The Union: The Business Behind Getting High – Assignment Example

The Union: The Business Behind Getting High The purpose of this paper is to provide answers to seven questions relating to economic principles foundin the film “The Union: The Business Behind Getting High.”
It is the case that the film identified that a pound of Marijuana was worth more than a pound of gold. The reasoning behind this that there is relatively little competition in the production of this product and it is the case that all production must be completed in secrecy. Moreover there are high costs associated with smuggling the product a cross borders. In essence this creates as the film identifies “An artificially inflated value of the drug.”
The reasoning why marijuana prohibitions is considered a “Gift of revenue to organized crime” is because given the high rate of return on the substance and the fact that there is no legal alternative for the product it is the case that marijuana provides a substantial income for organized crime and lead them to pursue policies that would by extension be illegal to protect their business interests.
A government organization that would benefit from the war on drugs would be the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in the United States. In this circumstance the organization gets large federal subsidies from taxpayer dollars. However at the micro scale two organizations that might benefit from the war on drugs would be banks that receive deposits from illicit drug sales, moreover real estate brokers that deal in properties that are sold for the purpose of growing drugs.
In terms of the demand curve for legalized marijuana, legalization eliminates the risk of penalties which should make the full price of the product fall and ultimately cause a downward movement along the demand curve. Theoretically this would bring with it a decrease in price and an increase in demand (Assuming externalities such as taxes are not imposed) which would shift the whole demand curve to the right and ultimately would present an slope that is at an equilibrium that is lower on the y [price] axis and more to the right on the x [quantity demanded] axis which theoretically would have a slope that is flatter than what is compared to illegal marijuana.
Theoretically, major opportunity costs associated with government enforcing laws against marijuana growth, consumption and trade would be the allocation of public funds to anything more beneficial to society. Three such examples would be healthcare, pubic infrastructure and even national defense.
If I had 10,000,000 to invest in order to get the highest legal return would be the building of a private prison. The United States has one of the highest rates of incarceration in the world at 726 people per 100,000 people which means large subsidies for minor offences.
Overall I quite enjoyed the movie. The film effectively emphasizes a number of important dichotomies such as the fact that hemp was one of the most important crops in American history and how its growth had been banned. Moreover it has become abundantly clear that marijuana is not nearly as detrimental to one’s health as alcohol or tobacco yet these are perfectly legal substances. I do think that there were some elements missing from this film. At its very worst the film highlights a loose association with habitual use of marijuana and schizophrenia, however the film stated that no deaths can be conclusively linked to marijuana use, yet it failed to take into consideration accident rates such as when people use marijuana and then get into a vehicle accident. Other than that I felt that I learned a lot.