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Open Thread

March 26, 2013
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bullet image Maia Szalavitz does a nice interview with Mark Kleiman about his role in Washington legalization. Pot is Legal in Washington: Q&A with the Man Who Is Making Weed Legit

It’s a revealing interview that helps give an idea of what Mark’s role will be, yet also gives some insight into some of this thinking.

I think Maia has a better notion of the elasticity of price on drug use than Mark, though. It’s more complicated than his overall determination that it’s elastic. I believe there’s a combination of elastic and inelastic behaviors that can be separated along the lines of use and abuse respectively. And in that instance, higher prices is the wrong policy decision to make for both populations.

I’d be interested to know more about what studies have been done on price elasticity and illicit drugs, and whether they accounted for substitution and the differences between use and abuse populations.

bullet image In case you missed it (I know it’s been discussed in comments): Eric E. Sterling: Shafer Commission Report on Marijuana and Drugs, Issued 40 Years Ago Today, Was Ahead of its Time

It’s kind of mind-blowing that it’s been 40 years. And Eric has really great personal perspective on it.

It really is an outstanding, must-read article, just to see how amazingly the Commission nailed it and predicted what we would see in the following 40 years, also identifying the interests that would end up protecting the war on drugs.

bullet image Headline of the day: Tea Partier Shows Up Obama on Drug Policy at The Root – an African-American perspective publication.

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Pete Guither is the editor of drugwarrant.com

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