One thing I’ve noticed about the many prominent opponents of marijuana legalization is they have no qualms about spinning any development as bad news, even if their newest spin completely contradicts their other statements. They seem to feel no need to maintain some logical consistency in their arguments.
My personal favorite is how many complain legal marijuana stores will result in a soaring increase in use but also complain marijuana tax revenues in Colorado are below projections. If the stores were actually causing a big increase in consumption the excise tax revenue generated would correspondingly be much larger.
John P. Walters and David W. Murray provide a good example of this disconnect in their Weekly Standard op-ed.
Advocates rushed right over these gaping holes in our knowledge. Profits beckoned, and surely tax revenue. Well, actually, tax revenues are well below those promised, but the profits—and the costs—are real.
What we saw in Colorado has the markings—the steeply rising curve—of a drug use epidemic. Epidemics subside, but after the outbreak, the populace often settles into a new normal, at higher levels of the disease. The damage is difficult to reverse, and of those caught in the outbreak, not all return. Are other states going to follow this leap?
So they are both upset because they claim legal marijuana stores are causing a steep rise in use and at the same time point out people don’t seem to be buying enough marijuana from these new stores.
Jon Walker is the author of After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy