The Caribbean is different: regional theatre of the absurd (January 6-7, 2014)–The cannabis raison d’être

Some countries–not Jamaica–are legalizing the use of cannabis/marijuana for recreational purposes. Put another way, you can now let your life go to pot using pot, and the government says “Have at it!” Colorado became the first state in the USA to allow this.marijuana colorado

Most countries–including Jamaica–make the growing, possession, distribution of marijuana a crime, punishable in many different ways.

Not surprising, the recent liberalisation of something that was illegal has led to a rapid rise in its demand: former users continue, new users can join free from penal sanction. People like to experiment. Supply, in the short-term, unless stockpiles had been set aside (and that would have been costly, even foolhardy, because liberalisation was no certainty). Prices for this scarcer commodity will tend to rise, which should draw in more supply and curb demand and allow balance to be reestablished in the market place.

What should happen, according to standard economic theory, is that those who have surpluses should seek to send them to areas where there are shortages, in response to the quantity shortage and the increase in prices.

One country with the surplus–Jamaica–is instead finding all the production it can of this ‘scarce’ good, and destroying it…because, it’s illegal to grow, etc.

I wont try to do the arithmetic of how much potential foreign exchange is being lost by Jamaica. DrugFindC20130130RB

I wont go into the moral dilemma that some lawmakers in Jamaica may be facing about the approach to the growing, etc. of marijuana.

I wont suggest that someone come up with a change of law that would allow the growing for export ONLY to areas where the growing, use, possession, etc. of marijauana is legal.

Those who have profited from the growing, etc. when illegality was the norm everywhere always found ways to bypass the laws. Now that the world is bifurcating, I imagine those same people are looking at ways to be involved in the legal market, too. After all, sales are sales, and money is money. Better to get the money in what appears to be cleaner ways than those that are dirty.

It’s an odd situation for any country to find itself facing. Jamaica is ‘working on’ changing its ganja laws. But, will it be too slow and miss another boat to get it to float away from the Debt Sea? We can watch our economic future going up in smoke, while others reap financial benefits while people light up and smoke.

I’m not laughing and I’m not crying, but I suspect a lot of Jamaican farmers or people who have access to land cry more than a little eye water–as they say in Jamaica–every time they get a whiff of stories like those coming out of Colorado, whose capital, Denver, is known as the ‘Mile high city’, because of its elevation, but could soon be called the ‘Smile, I’m high, city”.