Friday, January 29, 2010

An Economist Gets Stoned

Listen to a podcast of NPR's David Kestenbaum interviewing yours truly for Planet Money.  Here's the summary:

Fourteen states have adopted medical marijuana laws. We talk to Harvard economist, Jeffrey Miron, about what happens when drugs move from the black market to the open market. Do they get 100 times cheaper? Or instead, more expensive? Miron talks about the economics of prohibition, and reveals his drug of choice (which is legal) and one he would like to try (which is not).


brent said...

Hallo Professor. Thought I was alone in the world regarding my opinions on US foreign interference. Now I have a little more hope since reading your weightier similar beliefs.
Judging by your 'before-the-crack-of-dawn' comments, you need some of that stuff which is slowly becoming legalised to help you sleep.

Jess Austin said...

I've only skimmed the paper, but you linked to the podcast, so I respond to that. I wish they had just interviewed you directly, rather than layering over a two-part obnoxious giggly gloss. Perhaps regular Planet Money listeners have come to expect that.

It's very plausible that potential tax revenues have been overstated. The real savings will come when we can start firing cops and closing prisons. For political reasons, that will only happen in the direst of fiscal situations, and it can't be portrayed as a good thing, despite how manifestly that is the case. These cost savings weren't even mentioned in the podcast.

I think the chocolate bar analogy is a bit of a red herring. Marijuana requires very little post-harvest processing, and can be grown in most of the continental USA. The opium poppy and coca plant could be grown in parts of the USA, with just a bit of research. (This speaks to transportation costs; of course if other countries have advantages in cultivation we could just import.) I'd expect currently illicit drugs to require nowhere near the marketing that pharmaceuticals do. (In that illicit drugs actually have a noticeable effect.) In fact, any law legalizing these drugs would probably include severe restrictions on their marketing. Also, I think the comments on the podcast underestimate the disincentives to competition posed by violent criminal gangs.

stop pre ejaculation said...

Thanks a lot for this time sharing about AN ECONOMIST GETS STONED. This is really a nice reading to be sharing.

felicity said...

I look forward to another article. It would be nice to have, too.

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