Diskussionen om hur man bäst hanterar droger har pågått länge, och det har alltid funnits liberala ekonomer som menat att den rådande regimen är ineffektiv. Istället har de förespråkat legalisering och beskattning. Colorado har nu blivit den första staten som legaliserar marijuana. Economist förklarar hur det fungerar:
ON JANUARY 1st, 420 days after the citizens of Colorado voted to legalise marijuana, around 37 pot shops across the state opened their doors to all-comers. Stoners in Denver and other cities braved freezing temperatures and two-hour queues to be part of this historic moment, for Colorado has become the first jurisdiction anywhere in the world to oversee a legal, regulated market for recreational marijuana (20 states plus Washington, DC, allow patients with doctors' recommendations to buy the stuff). Some customers were turned away, some shops have been forced temporarily to close while they replenish stocks, but "Green Wednesday", as it was inevitably dubbed, was generally considered a big success. How exactly does Colorado's marijuana market function?
Intressant nog tycks staten stöta på ungefär samma problem om Sverige när det kommer till att beskatta cigaretter:
One challenge is to set prices at what Mark Kleiman, an analyst, calls the "Goldilocks point": too low and you encourage excessive consumption and out-of-state exports; too high and you leave room for illicit dealers. The market has not settled in yet, but prices for recreational marijuana, currently around $250-$300 for an ounce of good weed, will be significantly higher than the medical stuff, thanks to hefty taxes: a 15% excise tax levied on "average market rate" and a special 10% sales tax (the state's general 2.9% sales tax will also apply).
Oavsett hur man ser på mariujana kommer det bli väldigt intressant att följa utvecklingen.