Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Supply, meet Demand.

Ventura County authorities recently "eradicated the largest plantation of marijuana in the history of the county, pulling up more than 68,000 plants in Los Padres National Forest, north of the city of Ojai," according to an LA Times report. This is being touted as a major victory in the War on Drugs.

Conor Friedsodorf seems to understand supply and demand basics, where our the California law enforcement does not.
But let's imagine that it has the intended effect: that after this raid, it is harder to grow marijuana in the United States, that the overall supply of domestically grown pot is smaller, and that the price of the drug is higher.

If that is the best case scenario, is it really a victory?
Theoretically, if we raided every single marijuana plant, there would be no supply left to sell. But raiding every single plant strikes me as an unlikely proposition, as it would require near constant surveillance of every private backyard, closet and windowsill. Now the adjective can get particularly hyperbolic, but such a monitoring program strikes me as textbook Orwellian.

So, as long as there is a demand for marijuana, there's going to be a supply. That's how the free market works. This is something War on Drugs advocates either don't seem to understand, or simply choose to ignore.

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