Amendment 64

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by Mike D, Oct 26, 2012.

?

Amendment 64: The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act of 2012

  1. Yes

  2. No

Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. Myfuture_yourdebt

    Myfuture_yourdebt Banned

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    The traditional black market of marijuana cannot compete with the legit market on quality, period! Unless the cartel and illegitimate growers start pumping out medical grade buds (they won't, too much overhead and risk), no one's going to want to buy from them. Sure we don't know the exact taxes/fees yet but chances are they aren't going to be any worse than a high sales tax which many of us already get screwed with. So instead of $40 for the best 8th in the USA, it'll be $45. Whoop-dee-doo. For that same price, you could buy maybe as much as 4 times the amount of true black market bud if it's even available, but chances are it's not going to even come close to 1/4th the quality. So what's the point?

    A way around the fees that will undoubtedly be pursued by many will be to purchase buds from commercial and/or medical suppliers "under the table", which will be especially easy if you can get to the actual grower. That sort of thing will essentially be tax evasion which I personally have absolutely no problem with. Regardless, this sort of "problem" or black market, if you want to call it that, is much more preferable over any sort of organized crime marijuana source and the legitimate problems associated with that where tax evasion is the least of the problems. As I've said in more than post before this, who gives a damn if this sort of black market exists? The state and local governments will but only because they are "losing money", what a tragedy.

    But the idea that the black market that existed before MMJ and before A64 will continue to reap profits as it has before is just nonsense. Here's an economic law: in a free (legal) market, the greatest value wins. For the last few years MMJ has been bringing huge value to the table (low cost, insane quality) and the traditional black market has suffered because it can't compete with that. It can't get that quality period and if it could it would cost more than MMJ, probably a lot more. No one wants black market buds, not even high school kids and definitely not any experienced toker. It has no attraction, period. So when commercial growers start selling for prices similar to MMJ, even if the prices overall in the legit market (commercial and MMJ) increase a decent amount, black market bud still looks like a waste of time.
  2. UncleDirt

    UncleDirt Uncivil to idiots.

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    Wait.


    What?
  3. MountainsandRivers

    MountainsandRivers loves dirty things!

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    Who was arguing Hash? That's just marijuana's version of really strong alcohol right? I promise to not keep more than an ounce of it, although i would probably become very lazy and gladly pay the taxes on it...mmmm hash....:lol3
  4. selaznog

    selaznog Avoiding pavement

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    Lotta periods in there. I don't claim to know the quality of CO MMJ vs. CO black market MJ, but I've got to believe a cartel with years of experience and billions of dollars on the line will make a product superior to that of a green (pun intended) newcomer. I do agree that the vast majority of sales will come from taxed, legal sales, because the quality is empirically proven to be satisfactory to the market, which, coupled with the convenience factor and the now absent risk of participating in an illegal transaction, will trump other market forces.

    But that doesn't mean there won't be a black market. More people will grow their own simply because they can, and many will have a surplus beyond their needs. Many of them will sell it outside the legal market because they don't have enough to bother going into the legit MJ business with its regulations and hoops to jump through. They will have to sell it below the legal market price, because, for the reasons mentioned above, black market prices are lower. This phenomenon will occur regardless of the new law's effect on the market price. The downside is not the emergence of organized crime, but rather the fact that it makes criminals out of otherwise law-abiding citizens who would be selling a legal product.

    Now, the new law will likely bring down the cost of production. This is true because the current cost of production includes a premium for the risk of getting caught (in the form of higher fees/profits for middlemen, the cost of detection avoidance, increased cost of manufacture associated with remote areas, over-utilization of electricity for light). Unless the fees and taxes are so great as to cover the gap between the new cost of production and the market price in neighboring states, the lower cost would encourage a black market, not in CO, but in other states whose citizens would see CO as a source of supply. Actually, I think you can expect the fees and taxes to be greater than the gap, because the taxing authorities know that the CO market will not switch to black market MJ until the price differential is so great that the black market product becomes preferable despite the risks and loss of convenience.

    It's going to be fun to watch.
  5. HellSickle

    HellSickle Scone Rider

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    Our local Sheriff needs to resolve his rectal-cranial inversion.

    The current fine is $100 for less than 2 ounces, there is an imminent repeal of the law (passed by a 10% margin), and he still is filing new charges.

    His personal opinion:

    “A lot of people will find out sooner than they realize that (Amendment 64) was written very deceptively,” Smith said.

    “We have a constitution that’s become a joke in this state, that has day-to-day things put into it, making the constitution irrelevant as a guiding document,” he said.

    Wonder when he comes up for reelection?
  6. rob feature

    rob feature Domain Ranger

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    The terms cartel and black market should not be used interchangeably. Yeah, the cartels are a part of the black market, but they're far from equals in terms of just about everything. Black market would include local grows which are simply underground and pertain only to pot. Cartels, while black markets, are well-organized criminals who will peddle anything profitable.

    The quality of cartel weed is, well, about as bad as it gets. Maybe worse. Black market weed (which most of it is) can vary wildly from FIRE to ditch weed. That said, you have to try pretty damn hard to find something on the black market close to the quality of good MMJ. If you get that lucky, you'll pay a premium for it...most people will anyway. Some get lucky and just know 'that guy'. But even then, you don't get to march in anytime during business hours and shop amongst 50 different strains and a dizzying array of edibles, drinks, tinctures, etc. And if you choose your shop wisely, you even get lab-tested grass. You won't even find that level of scrutiny at the health food store.
  7. selaznog

    selaznog Avoiding pavement

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    Fair enough about cartels. But remember, the same folks who make Knob Creek make some pretty shitty booze, too. The euphoria business is well diversified. I imagine that many international and multistate producers will skip the CO market so as not to reveal themselves in a market that is likely to see a lot of new suppliers.

    I guess one of the things I was trying to say is that producers of the very best of a given commodity are unlikely to be relative newbies in a single jurisdiction that only recently allowed a quasi-legal market. There are some very sophisticated growers out there in the world, and they make money on the high end even in places that have a quasi-legal market. In CA, they can reap millions from a single acre of production, and I'm talking about the public land kind of farm whose product does not make it into the legitimate side of the business. On the low volume side, farmers markets are interesting in the way that they often have food growers who offer high quality goods in an unregulated environment, and the costs vary widely. At the end of the day, the legal market price will be determinative of the extent of the black market's market share, and how it is manifested. With the changes in the law, the dynamic in CO will surely be different from that in CA.
  8. Myfuture_yourdebt

    Myfuture_yourdebt Banned

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    MMJ growers have had no problem competing with the black market, and those same people will be helping out commercial growers and making the crossover themselves. I've never been able to say that x bud is from the cartel, but it's well known that any buds from Mexico are going to be "brick weed"/"ditch weed" (horrible quality). Same with tourist buds in bought in Mexico, the best there is CO's bottom dollar. I have no reason to suspect the cartel is now going to spend millions of dollars trying to compete with legitimate businesses.

    As I've spoken to before, the black market will always be around in one form or another. What I've more so spoken to in my previous posts is about the fall of the traditional black market, the black market that will still exist for all other narcotics for example. The cartel, "drug dealers", organized crime will still all be there, just not in the CO and WA pot scene. Of course there will be all sorts of victim-less "new black market" crimes going on, but as you mentioned, who cares? The government will, but eventually that might get changed as well given the evolving sentiment of the people that is caring less and less about victim-less crimes.

    Either way, will this "new black market" of marijuana actual compete on any significant scale with the legitimate marijuana market? I doubt it. All the people with "surplus" will be peons who know they won't get busted for having an extra ounce in their apartment. Their bud quality will be generally be inferior and even if there's millions of these people, their buds will not compete directly with legit buds of supior quality. Most people won't want to deal with the illegal black market when they have legal alternatives. Most legitimate businesses with superior buds aren't going to risk their livelihood on selling their surplus under-the-table. I believe this to already have been demonstrated by MMJ dispensaries...I've not heard of one case of their surplus making it to the black market (I'd be all over that if it was cheaper bulk, and I have friends who work at dispenaries). Has it happened? I'm sure, but it's probably not a significant market force, i.e. not competing with legitimate sales. What would their customers think if they found out their dispensary was selling the same stuff for cheaper out of the back door? That'd be real bad for business. These legitimate businesses are on the books, easily investigated by law enforcement unlike the black market operations. All of that would apply to new commercial growers.

    The same set of circumstances applies to local black market growers who are not part of some larger organized crime ring...people with grow ops in their barns who've been peddling weed to friend dealers who distribute for them, etc. These are the people who have been supplying CO's black market before MMJ hit the scene since no one wants cartel ditch weed even if it does make it here. These local growers' buds are generally inferior to MMJ (MMJ being where the new commercial businesses will get their quality from) but their prices have not reflected that until MMJ hit the scene. Even now, their bud's value is crap and their prices still don't reflect the value (i.e. half the price of MMJ but only 1/4 of the quality...obviously MMJ is a better value). This won't change under A64. These people will still be running illegal operations growing inferior buds that even if priced according to their actual value (dirt cheap) won't compete with legal buds.

    Just like MMJ has basically run the traditional black market out of town with MMJ's own legitimate and black markets, legalization will put the last nail in the coffin for most local traditional black market sources of cannabis. It will do so by and large with the new legal commercial market with the "new black market" picking up the slack. One thing I can imagine happening is with the small-time local illegal growers that I spoke to above...some might try to sell their products outside of CO because that's the only place it'll sell. But it'll be on a small scale given the immense risk and unless it's quality is better than the local market supply it won't compete well there either. What we'll see a lot more of is Joe Schmoe taking his homegrown surplus and/or MMJ buds to WY and NE and selling them for top dollar. Both those situations may produce significant market forces outside the state but won't effect things much in state.

    P.S. I think I said "period" once, maybe twice in my last post...maybe you're talking about my punctuation? My posts are long but it keeps the idiots and intelligent but ignorant people from reading it.
  9. MeterPig

    MeterPig Meh

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    Sounds like a city police department with too much time on their hands and needing a big budget cut.
  10. singletrackslayer

    singletrackslayer Legalize singletrack

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    I thought i had too much time on my hands. ^^^ :lol3
  11. Myfuture_yourdebt

    Myfuture_yourdebt Banned

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    I travel for work...lots of time sitting in airports.

    Don't read it. I'd love that. Your smiley response is...priceless.
  12. HellSickle

    HellSickle Scone Rider

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    Voters did not approve a continuation of the jail sales tax. He is in the business of running jails. 63 will decrease his clientel.
  13. MeterPig

    MeterPig Meh

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    He sees the real writing on the wall.
  14. norton(kel)

    norton(kel) vintage

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    The laws the law here in Larimer County you commie/pinko/trouble making/rabble rousing/biker types.:deal
  15. FatChance

    FatChance Road Captain

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    Marijuana tourism in Stoner? (HERE).

    STONER - Frank McDonald was resting in a hospital in Missouri, a day after a surgeon removed part of his cancer-ridden kidney. A friend called.
    This mural, a likeness of “King Frank” McDonald, decorates the floor of his restaurant-to-be in Stoner. It was created by Frank and his brother Shane.

    Stoner, 14 miles from Dolores on Colorado Highway 145, lies at 7,479 feet, according to the U.S. Geographical Survey map. But in the spirit of Amendment 64, call it 7,420 feet.

    “Frankie, how would you like to own your own town?”

    The friend's parents live along the West Fork of the Dolores River, just a couple miles from Stoner.

    “I said, 'My own town?'” McDonald recalled.

    “Check this out: Stoner, Colorado. It's a town, it's for sale. Just move out here, and let's grow some weed. Let's have some fun.”

    With the passage of Amendment 64, the stage is set for new businesses to bud. McDonald, who credits medical marijuana for his comeback from kidney cancer, is poised to capitalize.

    And dig this: He's naming the venue Mary Jane's at Stoner, in honor of Mary Jane, a real person who lives in a nearby shack. It's not hard to envision the Mary Jane's at Stoner marketing possibilities: T-shirts, coffee mugs, pipes, a brand of pot.

    So sight unseen, in April 2011, four weeks after his partial nephrectomy, McDonald took the leap. His first visit to Stoner, to inspect his purchase, was a bit of a downer.

    “It was bad. All the buildings were full of junk,” he said during a recent interview at the historic spot about 14 miles northeast of Dolores along Colorado Highway 145.

    McDonald was only temporarily fazed by the state of the dilapidated buildings, which include a former restaurant/bar and general store not used since about the 1990s – other than by kids who come to hang out and drink and trash things. He created a vision for the 7-acre former townsite at the spectacular canyon mouth:

    He sees a music venue that will attract nationally known acts and thousands of spectators on summer evenings. He pictures a community-oriented place where a variety of businesses may thrive, with an emphasis on philanthropy. And, in the spirit of the recently passed Amendment 64, he envisions a place where marijuana users gather and smoke and philosophize and eat munchies and enjoy the wilderness setting.

    Barring a federal crackdown, Colorado's Amendment 64 will make it legal to possess, grow and sell “limited” amounts of marijuana in 2013.

    McDonald sees Mary Jane's at Stoner as a family-friendly, cannibis-friendly, environment-friendly model for the new era.

    “It's an opportunity to do it right and show the rest of the country why they should be doing the same thing,” says McDonald, who categorizes his values as sometimes conservative, sometimes libertarian. “I get to build my own town, under a new law, that says we have a right to choose whether or not we want to smoke marijuana.”

    It's a bold vision, and time will tell if it works or even gets off the ground. There will certainly be doubters, but the 40-year-old comes from a hardscrabble background where people have doubted him all his life.

    He was a foster child, on his own since age 13, he says. He dropped out of college, but later did well financially. With his father-in-law as partner, he became a business marketing consultant in Liberty, Mo., a Kansas City suburb.

    The last couple years have set him back: He battled cancer, he's going through a divorce, and a year ago he rolled his truck 11 times to avoid a head-on collision on icy U.S. Highway 160 west of Durango. A sliding sedan with child seats was heading toward him, and he veered. He's still recovering from three “crunched” vertebrae and assorted injuries. (As it turned out there were no children in the oncoming car.)

    The cancer claimed part of his kidney, then returned with three more lumps. He medicated with a marijuana product and the tumors vanished.

    “I'm a living example of how it works,” he says.

    With hired help, McDonald is fixing things up, but the work is expensive and slow. He says he was nearly ready to open last spring, but 100-mph winds in June blew down signs and tore off some of the roof. He's seeking a business partner, preferably someone who's an expert in construction or eateries.

    In his vision, McDonald has laid out room for three stages, two cut into the hillsides. The main stage will have a food-serving area underneath. There will be free camping for concert-goers.

    His vision is as grand as the scenery surrounding Stoner, apparently named after the adjacent Stoner Creek, which got its name in 1888, according to the book Colorado Place Names. Stoner Ski Area operated across the Dolores River valley from 1951 to 1985. (Look at the map: Rand McNally is well-aware of Stoner.)

    And how cool is this: If you fudge the elevation just a tad, it's 7,420 feet. (If you don't get the 4-20 or Mary Jane references, look them up.)

    It's a spectacular place, even if a bit off the beaten path. People connected to Stoner over the years have fond memories, passers-by tell McDonald.

    “What I hear most, the one word that describes the place in their memory, is 'magical,'” he says.

    So that's what eventually will be on the sign, the one that blew down and is now propped on the side of the restaurant:

    “Welcome to Stoner. Share the magic.”

    And please, you can hear future visitors say, share that other choice stuff you've got.

    johnp@durangoherald.com. John Peel writes a weekly human-interest column.
  16. norton(kel)

    norton(kel) vintage

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    Interesting Thanks FatChance.
  17. MountainsandRivers

    MountainsandRivers loves dirty things!

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    Plus, in the spring, "the Stoner Stampede" section on the Dolores, just upstream has many good surfable waves. I'm glad the old ski area was mentioned. If you know to look for it, you can see the runs..
  18. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

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    Any of you guys ever have a chance to ski there? Says it was open until '85.
  19. MountainsandRivers

    MountainsandRivers loves dirty things!

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    No, but I have some friends here in town who did, same with Ski Dallas over toward Ridgway. I love the history of old ski areas..
  20. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

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    Ski Dallas. I had a fun experience surveying there a few years ago. Rudy scared the begeesus outa me.
    Dale-you ever ski either Stoner or Dallas?