First and foremost is the fact that the government is responsible for setting the conditions for all of the people in the CNMI to prosper or benefit from the government’s efforts. It would be irresponsible of the government to hand over an entirely new industry to the private sector that is not supported by banks and financial institutions and is also against federal law. The governments of America also spent billions fighting marijuana and it is only right and even compensational in nature that the government becomes the primary benefactor of the financial revenues from legalization. There is also the fact that giving control of the marijuana industry to the private sector will only serve to continue to make the rich richer and the poor poorer but a government operation in partnership with the private sector will have better controls, it will benefit all the people and make it more possible for the average person to become a self-made millionaire. Only investors and/or the rich looking for personal gain to cash in on this new industry would complain about the government controlling the marijuana industry to help all the people.
The government will not be running the lives of people by maintaining control over the marijuana industry because the people will be free to grow their own! Businesses and individuals just won’t be able to exploit a government system because it is the business of marijuana that the government will control, especially when marijuana is still a Schedule 1 drug and illegal under federal law. If Colorado and Washington have taught us anything it is the fact that these governments could not fully control individuals and businesses who sought to circumvent and violate Colorado’s law by selling without a license and dispensaries purchasing their supply from unlicensed growers (Mexican cartels). A government operation will eliminate all of these types of crimes and have a lot more money than Colorado to help the people!
The person who complained about a government system need to learn a little bit more about America and our founders who had no idea that things like the Internet, the criminal and legalization of marijuana in conflict with federal law and other issues would evolve and need to be addressed, which is why they gave us a living and ever changing Constitution and laws so we could adapt. The states that chose to give the marijuana industry to the private sector weren’t thinking and actually stuck in traditional free enterprise concepts when it is now clear and obvious they should have been thinking outside the box on this unique issue and circumstances of conflict with federal laws. FYI, there are certain states and places in America where the state or county still has control of all liquor sales, which is sold at state stores, not private businesses, so please get more educated about America before you start complaining about how the CNMI should be.
Why should the government continue creating control problems for itself by letting individuals get a license to sell and the government will still have to watch their every move to make sure they don’t sell to our youth? Only the businesses will get rich and the government continues catching hell by enforcing the law and trying to collect all the taxes. It is simpler, easier, and more financially beneficial to all the people for the government to monitor and control itself as the only one selling to protect our youth. Once marijuana is fully decriminalized by the federal government, then it can be considered to turn the entire marijuana industry over to the private sector. But until that time, the CNMI should heed the lessons taught by Colorado and Washington as the best methodology for legalization is a government-controlled partnership with the private sector. Legalization is not about opening doors for investors to get richer but helping the CNMI government and all the local people to have a better quality of life, with opportunities for some to become rich.
Ambrose M. Bennett