Pence from Victim: New York’s About-Face on Marijuana

New York Governor Kathy Hochul recently announced the creation of a $ 200 million fund dedicated to investing in New York’s cannabis industry. The liberal explanation of events is a big heart of Governor Hochul, though his head is nowhere to be found. A bizarre explanation is that after decades of generating revenue and expanding the government’s power by waging a war against cannabis users, politicians have now found ways to generate revenue and expand the government’s power by correcting cannabis users.

Through the fund, it seeks to fund 150 marijuana dispensaries across the state of New York. Importantly, the fund will focus on dispensaries run by minorities who were illegal to marijuana under the New York Penal Code. Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado said, “It is our responsibility to create a socially responsible cannabis industry … that ensures jobs and opportunities for minorities who have long been victims of abuse (cannabis) …”

The feeling is admirable, but the effort is misleading. If the state aims to compensate those whose lives and families have been destroyed under former marijuana laws, why pay to run a cannabis dispensary? Only some of the victims of marijuana law are able to run a business, and only a few of them are available to run this particular business. A better solution would be to pay the victims of marijuana law for the time when New York detained them, and let everyone decide for themselves what to do with the money.

But this investment initiative is “creating employment,” the governor says. Creating jobs is easy. Creating jobs that cost more than they cost. And the latter is not something that the government excels at because the government is designed to accept what people have to do and what they want. In order to create jobs that are worth more than they cost, consumers need to be persuaded to voluntarily transfer their money by offering them something in return that they like better. To stop it, the government almost always has to keep it away from decision-makers, without binding it to licensing, oversight boards and political appointments.

It would be better to simply cut the check for those who were persecuted by the New York State. But it will not serve the interests of politicians and bureaucrats – and this effort is really so. Marijuana dispensaries will earn millions of dollars for the state for licensing fees and taxes. That money will inflate the budgets of bureaucrats and give them the benefit of handing over to politicians. Politicians and the constituencies of their choice are the big winners here.

But when it comes to compensating victims of the war on marijuana, something is better than nothing, isn’t it? Above all, the governor said the fund would “help create jobs and opportunities for those who have historically been disproportionately targeted for cannabis violations.”

Not so fast.

According to State Senator Liz Krueger, the investment fund and its overseer, the Cannabis Advisory Board, are critical of “creating a legal cannabis market at the core of social equity …” that even supporters cannot reach a common and logical agreement. A market that is rooted in something other than a consistent definition of “social equality”, profit and fair competition, will fail at best. Why? Because of the competitive market Is The roots of profit and competition will go to the cleaners.

Worst of all, in order to survive despite the inability to compete in a social equity-based market, it must be violated as a permanent ward of the state. Although they will never admit it publicly, that bad situation is exactly what politicians want. To make the cannabis industry a ward of the state, politicians will build their own gold mines. There will be funding for decades to be handed over to the players of choice. Supervision boards will be appointed to influence voters and give people who can contribute to the campaign.

Politicians want a loose high-profile industry that is the permanent ward of the state. And any goal other than self-sufficiency – how much better it is to create this kind of industry than to set any goal. Social equity is a particularly good competitor because it can mean a lot when it means nothing at the same time.

We should applaud New York State politicians for wanting to correct the billions of dollars they have spent trying to destroy the cannabis industry and the lives and families of those who worked on it for decades. But the sudden moral awakening of politicians will be much more credible if their efforts try to provide the maximum benefit to their victims, rather than giving the maximum benefit to the political class under the guise of helping their former victims.

Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis is a Milton Friedman Fellow of the Foundation for Economic Education and an Associate Professor of Economics at Ducson University.

He has written on the principles of microeconomics (Cognacla), Understanding Statistics (Cato Institute), and Collaboration and Coercion (ISI book). He has written hundreds of op-eds in the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, New York Post, Washington Post, New York Daily News, Newsday, US News and the Houston Chronicle.

She co-hosts the weekly podcast Words and Numbers. Davis was the chief financial officer of Parabon Computing and founded several technology companies.

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