July 21, 2010 11:48AM

Baptists and Pot‐​Growers

The L.A. Times reports that the city of Oakland has approved an ordinance paving the way for the industrial production of marijuana. There is more to this than simply a victory for liberty in the drug war. As the story describes and Josh Blackman analyzes, the episode demonstrates “Baptists and Bootleggers”-style public choice economics in action: existing small‐​time growers are displeased at the competition, barriers to entry are high, the approved pot factories engaged in serious rent‐​seeking, and the city profits from a new stream of tax revenue.


And so, as liberty expands, government reserves the power to decide who gets to benefit most — after taking a slice for itself off the top.