Magazine April 2, 2018, Issue

Against a Weed Industry

Marijuana grow room, Denver, Colo. (Blaine Harrington III/Getty Images)
Legalization should be limited to nonprofit production

Free-market capitalism unleashes awesome forces. The quest for ever greater profits stimulates innovation in products and production processes, yielding a wider range of cheaper and more effective products in which consumers can indulge — and sometimes over-indulge. That is a blessing in the case of 99 percent of products, but not all of them. We do not allow corporations to sell human organs, sexual favors, or performance-enhancing steroids for non-medical use, and some harbor misgivings about for-profit prisons and universities.

With little consideration of alternatives, the country is deciding whether to create a for-profit industry for marijuana and other cannabis products.

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