Gainesville, FL) there's a Knox dispensary already open. So glad they have the infrastructure in place and test sales going on before all the regulations are written (cough, cough.) (If it burns down one night, the cause may be due to me praying it catches fire...)

    I'm not for it. THC ain't the stuff that makes the body feel better and the eyes work better. And smoking is the worse way to intake the 'medicine.' Marinol has been available for a long time and has all the good stuff without the ability to cause 'stoning', which is what everyone wants out of 'medical marijuana' so there's another fallacy over the whole issue.

  3. With the Miami RINOs in the Senate, it's going to be hard to convince gun-owners they've anything to gain by voting Republican any more.

    Andrew: Weer'd Beerd wrote a decent post along the lines you've mentioned.

  4. Never forget that Orange Man was part of Morgan and Morgan before he ran for Guvnor again. Of course, Charlie was chosen by Jeb! to succeed him as Guvnor at the end of his term. BOTH parties in Florida are corrupt to their very core. But then again, what would one expect since a high percentage of Florida residents moved here from the Big Craphole?

  5. My thought has always been that if we're going to legalize it, legalize it. Why should the emphasis be "legalize and tax it" that we've heard a million times - and Stantis portrayed so well? If it's just a "harmless little plant", why should it get more taxes than lettuce?

    With regard to Miguel's point, there's wording in there that pot can be bought by a "medical care giver", which is a dangerous slope in Florida where so many people have live in help. Let's have the "Visiting Angel" use the home bound person's ID to buy pot and smoke it around the house. (Not to pick on "Visiting Angeles", the company. I know nothing about them.)

    I hate to say it's all about the money, because that implies I have a problem with markets which is not the case. I hate that the pols see it as fertile new ground to tax and the lawyers see it as fertile new ground to get their hands onto, and the two worse things in society are lawyers and politicians (in my view). Life would be closer to ideal if you never had to have personal contact with either lawyers or politicians.

    Perfect case is "Orange Man", Charlie Crist. It has been speculated (see my link to that the whole reason Morgan hired Crist was that Crist will be the next governor and create the gravy train for Morgan; apparently that was before they started floating the idea Morgan should be governor himself.

    Then there's all that money George Soros had dumped into legalizing marijuana across the country. Why should he care? Is it "compassion for medical use" or just another tool to break down society, so that the guy who says he has a God complex can play God on a bigger stage?

  6. Somewhere on the internet the point was made that we seem to have made a society so miserable and disconnected that pills for pain and depression are taken by a nontrivial minority (25%?). Still more numb themselves with weed and alcohol.

    Scott Adams' Dopamine Robots, indeed...

  7. I'm forming an impression here.

    The DEA and Morgan will take exactly the same actions against pot users. Morgan's selling point is that he can figure out exactly what actions the DEA wants.

    Some of the nationalistic socialists marching pot users at gunpoint into the white buses to the prisons sincerely believe the pot users are ruining the homeland. Some don't believe that.

    The DEA sells itself as a church father figure, enforcing its rules more in sadness than in anger, saving possessed users' souls from demon weed. Morgan sells himself as an enthusiastic, efficient technician.

    The DEA is good because it believes it is saving souls. Morgan is bad because he believes he is an amoral technician. Nevertheless their actions are identical. Motivation matters so much more to justice than outcomes that outcomes don't matter.

    The data from prior to the Harrison narcotics act show the same percentage of addicts as today, except addicts had more functional lives because the police weren't chasing them and drugs were inexpensive. See Scott Bieser's comic book called The Drug War Carol under on

  8. Here in Colorado, rec pot was sold as a way to undercut the illicit trade. Naturally, I saw right through that. Of course, weed is taxed enough to protect the illicit trade in weed and legalization does nothing to other substances. Since the legal industry cannot use federally chartered banks, they have been buying real estate with their excess finds. Prices have gone up considerably, and I see a lot more new cars on the road.

  9. Never forget the potential for restricting/eliminating Second Amendment Rights of medical marijuana users. I believe it is just more chipping away at those rights. Everyone they can eliminate from the pool of legal gun owners gets them closer to their goal of NO gun owners. Then we shall see what they REALLY want from us US.....