poteconomics takes off

Ground control to Jon Gettman and Lory Kohn: is the uber-sexy poteconomics field skyrocketing toward the outer stratospheres of stardom? Jon Gettman and Lory Kohn to ground control: affirmative.

One guy yakking about how how many cannajobs could be created, how much cannatax could be collected, and how much cannabiz could be conducted is a lone voice howling in the wilderness; when another wolf joins in, all of a sudden you’ve got yourselves a movement.

The two lone wolves who’ve howled the loudest, Jon Gettman and myself, got together last week in Alexandria, VA for the first ever poteconomics pow-wow. I was shocked and amazed that the notoriously camera-shy Virginian from Lovettsville was not only was amenable to pix and videos, but he even hammed it up for these tourist shots taken at the utterly awesome Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Annex. How often do you find yourself inside a building and marvel, “These are the best tax dollars I’ve ever seen spent!”

jon gettman and lory kohn in front of challengerGettman, Supreme Leader of NORML in the 80s, High Times columnist, and Criminal Justice professor at Shenandoah University practically invented the poteconomics field with his 2006 Crop Report and his 2007 Lost Taxes and Other Costs of Marijuana Laws. These works demonstrate that someone who holds a doctorate in Public Policy and Regional Economic Development, not Economics, was capable of out-calculating traditional economists. How did he pull that off? Simple: motivation, passion, and relentlessness go a long way toward producing believable ballpark figures.

Urged on by Cannabis Commerce and re-energized by the passage of quasi-legal provisions for medical and recreational marijuana in some twenty states, Gettman is back in the saddle again. His recent announcement that from this point on his online High Times column will be devoted exclusively to poteconomics is just what the doctor ordered to supercharge the nascent movement.

Similarities between Gettman and myself:

  • At our core, we’re both idealists.
  • Neither one of us has an economics degree.
  • We’ve both noticed that Economics PhDs are disinclined to write about the economics of pot because their training does not prepare them to analyze illicit substances.
  • We both search farther afield for credible sources of cannatax and cannajobs than conventional economists.
  • We both acknowledge the importance of government survey data but agree that those numbers aren’t the be-all and end-all to forecasting cannatax or cannajobs figures.
  • When discussing rationales for legalization, we agree that “the revenue issue” (generating money for citizens and governments via pot sales) is as important as personal freedom issues and medical issues.
  • We agree that cannatax forecasts by Dr. Jeffrey Miron and The RAND Corporation blindly accepted by and parroted by conventional media are limbo low.

Going boldly where no poteconomists have gone before, Jon Gettman and Lory Kohn have teamed up to calculate believable ballpark figures for the amount of cannajobs out there for the taking and the amount of cannatax that can be generated in a fully legal landscape. But why stop there? We’ll crunch numbers for a fully legal moonscape, too.

Why we’ve teamed up:

  • Two heads are better than one.
  • Two lone wolves howling together are the beginnings of a pack.
  • If I played it straight more often, my takes would be more palatable to academics; a little more showbiz wouldn’t hurt Gettman’s connection with Stoner Nation.
  • If I may offer a sports analogy, Poteconomist #1 [him] and Poteconomist #2 getting together is like LeBron James joining Dwayne Wade on the Miami Heat. Are we the poteconomics team to beat? Judge for yourselves after the release of Cannajobs 2013.

jon gettman and lory kohn floating in space

What we’re working on:

  • Coming up with believable ballpark number for the amount of “cannajobs” there could be in America if the federal government got out of the way or better yet actually encouraged sowing the marijuana field. The same data models can project believable figures for The Rest of the World, too.
  • Providing politicians and power brokers with the number of cannajobs out there for the taking, inspiring them to make legalization the backbone of their platforms.
  • Releasing believable cannatax numbers so that governments large and small can no longer deny the rejuvenating effects of cannabis commerce.
  • Producing persuasive figures which convince governments and corporations that it’s in their best interests to support cannabiz and release the choke hold on cannabis commerce.
  • Watching with glee as the cannajobs numbers we release help defeat prohibition … the unemployed and underemployed work at jobs they love … and governments stop crying poverty because cannatax generates the funds to maintain and expand infrastructure in the face of rising costs.

Like economists, poteconomists emerge from all walks of life. I’m sure some of you have been pondering cannajobs and cannatax figures, too. Feel free to join the howl-along!