Category Archives: Finance

On The Money; The Method To My Madness pt 1

On The Money;

Economics for the 99%

The Method to My Madness pt 1

method to my madness

The Black Hole Swallowing The Earth


Every year economists write more fat impenetrable books, and every year their theories get further and further from reality. Money itself has become completely unhinged from the real world, as increasingly abstract mathematical concepts get transformed into incomprehensible financial instruments. Derivatives, credit default swaps, collateralized debt obligations, high-frequency trading algorithms, etc have so little to do with real economics that I won’t even dignify them with discussion, except to say that they have become a huge part of the financial services sector of the economy, and financial services have become a huge part of total global economic activity. Financial services, now account for about 1% of our national GDP, even though this gigantic industry makes nothing at all.

black hole money

The Financial Services Sector has become a black hole, from which nothing escapes, and into which everything is drawn and destroyed in the process. This black hole has become the central focus of the science of economics. In this rarefied world, money masturbates, knocks itself up, and multiplies without any contact with the real world at all. The more this happens, the more central the Financial Services Sector becomes to the global economy, and the less everything that really does happen in the real world matters to economists. The Financial Services Sector spawned the recent housing bubble, and economists all over the world praised its transcendent genius, even though any idiot, and I’m talking about myself here, could see that it would inevitably collapse.


Economists find all of this monetary masturbation incredibly fascinating. They find the process of making money out of nothing irresistible, and they seek ways to understand and perpetuate it, much the way theoretical physicists feel about their equally insane quest to discover the Higgs-Boson particle, the so-called “God Particle”.


No doubt you’ve heard of the recently built, 17mile wide, Large Hadron Super-Collider that straddles the border between France and Switzerland, designed largely to search for this astoundingly tiny particle. Perhaps you even heard the warnings of some physicists, that this enormous device just might, accidentally, produce a black hole, that might then proceed to swallow the entire Earth, destroying the planet and every living thing that inhabits it. On the other hand, there’s an equally small chance that we might learn something useful from the experiments at the large Hadron Super-Collider.


Similarly, economists concoct increasingly dangerous, and pointless ways to study the behavior of pure greed, in a vacuum at very near the speed of light. These experiments require enormous amounts of resources and energy. The Financial Services Sector sucks these resources and energy from the real world, threatening whole stock exchanges, global markets and national currencies with instantaneous collapse.


Accelerating purified greed to near-light velocity within the vacuum of the Financial Services Sector generates enormous heat. This heat triggers expansion. As the Financial Services Sector expands, it draws the real world into the direct path of this superheated high-velocity greed, with which, it inevitably collides, as happened most recently in 2008.


In this collision, we saw greed shatter into its constituent components: dishonesty, fraud, violence, error and theft, which we can then trace by examining the damage they inflict on community, culture, and environment. However, as the Financial Services Sector becomes more central to the economy, economists study these high-velocity, purified greed experiments with little regard for their effects on the real world, our lives or the environment. They simply seek to understand how a system based on unbridled greed, functions at its highest level. That’s their job. That’s what they get paid to do.


Like the unbelievably expensive and inordinately risky experiments at the Large Hadron Super-Collider, designed to answer misdirected questions about the imperceptibly tiny, economic experiments involving purified high-speed greed do nothing to make the world a better place, or help us make sense of our lives. Instead, these experiments simply seek to expand the emptiness of finance, until it swallows the real world whole. These experiments exemplify our cultural insanity.

accepted insanity

They have not solved humanity’s problems. They have only created more of them. They have not unraveled the mysteries of the universe. They have driven themselves insane, and taken a lot of us with them. They do not bring us closer to understanding the mind of God. They have created hell on Earth, while they try to tell us how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

how many angels

Economists, like those nuclear physicists at the Large Hadron Super-Collider, have lost their minds. They’ve lost their grip on reality as they reach further and further into nothingness. They have reached the limits of objective science, and economists have seen the end of capitalism, but they refuse to admit to themselves that it is over.

They have failed. Their endeavors were doomed from the start, and now, they have proven it. They failed because of flawed assumptions, which date back 500 years to “The Enlightenment”. These flawed assumptions led them to adopt a flawed methodology.. We call that flawed methodology, “objective science”. Mark it well. While objective science produced great leaps forward in the science of physics, it never did much for the science of economics, and it never delivered on its original promise to unlock the mysteries of the universe. The time has come to face the real limitations of objective science.


Next week, part two

On The Money; What is Money, and Where Did It Come From?


On The Money;

Economics for the 99%

What is Money, and Where Did It Come From?

where and what is money

Money is a pretty weird thing if you think about it. Money can level forests and move mountains. Money can drill for oil on the bottom of the ocean, land a nuclear powered car on Mars or hunt people down and kill them with remote controlled aircraft. Money can turn your life upside down, make your tap-water catch fire and drive you out of your home. When people talk about their problems, money, or lack thereof, is usually at the top of the list. So, what is money, and where did it come from?

what smart people do with money

For most of human history, people had no money. People still had to work to get the things they needed, but the work was much more direct. If you wanted meat, you had to hunt and kill an animal. If you wanted a home, you had to build it from whatever you could find around you. All of this stuff was just hard enough to do that you wouldn’t want to do any more of it than you needed to, but easy enough that most of us could accomplish what we needed to do to survive.


Before money, trade was a much smaller part of people’s lives. If you wanted to trade, you had to find someone who had what you wanted, and you had to have something that they wanted. This might happen once or twice a year. The rest of the time, you made do with what you could find around you, all of which was free for the taking.

Indigenous People Amazon

Before money, nature was “the bank”. People made withdrawals, in the form of the plants and animals they ate and made their clothing from, the trees they made their homes from and the stones from which they crafted tools and weapons, and they made deposits in the form of shit, piss, food waste and eventually, their own bodies, which nature would rapidly recycle into more plants animals and minerals. The system was so well balanced that no one needed accountants, tax preparers or lawyers, and so stable that it lasted for hundreds of millions of years, including over a million years of human habitation, without outside intervention or regulation.

Portrait Of Hivshu RE Peary

If the natural system worked so well, why was money invented in the first place? The answer is beer. Sure, you can find plenty of food, water and stuff to build a house from in nature, but beer is pretty hard to come by. Occasionally, people could collect enough grass seeds, soak them in water for long enough to produce prehistoric beer, but not nearly often enough to satisfy the thirsts of the ancient Sumerians, who lived in the Middle-East, where it gets mighty hot in the summertime.

sumerian beer

The ancient Sumerians were the first people in the world to domesticate wild grasses, and begin farming. They burned huge tracts of forest land that had sustained them for eons, in order to grow wheat and barley. This took an enormous amount of work, and led to major headaches, like plagues of frogs, locusts, and flies, as well as turning a lot of habitable forest land into barren desert, but it did give them beer, and beer was very precious to them. It must have been, or why else would they have worked so hard and sacrificed so much in order to make it?

babylonian beer

So it should not surprise you that the first unit of money was the price of a beer, the Shekel. A shekel is equal to 180 grains of barley, roughly the amount needed to produce one beer. While everything else in the natural world was free, beer was expensive. So people counted their shekels, traded shekels and bought things with shekels of barley. Making shekels was no fun at all, but everyone liked beer, so shekels became the currency of the Sumerians, and that is how money was born.

1 shekel sumer

In economics classes they will tell you that money is a medium of exchange that facilitates trade. They’ll tell you that money is a technological advance that made trade more efficient, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, money was invented to facilitate alcoholism.


Many people, economists especially, overlook the central role of alcoholism in civilization. Archeologists have discovered ancient Mesopotamian recipes for beer, and friezes depicting beer drinking on Egyptian pyramids. It was only after beer-making had evolved to a high art, that people began eating the yeast-risen loaves of grain, what we now call “bread”, that were originally used to make to make individual batches of beer.


People eat cereal grains, sure, but compared to a fat steak from a wild antelope, a bowl of cream of wheat is nothing to get excited about. On the other hand, you can’t make beer out of a deer. The psychoactive effects of alcohol, no doubt, made cereal grains especially prized, and as people became habituated to alcohol intoxication, their craving for it grew.


As is the case with alcoholism, the more you drink, the less you care about anything else, until the quest for alcohol becomes the central focus of the alcoholic’s life. The more focused you become on alcohol, the more the rest of your life tends to fall apart. In order to feed their craving for alcohol, people worked long hours to cultivate grains. As grain farming expanded, farmed fields replaced natural habitat, and wild game became more scarce. With less wild game available, grain farmers increasingly traded with traditional hunter-gatherers, who themselves fell under the spell of alcoholism, making them dependent on the grain farmers for their beer. Thus, grain became a precious commodity. People who had a lot of grain, grew more powerful, and those with the most shekels, ruled.

ancient mesopotamian plow

So we see that money is, quite literally, a drug, and addiction to it has shaped, and continues to shape, the course of civilization. money is a drug

Take Your Kids to the Beach

Take Your Kids to the Beach

kids to beach

In recent weeks, beach-goers from Santa Barbara to San Diego have discovered over 1,000 dead and dying sea lion pups on the beach. Apparently undernourished from birth, these pups did not put on enough blubber from mother’s milk, and once weaned, failed to find enough to eat on their own.

California sea lion

Without an adequate layer of blubber, sea lions cannot maintain the body temperature that a warm blooded mammal needs to survive in the cold water, so they come up on the beach to sun themselves, and warm up. Unfortunately they don’t find anything to eat on the beach either, and eventually they expire from starvation.

sea lion strandings-2817.jpg.0x545_q100_crop-scale

Wildlife rescuers in Southern CA have been overwhelmed with calls about these poor pups, but there’s little they can do. No one has the facilities to care for hundreds of starving sea lion pups. Everyone equipped to handle sea lions, has their hands full right now. Sometimes they relocate the pups to more secluded beaches, in hopes that they will find more food. Sometimes they euthanize the animals.

sea lion pups

Last year, persistent readers will recall, I wrote about starving pelicans here on the Northern CA coast. Pelicans and sea lions both eat fish, or at least they would, if they could find them. These deaths are not the result of some exotic new disease spreading through the ecosystem. These deaths indicate a precipitous drop in the ocean’s fecundity. It’s a very bad sign. I don’t want to call it a “wake-up call”, because so many so called “wake-up calls” have gone unheeded, so I’ll simply call it another ghastly, heartbreaking consequence of deliberate human indifference to the natural world.

stranding rate

At least people see them. People should have to see this kind of thing. Take your kids to the beach. Show them a dying sea lion pup, starving to death on the sand. Explain to them that because we’ve replaced most of the phytoplankton in the ocean with pulverized plastic from soda bottles, shrink wrap, plastic bags, toys, medical equipment, electronic gadgets, car parts etc etc, the ocean can’t provide enough oxygen or food to support as much life as it did fifty years ago, or even ten years ago.

Rescued Sea Lion Pups At Sea World San Diego

Remember that famous scene in The Graduate, where the older businessman whispers to Dustin Hoffman one word of advice for his future? “Plastics”, he says. Around the same time Andy Warhol predicted “The Exploding Plastic Inevitable”. With the ubiquity of plastic today, it’s hard to remember a time when soda came in returnable, not recyclable, glass bottles, when they made car bumpers out of chrome plated steel instead of easily shattered plastic, and when electronic devices had metal or wood cabinets, and lasted for decades.


Fifty years later, an island the size of Texas, newly recognized by the United Nations as “Garbage Island”, composed almost entirely of plastic, has formed in the Pacific Ocean. Today, plastic has its own homeland, and it grows every day. Every day, tons of plastic debris finds its way into the Pacific Ocean to make the pilgrimage to Garbage Island. Over the course of decades, endless churning, salt water and sunlight slowly pulverize it into microscopic bits.


These microscopic bits of inorganic, non-biodegradable plastic absorb sunlight, preventing it from penetrating the ocean’s depths and choke off phytoplankton, the foundation of the ocean food chain, and the source of most of the world’s atmospheric oxygen. In less than half a century, about half of all the phytoplankton in the Pacific Ocean has been replaced by these microscopic bits of plastic.

floating plastic garbage

Oddly, considering how long plastic lasts, plastic has become the foundation of our disposable economy. Almost nothing lasts longer than plastic, and almost nothing can digest it. Yet, we produce billions of one-time-use products from it, every year. When burned, plastic produces deadly bio-accumulative carcinogenic poison, in landfills it lasts almost forever, and in the ocean, it gets ground into fine floating particles that choke out life.


No, it’s not a wake-up call. It’s too late for that. Go to the beach. Look those pups in the eye as they die of starvation, and explain to your children what has happened in your lifetime. Tell your kids that fifty years ago, they would have seen thousands of healthy sea lions, as well as seals and otters, and that there was plenty of fish for all of them to eat. Tell them that for every bird they see, there were once twenty or forty, but that they all died so that you could live a high-consumption, middle-class fantasy, and now, even that fantasy is dying.


An Open Letter to Humboldt County 2nd District Supervisor, Estelle Fennel

I sent the following letter to my County Supervisor Estelle Fennel after hearing her make some disparaging remarks about some of her constituents.  I also submitted it to both of our local newspapers.  The Independent ran the letter, while The Redwood Times refused to print it on the grounds that they don’t print third party letters.

third party letters

The real issue is that the business owners downtown, especially the real estate agents, don’t want their customers to see poor people hanging around town.  Of course, they don’t want to admit that the real problem is declining wages and rising housing prices.  Instead, they want to blame the victims, and use taxpayer resources to drive poor people out of town, even though they constantly complain about paying too much in taxes.

pays lowest taxes

Dear Supervisor Fennel,

estelle-f quote zombie poster

As the county considers what to do with the area formerly known as “The Jim Demulling Memorial Grove”, I urge you to consider a few facts about Southern Humboldt that you seem to have forgotten:

forgotten foot

  1. Everyone in Southern Humboldt, without exception, urinates and defecates. Many, if not most of them, do it in a fashion that does not comply with county codes. As the former executive director of Hum-CPR, you actively lobbied to protect the rights of land-owners who choose to use non-standard and unapproved sanitation.outhouse-

  2. Most of Southern Humboldt’s adult population consumes alcohol on a regular, if not daily basis, and at least half-a-dozen business establishments sell alcoholic beverages in Garberville alone, to accommodate Southern Humboldt’s alcohol consumers.women-drinking

  3. Illegal drug use is not only tolerated in Southern Humboldt, it is celebrated as a proud and cherished tradition, and it has become the main driver of our local economy.humboldt weed

  4. Willits Towing and Recovery recently removed hundreds of thousands of pounds of of junk cars and other scrap metal from rural parcels in Southern Humboldt, cheerfully, and at no cost to rural land-owners, a quantity that dwarfs the amount of garbage begrudgingly, and disparagingly removed by Eel River Cleanup. As I recall, you yourself took advantage of a subsidized program to eliminate unsightly and hazardous waste from our rural environment, by bringing in over 100 discarded tires. Clearly this community tolerates people who do not take responsibility for their garbage.junk car

Were Federal, State and County laws strictly enforced, especially on the rural properties in Southern Humboldt, law enforcement would find flagrant violations of the law on nearly every parcel. While most of Southern Humboldt is poorly suited to agriculture, it is remarkably well suited to concealing ugly and illegal activity, a fact that has contributed greatly to its economic vitality.

unpermitted grow

As a public servant who represents a lot of ethically-challenged, full-time criminals, talk of “intolerable behavior” rings especially hollow. We tolerate a lot of ugly behavior here in Southern Humboldt, and a lot of people around here have grown obscenely rich as a result of it. That’s what makes this community special. I don’t think it fair to condemn the same behavior, only for those who endure poverty and have no place to go.

miss manners

If you have managed to find a way to speak respectfully with and about the rest of your constituents, you should be able to speak respectfully about the members of this community who lack the resources to secure for themselves, the privacy of a home in which to engage in the same kinds of activities as the rest of your constituents.


If you want the poor and the young to have any respect for county government, you must first demonstrate that the county has respect for them, and their needs. As their representative, I urge you to refrain from using terms like “vagrants” to describe any of your constituents in the future. Instead, I hope you will work for a compassionate solution to the problem of greedy people, who lack compassion, intent on pressing their economic advantage against the poor and the young.


Sincerely, John Hardin

P.O. Box 2301, Redway, CA 95560

On the Money; Foie Gras


On The Money;

Economics For the 99%

Foie Gras



Despite their fat books, and complex economic models, economists fail to comprehend the nature of economic activity. They don’t realize that the economy is an organic part of a greater organism known as society, and an even greater organism known as the environment. In other words, the economy is not a thing in itself. Instead, it is a part of our lives, and our lives are part of life on Earth. Ideally, the economy should be a much smaller part of our lives, and much less of a burden to life on Earth.


economists do lunch


To illustrate this relationship, you could think of the economy as the liver of a goose. The liver of a healthy goose is about the size of a human thumb, and at that size it serves the goose very well. In a healthy goose, this small organ helps the goose digest and process all of the seeds, plant material, bugs and small fish that a healthy goose eats, and turns that food into strong goose muscles, shiny warm goose feathers, healthy goose eggs, and gives the goose all of the energy that it needs to fly thousands of miles each year as part of its annual migration. That’s what a goose’s liver is supposed to do.


healthy geese


However, some people who raise captive geese, don’t care about the health of their geese. They don’t want their geese to fly, or lay eggs, and they don’t care if the goose is strong or if it has shiny warm feathers. Instead, they want their geese to grow the biggest liver possible, in order that they might dine upon a French delicacy known as Foie Gras.


goose liver


They’ve learned that if they nail the goose’s feet to the floor, so that it can’t get any exercise, and they put a tube down the goose’s throat, so that they can force feed it huge quantities of leftover pasta, bacon grease, and lots of other fatty, high carbohydrate food, they can make the goose’s liver grow until it is larger than a human fist. So, this is what they do to their geese.


foie gras(2)


As you can imagine, this doesn’t make the goose very happy at all. The goose shows many signs of distress, but the people who raise geese this way, simply ignore those signs. The goose then becomes very ill, but the people who raise geese this way ignore that too. Instead of the liver serving the needs of a healthy goose, the people who raise geese for foie gras, sacrifice the goose in order to produce the largest liver possible.




Before long, the goose is near death, and the goose’s liver, by this time about eight times as large as a healthy liver, has become so distended and diseased that it barely functions at all. At this point, the people who raise geese for foie gras, kill the goose, and remove the huge diseased organ, for which they have sacrificed what was once a beautiful, healthy bird. This is the ugly truth behind that popular French delicacy.




Unfortunately, this is also the ugly truth behind economics. For far too long, a small number of people who enjoy “the finer things in life”, have eagerly sacrificed the health of society and the environment in order to force economic expansion. For them, the quality of our lives, our health, our strength, and our culture only exist to deliver to them, the largest possible economy, so that they might enjoy the largest quantity of the richest possible delicacy.


force feeding


Do not be fooled by fat books, sharp suits or white lab coats. Economists, businessmen and scientists generally do not have your best interest at heart. Instead, they seek to preserve, and improve their positions of authority and privilege, while they serve the interests of the 1%. Unless we overthrow the tyranny of objective science, escape the clutches of the 1%, and remember how to live our own lives, despite our fallibility, our goose is cooked. There’s an economic analogy that’s On The Money.


how much cruelty


How to Tell if This New Drug is Right for You

How to Tell if This New Drug is Right for You

pharma amazing

With the huge, and growing, variety of new drugs available today, you can’t possibly try them all. Information about drugs, always impenetrably technical, and mostly written in impossibly small type, dissuade most drug users from even trying to learn anything about the drugs they take, beyond the street name. So, how can you tell if a new drug is right for you?


Nearly everyone takes drugs of some kind, at least at times, and for many, drugs form a regular part of our daily routine. This is nothing new. You could argue, as I have in the past, that civilization itself, began as a dysfunctional adjustment to support an alcoholic lifestyle, that took hold some 10,000 years ago. Indigenous hunter/gatherer cultures have used hallucinogenic plants and other plant medicines ceremonially for hundreds of thousands, if not millions of years. Even animals, from songbirds to elephants imbibe from time to time, and some, like the koala, have cultivated their addictions for so long that evolution has shaped their bodies to accommodate their habits.

 stoned koala

Economically, in the US alone, the pharmaceutical drug industry accounts for trillions of dollars in business activity annually, and forms a large portion of US GDP. Despite generally terrific profit margins, the pharmaceutical industry enjoys huge government subsidies as well. Yet, despite downturns in the rest of the economy, and growing government debt, drug use, drug profits, and drug subsidies continue to grow at an alarming rate.

 drug money

Paradoxically, we, as people, continue to get sicker and poorer. We cannot lay this epidemic of disease completely at the feet of the pharmaceutical industry. Other factors, like an environment increasingly polluted with persistent toxins, poor diet, dangerous food additives, and long hours at stressful, yet sedentary, jobs all contribute to our general poor health. However, the drug industry itself contributes greatly to the proliferation of disease in our modern society.


A single drug can have many dangerous side effects, which often trigger new and serious health conditions. The explosion of new drugs has created an exponential growth in side effects, and with them a host of new conditions, which in turn, require more medication. Toxic pollution, generated in the production of drugs, cause disease in humans as well as in the animal kingdom. Disposal of drugs, usually in the urine of drug users, take their toll on human health and aquatic wildlife as they inevitably find their way into our nations waterways and water supplies. Addiction and overdose only add to legacy of disease that we can attribute to our remarkably vibrant Health-Care industrial complex.


No amount of spending, public or otherwise, no amount of new drugs, and no number of new doctors will solve this looming crisis. You might find this fact very depressing, and it might make you anxious about the future. If so, the drug industry has many drugs specifically formulated to treat those conditions. Still, how do you know if a new drug is right for you?

 don't feel myself

Here, I offer few general guidelines that I, a layperson, use to determine if a new drug is right for me:


  1. If I see a commercial on TV that includes the words, “Ask your Doctor if…is right for you.”, I assume that drug sucks. I assume that if a company has to advertize their drug on TV, it must be a waste of money, like everything else I see advertized on TV.

  2. On the other hand, if I read a headline like: “Nude Man Who Hijacked City Bus and Crashed Into Downtown Restaurant, Claims He Was Under the Influence of New Drug” I will probably try that drug.

  3. If I see the name of a drug on anything in a doctors office, like the pen he writes with, the pad of paper he writes on, the lanyard around his neck holding his ID, anatomical models, lamps, tissue boxes, drapes, posters, etc., I will definitely not ask for any of those drugs. If a doctor does recommend a drug, any drug, I always ask if he has any free samples on hand, and if he can recommend a generic alternative.

  4. But, if I see someone babbling incoherently, while writhing in a puddle of their own vomit, I will definitely ask around to find out what drug they took, and probably try some myself.

  5. Finally, if a beautiful young woman asks me if I have a particular drug, I will do everything I can to find that drug immediately.


Of course, these are only general guidelines that reflect my own personal predilections, but they are informed by this statistical fact: You are significantly more likely to die of an overdose from a prescription drug your doctor recommended, than you are from a recreational drug you bought from a street dealer.

Oxycontin Took My Life

On The Money; The Economics of Drug Prohibition

On The Money;

Economics for the 99%

The Economics of Drug Prohibition


I’m sure that it comes as no surprise to you that dealers of illegal drugs enjoy large profit margins on the drugs they sell. American taxpayers insure these large profit margins through a massive government subsidy known as “The War on Drugs” which costs tens of billions of tax dollars annually. Prohibition is the generic term for the policy of using laws, and law enforcement, to keep certain drugs out of the open legal market. Despite over 70 years of drug prohibition, use of illegal drugs remains resilient, and demand remains, no pun intended, high.


The lion’s share of this massive subsidy, gets spent in efforts aimed at the nation’s most popular illegal drug, marijuana, and the plant it comes from, Cannabis Sativa. Government expenditures for the prohibition of marijuana alone include the cost of arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating over one-million Americans every year, far more than the total number of people arrested for all other illegal drugs combined. It also includes eradication efforts aimed at killing cannabis plants wherever they grow, often with chemical herbicides. Economically, this huge outlay of taxpayer dollars functions to artificially inflate the price of marijuana, or cannabis, a hardy weed that would otherwise grow wild in every state in the union.

 cannabis plant

Because of prohibition, this prolific annual weed has become tremendously expensive for marijuana users and taxpayers, as well as hugely profitable for black-market dealers. Despite the high prices and risk of arrest, an estimated 10-20% of all Americans use marijuana regularly, creating a tremendous demand for it. This demand, in turn, fuels a multi-billion dollar black-market industry that operates in every state, county and locality in the US, insuring that every state, county and locality spends even more taxpayer money to battle this black-market activity.


Thanks to grassroots organizing by marijuana consumers and advocates, several states have passed laws legalizing the use and distribution of marijuana, mostly for medical use. As more states pass these laws, both the price of marijuana, and the subsidies, at least in the states that have passed these laws, decline as well. Since the passage of California’s landmark medical marijuana law in 1996, the first of these laws, the price of marijuana has declined by more than half, nationwide. As more states pass these anti-prohibition laws, we can expect the price of marijuana to drop still further.


As police make fewer marijuana arrests, courts try fewer marijuana cases, and prisons hold fewer marijuana prisoners, taxpayers pay less for marijuana subsidies. While the Federal government has not budged on marijuana prohibition, and still spends billions on cannabis prohibition annually, many cash strapped states, counties and localities, even those that have not passed legalization laws, have de-prioritized marijuana prohibition to save money.

 state marijuana laws

As these marijuana price-support subsidies decline, marijuana prices continue to slump. This comes as welcome relief to the millions of Americans who use marijuana regularly, and to taxpayers who have grown tired of subsidizing untaxed black-market profits. Still, thanks to vigorous Federal enforcement, and backlash from law enforcement, who stand to lose a tremendous amount of funding, marijuana prices, taxpayer subsidies and black-market profits remain high.

 drug slavery

Although those who argue for marijuana prohibition argue that marijuana is a dangerous drug that no one should ever touch, very little evidence supports these claims. On the contrary, tens of millions of Americans use marijuana regularly, and like it. Not one person, in the history of humanity, has suffered a fatal overdose of it, nor has much evidence been found that marijuana causes long term health problems. Marijuana does not produce physical addiction symptoms, unlike alcohol, nicotine, opiates, many prescription drugs or even caffeine which all produce strong physical addictions that can be very difficult to quit. Even long-term chronic marijuana users can kick the habit without much difficulty, if they genuinely want to. This, I tell you from personal experience.

 negative effects of marijuana

Clearly, the reasons for continuing marijuana prohibition are completely economic. Without the massive taxpayer subsidies involved in prohibition, the marijuana black-market would collapse, eliminating a multi-billion dollar industry. Governments would reallocate tax revenue away from law enforcement, and prisons, eliminating thousands of high-paying jobs in those fields. While, no one really likes black-market drug dealers or narco-cops, or would miss them if they learned to do something productive with their lives, they form a significant part of our national economy.


The pharmaceutical industry would soon feel the pinch as well. 100 years ago, half of all medicines sold in the US contained marijuana. Plenty of evidence shows that cannabis, or marijuana still works better than many prescription and over-the-counter medications for a host of conditions ranging from glaucoma and chronic pain, to epilepsy, asthma and nausea, especially nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy. Some estimate that legal cannabis, or marijuana, could immediately replace 20-40% of all prescription drugs, working as effectively, with fewer side-effects, than the drugs it would replace.


Since marijuana, or cannabis, is a natural plant, it cannot be patented. Because cannabis cannot be patented, patients who need it, would get it from farmers, not pharmaceutical companies. This would cut deeply into the profits of pharmaceutical companies, but drastically reduce health-care costs for patients. Farmers wouldn’t complain either.


Further, recent medical research suggests that humans have had a very long, and symbiotic relationship with the cannabis plant. The presence of “cannabinoid receptors” in the human nervous system seem to indicate that the cannabis plant played a role in human evolution, and that our ancestors have ingested cannabis for millions of years.


While it remains unclear exactly how these cannabinoid receptors contribute to human health, they clearly play an important role. Many, now common, ailments may stem from a lack of cannabis in our modern diet. Currently, doctors prescribe prescription drugs to treat these maladies, but the addition of a few green cannabis leaves into the diet, as other doctors recommend, might eliminate these diseases completely.


Beyond that, hemp, a high-fiber, non psychoactive, but also prohibited, species of cannabis, has a whole range of industrial uses from textiles and cordage to paper, plastics and building materials. Hemp, an agricultural commodity widely grown in the US before prohibition, could spawn a whole new hemp products industry. This new hemp industry might generate tens of thousands of new jobs in the long run.

 hemp for victory

New industrial hemp products would replace or reduce the need for synthetic fiber and forest products, thus eliminating the toxic pollution from manufacturing synthetics, and the habitat destruction that results from deforestation. While this potential new industry could create thousands of new jobs and spur growth in the economy, it also threatens the profits of some well established, and very influential corporations.

 cops banks dealers for prohibition

You can see that marijuana prohibition has much more to do with controlling “the economy”, than it does with dissuading people from smoking pot. If we could end marijuana prohibition today, black-market drug dealers, narco-cops, prison guards, pharmaceutical companies, chemical companies and forest products companies would all lose revenue. However, the rest of us would enjoy less expensive marijuana, better medicine, lower health-care costs, nicer clothes, cheaper paper and lower taxes, with less pollution or habitat loss. In other words, it would dramatically improve our quality of life. As Freewheelin’ Franklin of Gilbert Shelton’s Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers famously said, “Dope  will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no dope.”

freak bros


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