Bootleggers and Baptists

"Baptists and Stoners" Unite


The Harlan Institute's Josh Blackman highlights a Los Angeles Times story on Oakland's new ordinance allowing for the industrial production of marijuana. As Blackman notes, certain local businesses aren't so thrilled:

In a classic case of Baptists and Bootleggers, or perhaps Baptists and Stoners in Oakland's case, existing growers of marijuana are displeased, and oppose the opening of these factories.

Read the rest here. And check out's great interview with economist Bruce Yandle, who originally developed the concept of "bootleggers and Baptists" to make sense of the strange coalitions that form around government regulations:

NEXT: Where Do Libertarians Belong Politically?

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  1. ...except Dukes of Hazzard wouldn't have worked if it was about pot dealers.

    1. Didn't Willie Nelson play Uncle Jesse in the movie version of that?

      1. Shit. I forgot that.

        1. I don't think Uncle Jesse was a pot dealer. Might have been implied, but not in the script.

          1. I thought he was a slaver. No?

          2. Yeah, but Willie OTOH... (Which was FoE's point, AIUI.)

            1. My point now is that Jeff P is better off forgetting that whole movie ever existed.

          3. No but at the end he made a bong out of an apple.

  2. From a resident up there, I hear that Humboldt County is very worried about their economic base if Prop 19 passes.

    1. What criminal empire isn't when the prohibition rug is about to pulled from underneath them?

    2. Did you ever figure out why stack CO2 ppm is several orders of magnitude higher than air?

  3. There's nothing strange about a coalition of two kinds of statist assholes.

    1. Because opposing a government takeover of an industry is statist!

      1. "legalizing something currently illegal" =/= "statist" or "a government takeover"

  4. I liked this gem from the SF Chron:

    "But they concede that the expense of qualifying for a city permit might be prohibitive for most smaller operators.

    Small growers, said Ada Chan, an aide to Kaplan, 'would not be able to compete well."

    Its always fun to watch economic realities slap progressives in the face.

    1. Of course the permits will be expensive. It's all about the money CA can make anyway. It's not about freedom to grow a plant and smoke it.

      1. This is one of the reasons I'm not thrilled with 'legalization'; it'll become another revenue stream and any additional revenue stream leads to further (and greater) 'spending streams', ending up with more gov't debt.
        What's more is a personal resentment that growing and smoking anything is some sort of a "right" to be "granted" by the gov't. It's not; the gov't has no right to have made it illegal.

        1. I'm with you on this. The whole push for legalization has bothered me for a long time; it seems to me that decriminalization is the only legitimately libertarian course of action. The problem is that politicians are by and large uninterested in drug law reform of any kind and suspicious of anyone advocating liberty as a social good or an end in itself. So the pro-pot lobbyists have latched onto "legalize and tax" and "regulate like alcohol" as the pragmatic approach, in the process showing themselves to be less than faithful friends of freedom. Me, I'm as outraged now as I was 30 years ago that such a simple pleasure can be such a huge issue.

  5. Nice, now thats what I am talking about! WOw.


  6. I had zero sympathy for the current growers until the article said that Oakland was going to license legal growers and charge them over $210K/year for permits. I thought this was going to be bootleggers bitching about legalization, which would at least be a fun departure, but instead it's the same old same old of deliberately pricing out smaller competitors.

    1. over $210K/year for permits

      That could make a grower prowl a schoolyard.

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  8. This s a great prelude to Prop 19 in November. The public needs to see that if MJ were legalized, it would be in a highly regulated way. I'm not sure that would be the actual case in practice, but it might convince enough people that are on the fence that it could be worth it. There was a huge popular backlash to the situation here in LA because there were dispensaries everywhere. Much like liqour stores. People still have a problem if there are too many liqour stores in a neighborhood (desiring to regulate their placement even more). The same will hold true for MJ but to a greater extent b/c of popular prejudices. Being able to convince people that production will be more like Coors than a mexican drug cartel or a bunch of hippies in the hills would be a big plus in November. Which would ultimately lead to a lessening of restrictions as was the case with alcohol (although there are still problems i.e. state run liqour stores etc). After a little of this I seriously doubt they will bust homegrowers and then the drumbeat for artisanal MJ will start up. I mean it's CA, c'mon.

  9. Everything I have to say about drugs and their legalization is summed up in this video:

  10. I think we should consider banishing the word "unite" from all language. It's a concept that causes nothing but trouble.

  11. Politicians don't give a shit about small businesses, but they always seem to talk about how they want to "help" them. If I had a nickel for every time a politician said he was going to help small businesses, and actually followed through on it, my business wouldn't be a "small" business.

    Personally, I don't see how anyone would want to put up a large capital investment when there's a federal law hanging over their heads. It doesn't matter how many laws Cali. passes, the DEA can still close it down at any time. Doesn't sound like a good investment to me.

    1. Yo, fuck jobs. This is murrica, we don't need em anyway. We can make money out of unicorn farts.

      Let's just ban small businesses already. And jobs, gonna have to ban those too.

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