Vin Maru is an editor for Invest In MJ, Tech Investor Report, Golden Fortunes and TDV Golden Trader.
The following blog was written by Jeff Berwick and originally post at : http://dollarvigilante.com/blog/2014/7/8/the-end-of-the-war-on-drugs.html
[Editor's Note: The following post is by TDV Editor-In-Chief, Jeff Berwick]
The War On Drugs is finally ending. It has been a heinous collectivist/statist invention. The world will be better off the more libertarian drug laws become (and eventually if there is no drug laws at all). Not only the US is moving towards more relaxed regulations of marijuana, but so are many countries. The War On Drugs has functioned as the leading vehicle of mass incarceration in the US. Billions are spent on the War and its produced the highest incarceration rate in the world with 2.2 million Americans in prison or jail. If Americans are ignorant that they are slaves, then The War On Drugs is the best argument thereagainst. People are beginning to realize this:
TIMES ARE CHANGING
Big things are happening in the marijuana industry.
At high noon on Tuesday Cannabis City will open its doors in Washington, becoming the first legal recreational weed retailer in Washington state's biggest city, Seattle. Last night 24 individuals received electronic missives from the Washington State Liquor Control Board beginning with the words: "Dear Licensee."
Colorado and Washington have had different stories on their journey to legal, recreational pot. In Colorado recreational pot has been sold since January 1 after the highly regulated medical marijuana system was broadened, enabling registered owners to sell recreational marijuana. Outsiders could not begin applying for licenses to enter into the business until last week.
Washington had no recreational marijuana legally available until today. Not all of Washington's stores will open Tuesday, leading many to anticipate a marijuana shortage at the stores as recently happened at LA County's first marijuana farmer's market. The farmer's market took place this past week with lines as long as an hour on Friday.
On the other side of the geographical continent known as the United States New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed on Monday a bill authorizing medical marijuana in New York. The program is expected to begin within 18 months.
Across the pond Germany is beginning to accept marijuana as a medicine and they will go through very much the same process as the US in the coming years further demonstrating the international scope of marijuana legalization.
We've covered how confusing laws on marijuana are and in particularly how hard it is for marijuana dispensaries to get bank accounts. Marijuana entrepreneurs are not rolling over and this is a great sign. One is even suing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), an admirable and brave act. Allgreens LLC, a Denver medical marijuana dispensary, is suing the IRS over a lien against Allgreens for the payment of $20,000 in penalties from 2013.
The IRS accepts payments for quarterly federal payroll taxes through an online service called the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). Those taxpayers who do not use the EFTPS are assessed a 10% penalty. Allgreens lost its bank account in 2012 as federal regulators began raising alarms about banks accepting marijuana business. Without an account Allgreens cannot use the EFTPS.
The IRS suggested three alternatives to Allgreens. The first two options have the dispensary transferring money to a third party that could then transfer the money to IRS through the EFTPS. “It’s the very definition of money laundering,” Gillette told The Denver Post. “It’s absurd. An alternative should not force a taxpayer to engage in a potentially unlawful activity under a federal statute.” The last alternative has Allgreens holding onto all the cash. It is obviously too dangerous for the pot shop to hold such large amounts of cash.
As you can tell legalized marijuana in the US has come so far it is grappling with the deep financial implications and will force the laws to change.
Tough regulations, financing troubles, meticulous inspectors, and tight land-use laws have slowed the development of the marijuana industry and they will continue to do this opening great opportunities not only in above-board marijuana endeavors but also in the gray economy or black economy.
For now an ounce is expected to sell for at least $400 within the legal industry in Washington. PriceOfWeed.com shows this is nearly twice as much as Washington's black market consumers pay. Time Magazine asks "Can legal marijuana compete on price with the black market?" Colorado provides a case-study. There prices at dispensaries started at high in cost. As more dispensaries opened up prices began to fall. The increasing number of dispensaries will serve to function as activists for marijuana in terms of government policy. If they're smart they will champion not the "control and taxation" of cannabis but the "freedom and liberty" of actors in the cannabis industry.
Things are evolving on the War on Drugs front. US society has internalized the truth that locking up millions of people for victimless crimes does more harm than good. In The Dollar Vigilante Blog, Newsletter & HomeGrown we have been talking about this and getting people into investments related to this massive paradigm shift. At TDV Golden Trader we are picking our favorite marijuana related pennystocks. The marijuana industry is at a turning point and with discussion regarding reschedulization heating up. I expect this sector to be many times bigger in one year than it is today. Opportunities will abound. I anticipate that in 5-10 years growing hemp will be widespread. After that is the case just look at the possibilities:
Nobel Prize winning economists are calling for an end to The War On Drugs. It is a great move for local economies and those local economies which legalize marijuana will see huge benefits in the coming years. Not only will they gain from weed tourism but people will relocate in order to take advantage of the boom. These incentives mean that, in virtually no time at all, we will be living in a much higher world. And what better time with stress in the US at record levels?
Anarcho-Capitalist. Libertarian. Freedom fighter against mankind’s two biggest enemies, the State and the Central Banks. Jeff Berwick is the founder of The Dollar Vigilante, CEO of TDV Media & Services and host of the popular video podcast, Anarchast. Jeff is a prominent speaker at many of the world’s freedom, investment and gold conferences as well as regularly in the media including CNBC, CNN and Fox Business.