Alex Milan Tracy/Sipa USA/NewscomA guest commentary in The Oregonian today should concern marijuana growers in the Beaver State. A U.S. attorney is hinting he may unleash some sort of action against Oregon’s pot industry.
Billy J. Williams, the U.S. attorney for Oregon, is concerned about the amount of marijuana being shipped out of the state. Police have seized more than a ton of pot in outbound parcels for 2017 and more than $1 million in cash. Oregon, he concludes, has an “overproduction” problem.
He then claims that “overproduction creates a powerful profit incentive.” This gets the economics backwards: Producing too much of something drives its market value downward. What he means is that the excess production of marijuana is pushing producers to find someplace else to sell it, i.e., in states where recreational use is still illegal.
But that’s a demand problem, isn’t it? Williams complains about black and gray markets that are entirely a consequence of the government insisting on criminalizing a product that Americans want to buy and consume.
Williams also blames Congress for marijuana’s persistence as a