Marijuana’s Baptists And Bootleggers

For marijuana, the Baptist is your regular prohibitionist.
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BY JOHN KNETEMANN

The Baptist and Bootleggers theory is an economic idea that two very different groups of people with two very different goals will both push for very similar regulations and laws. Baptists being used to be descriptive of people that push for regulation and laws for “pure and well intentioned” reasons. The main example of this is Baptists pushing for dry counties for the sake of people in their county staying sober. Bootleggers are descriptive of people that want regulation and laws for “selfish and sinful” reasons. The main example of this being bootleggers in dry counties being able to drive up prices of alcohol in a black market, thus making a larger profit.

Well, unsurprisingly, this applies to prohibition across the board, whether it is the prohibition of alcohol or marijuana (or guns or prostitution or any drug).

This is someone that wants marijuana to be illegal because they believe that marijuana is bad for an individual either because they believe that it makes them lazy, sexually promiscuous, violent, etc. These are certainly righteous reasons, regardless of them being bad logic and based in misinformation. In the eyes of the Baptist, marijuana only brings about the deprivation of society, so why should we allow people to use it medically or recreationally?

However, the Baptist (or the prohibitionist) generally is unaware of their unlikely ally, the Bootlegger. The Bootlegger, in terms of marijuana, is the drug cartel member, the drug dealer, or the gang member. The cartel member wishes to also keep marijuana illegal because if marijuana were legal it would dip into their profits, either because it would remove the demand for black market marijuana or because it would drive the prices to such low prices that it wouldn’t be worth it for them to partake in gang activity. So, without even knowing it, the prohibitionist or Baptist support the Bootlegger or gang member.

Does the Baptist wish to support the Bootlegger? Most likely not. Would the Baptist still support prohibition if they realized it supported the Bootlegger? Most likely not. This is something to keep in mind when you find yourself in a conversation with a prohibitionist.

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