Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

High Times
0

Culture

Radical Rant: Let’s Retire “Black Market” From Our Vocabulary

Photo by Dan Skye

I was in a Facebook discussion with my fishing buddy, Mike Boutin, where he had posed many thoughtful observations about the current state of marijuana legalization. You may remember Mike from the Discovery TV reality show Weed Country; his perspective as a lifelong cannabis farmer led to some deep thoughts:

Not really sure how we all survived 40 years of no testing labs.

Not really sure how strains became strands.

Not really sure how there became a false dichotomy whereby some users think they are morally superior to other users of the same substance because of the reason they use.

It’s a good, short read. I always enjoy the way Mike looks at things. Though testing labs might have been nice in the Paraquat days. I do laugh when someone says “strands”—that one and “cannaboids.” “All Use Is Nunya” has been my mantra for years now—patients, potheads and the pious are all equals to me.

But it was the final observation from Mike that really got me thinking:

Not really sure why people use the term “Black Market” in a haughty and derogatory way when it is these very non conformists who kept alive the flame they now use to scald [sic] people whose shoes they couldn’t tie in what is more properly and respectfully called the “Free Market.”

The first thought I had was about the Stoners Against Legalization who, over the years, have told me that I shouldn’t support Initiative X because “it’ll never eliminate the black market!” Wait, you’re telling me the shitty legalization you hate will let me legally carry an ounce and it won’t stop me from buying an untaxed bag from my grower friend I’ve been supporting for years? And you mean that as a reason not to vote for legalization?

The second thought I had was, what is this “black market,” anyway? I’m a student of the neurolinguistics idea of framing—that the way we perceive the world is influenced by sets of inter-related concepts activated by language. In a sense, it means that words mean more than the words themselves. Like “elephant”—that’s not just a large pachyderm, the literal meaning of “elephant,” but also “memory,” “Republican,” “circus,” “Africa” and other concepts activated by the word “elephant.”

So, “black market,” what else does that framing activate in your mind? I picture dark alleys with a pack of wise guys, items “falling off a truck,” sketchy clandestine warehouses, armed thugs meeting in the desert and every organized crime flick from The Godfather to The Sopranos with a few terrorist arms dealer stereotypes to boot. Plus, in the context of marijuana, the violence ranging from street gangs on up to Mexican cartels.

What I don’t think of as “black market” is the guy who used to be my weed hookup back in Idaho. He was just a dude I knew as a sound engineer back when I was playing bass professionally. He was a great guy who lived just down the hill from me so I could walk to his place for a bag. He wasn’t connected to any greater crime than growing a few plants in his basement, selling just enough at “friend prices” to some of the local musicians so he could smoke his own weed for free.

“Black market” only serves to further the framing that our opponents want the public to see when it comes to marijuana commerce. This isn’t to deny the violence inherent in prohibited markets, but rather to hamstring our opponents’ attempts to tie the worst elements of prohibition to the emerging legal cannabis marketplace.

Let’s retire “black market” from our vocabulary. “Unregulated market” or “unlicensed sales” will work as replacements. They activate framing that implies a problem needing to be solved by legalization. “Un-regulated”—we’re lacking regulations! “Un-licensed”—we’re losing out on licensing fees!

“Black market,” on the other hand, is an enemy that our opponents pin on us as something we’re trying to defeat with legalization. Since no legal market exists without a co-existing illegal market, we’re then saddled with the appearance of over-promising on legalization to the public.

As for the gangs and the cartels, let’s just call them what they are: “organized crime.” That’s a frame with some similarity to “black market,” but it takes the focus away from the commerce and onto the criminality. It also helps us activate the prohibition frame and separate the idea of a small-time pot grower from the Al Capones of marijuana trafficking.

Last week’s Radical Rant: Marijuana Is Safer Doesn’t Mean Other Drugs Are Dangerous

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Belick

    September 16, 2016 at 7:26 am

    -/-*
    We got some GOOD MEDICAL marijuana/weeds,cannais oil,wax,hash and MDMA (Ecstasy or Molly),pain relief,anxiety medication,Weight loss pills. oxy ,roxy ,xanax
    text me at : +1850-466-8516
    -*-*/*

  2. Avatar

    Glenn Festog

    September 16, 2016 at 10:08 am

    “As for the gangs and the cartels, let’s just call them what they are: ‘organized crime.’ ”

    The “police” stole more money last year than “gangs and cartels”; add them, the DEA and the FDA to the ranks of “organized crime”.

  3. Avatar

    Wollman Charles

    September 16, 2016 at 10:40 am

    Medical Cannabis/Marijuana Strains and Oil Available . Cure Cancer, back
    pain, sleeping, stress , appetite etc Top strains available. For sell .
    INDICA and SATIVA . all strains are available
    For more information about us and our strains, please contact us via our email or number as below:

    Email salesman7197@ gmail DOT com
    Text Or Call 720 X 443 X 1158

  4. Avatar

    Wollman Charles

    September 16, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Medical Cannabis/Marijuana Strains and Oil Available . Cure Cancer,
    back pain, sleeping, stress , appetite etc Top strains available. For
    sell . INDICA and SATIVA . all strains are available For more
    information about us and our strains, please contact us via our email
    or number as below:

    Email salesman7197@ gmail DOT com
    Text Or Call 720 X 443 X 1158

    • Avatar

      Wollman Charles

      September 16, 2016 at 10:43 am

      AVAILABLE

  5. Avatar

    MrAlfredLee

    September 16, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    Top medical marijuana weed for sale now in stock,for more info’s contact us via …Call or Text us : +1 (323)538-3715

    Email us via:healthmedicationalstore11(@)gmail.com

  6. Avatar

    Dean Becker

    September 16, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    What we have on the Texas border is unregulated, unlicensed AND a black market.

  7. Avatar

    Kahuna Kine

    September 17, 2016 at 2:48 am

    “Grandfathers of Industry” is more appropriate. If it wasn’t for us and the risks we took; you would not have the life saving medicine and knowledge you have today. You’re Welcome.

    • Avatar

      jontomas

      September 17, 2016 at 3:52 am

      Thanks for all you do if you have a good heart. If so, please get united with your peers and tell the Greedy Sellers Against Legalization to stop fighting against the legalization initiatives, especially California’s Prop 64. — They are giving you folks a bad name.

  8. Avatar

    Philip Daniels

    September 17, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Have ever had the opportunity to interview Boston George? …

  9. Avatar

    b4integrity

    September 17, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    “Let’s retire “black market” from our vocabulary. “Unregulated market” or “unlicensed sales” will work as replacements. They activate framing that implies a problem needing to be solved by legalization.”

    Great idea! Also:

    Let’s retire “legalization” from our vocabulary. Cannabis was legal in the USA until 1937. Always talk, speak, and write about “re-legalization”.

    Let’s retire the M-word “marijuana” from our vocabulary. Cannabis is the original, true, correct, and proper botanical name of the medicinal herb. Always talk, speak, and write about “cannabis” and “cannabis hemp”.

    Let’s retire the W-word “weed” from our vocabulary. Cannabis is a wanted medicinal herb, not an unwanted despised weed to be eradicated. Always talk, speak, and write about “herb”. Free the Herb!

  10. Avatar

    Tim Johnson

    September 19, 2016 at 11:05 am

    I provided that synopsis in the Ohio HB523 hearings to those who sat with deaf ears before me , the legislators…

  11. Avatar

    PAOLAELAD

    September 19, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    for sale marijuana/,cannabis oil,/wax,/hash (Ecstasy/ Molly) oxy /,roxy/ true life
    website: http://marijuanaweedsforsale.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement

HT Newsletter

Subscribe for exclusive access to deals, free giveaways and more!

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Advertisement

You May Also Like

Culture

You forfeit these as soon as you light up that legal doobie.

Culture

Why are Washington and Oregon making marijuana growing limits so confusing?

Activism

Honolulu cops are actively taking away medical marijuana patients' gun rights, which begs the questions: Where is the NRA?

Culture

Where does one sign up to become a research subject?

Business

When systems intended to track cannabis down to the gram fail to track 110 pounds of cannabis, it is clear that "seed-to-sale" tracking is...

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!