California Dispensaries 100% Effective at ID
It seems like just yesterday that I reported on a very similar story to this one by Marijuana Moment "“California Marijuana Retailers ‘100 Percent’ Compliant In Checking IDs To Prevent Youth Access, Study Finds”, but I guess it’s been a year already… or two??? I dunno, COVID has warped my sense of time.
The coppers are testing whether the drawbridges of cannabis castles are functioning properly, and sending some underage-looking folks to try to get into dispensaries without showing ID. They’re trying to prove the Reefer Madness theory that if there’s a cannabis retail shop in town, “the kids are going to have access”.
If I recall correctly, California did very well at this in the earlier story, and Colorado and Washington were also nearly perfect. This year, as reported in this article by Kyle Jaeger, the coppers tried the same stunt in 50 random dispensaries across the entire state, and again, California was 100% effective at requiring ID and keeping underage people out. The study was published this month in the Journal of Safety Research.
And it makes sense, of course: when the market is legalized and regulated, and sales occur through licensed dispensaries, then you have a strong gatekeeper system that KEEPS underage kids from buying cannabis.
Dispensary owners stay righteous about IDS because first of all, CANNABIS VALUES ARE AMERICAN VALUES AND WE CARE ABOUT THE WELLNESS OF OUR KIDS. AND YOUR KIDS.
Additionally, their license already requires them to get vetted and fingerprinted by the FBI, so they’re not likely to mess around with such a sensitive issue; AND IF THEY DO THEY RISK their VERY LARGE investment that it took to get the shop up and running. And in case none of that is compelling enough, “In California, anyone who provides cannabis to someone underage faces up to six months in jail and a maximum $500 fine for a first offense.”
And the regulated market has been EFFECTIVE in keeping kids from getting cannabis underage. Study after study shows youth use is down where cannabis is legal and regulated. “One of the most recent federally funded surveys on the topic stressed that youth marijuana use “decreased significantly” in 2021, as did teen consumption of illicit substances overall."
Read this article and you’ll find 10-20 links to good studies on the subject.
BOTTOM LINE: The system works.
THE DEEPER DIVE
On the other hand, when the Reefer Mad, Prohibitionist crowd gets control, and no retail dispensaries are allowed “in order to protect the children”, OR BECAUSE THEY’VE OPTED-OUT IN ORDER "TO PROTECT LOCAL CONTROL” in places like Walnut Creek, California and others… well the very opposite happens. LOCAL CONTROL MEANS NO CONTROL because it’s also been shown that THE WAR ON DRUGS IS LOST, that law enforcement doesn’t do it as well as we do.
When there’s no legal retail then street dealers control the market and THEY DON’T CHECK ID. Kids are MORE LIKELY to get access to weed from the illicit market.
And it's not because law enforcement is inept, it's because the desire for cannabis is too strong and WHEN THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WANT SOMETHING, THEY GET IT. That's the reason the Prohibition of Alcohol failed, because the legal market pulled back, organized crime was more than happy to fill the void and provide, and Government finally realized that keeping alcohol off of American tables was not worth the amount of blood on the streets. Government relented, reorganized, and regulated the alcohol market and that's what needs to happen with cannabis.
The end result? The only legacy of Prohibition of Alcohol is the entrenchment of organized crime.
THE LOOP BACK
The main reason I like this story about licensed operators doing the right thing, and it’s not told enough, is because of the connivance of the Reefer Madness crowd that’s exemplified in California by THE LEAGUE OF CITIES, and similar groups in other states. “Opting out” is a hot topic in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and the Prohibitionists are rejoicing.
In my opinion, the League of Cities has a hidden anti-cannabis agenda, which they did not disclose when they pushed for the “Opt-Out” provision of California’s legalization code, Proposition 64. They said they were pushing for “local control” but what they really are, in my estimation, is simply anti-cannabis. And they won their first round – almost 60% of California municipalities opted out of allowing cannabis. So whoop dee doo for opting out, have some more pie.
BUT WHAT THEY REALLY ACCOMPLISHED is devastating for the California economy, robbing us of hundreds $Millions in tax revenue, and $Billions over time, they’ve been terrible for small farmers, terrible for patients, terrible for educating citizens, terrible at protecting our children ... BUT GREAT FOR THE ILLICIT MARKET.
image source: Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/security-logo-60504