Open Thread: Effects Of Marijuana Legalization On Illicit Drug Industry?
Just a little musing I had…
From the little I know about the workings of the illicit drug market, marijuana is one of the main crops. Pretty much everybody — at least everyone in my generation — knows at least one pot-smoker in their lives. Far fewer know people who use (or admit to the use) of hard drugs. But drug dealers are a lot more likely to be one-stop shops than explicitly limiting themselves to a specific drug. So the illicit drug industry — for those who are looking to use hard drugs — is served by a relatively innocuous drug like marijuana being illegal. It ensures that the drug dealers have a much wider prospective net of potential customers. To put it simply, by knowing a few marijuana users, an individual is only a few phone calls away from access to pretty much any illicit substance they want.
So the simple question is:
What would happen to the illicit drug industry if pot — and only pot — were legalized?
There’s a chance that it would sever a link between most people and most dealers. How much illicit drug use would go away simply by legalizing the one drug that connects a large group of drug users to their black market connections?