Chart of the Day: Marijuana Prices Have Plummeted in Washington State

Via Keith Humphreys, here’s the result of Washington State’s legalization of marijuana in July 2014:

Humphreys adds this comment:

Prohibition imposes huge costs on drug producing industries that are passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices. These higher prices are one of the principal reasons (the others being stigma and fear of punishment) that illegal drugs are used so much less frequently than legal drugs such as alcohol and tobacco. Marijuana is a rare example where we can see the impact of legalizing a drug in real time, which shows that were the production and sale of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine also legalized, those drugs would also become dramatically cheaper to consume.

This is a two-sided coin, of course. Advocates for legalization of hard drugs like cocaine and heroin will hail it: if we stop the drug war, prices will fall and drug users will be less likely to resort to crime to raise money for their next hit. Conversely, drug warriors will point out that this shows just how effective drug prohibition is: it keeps prices high and therefore reduces overall consumption.

So which do you want? Higher consumption but (maybe) lower crime? Or lower consumption with (maybe) higher crime? Marijuana doesn’t cause much crime or much societal damage in the first place, so it’s a relatively easy case. But how about meth? Or opioids? That’s a little harder.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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