The grand natural experiment in regulation of a new industry continues. Oregon, Alaska, and D.C. legalized recreational marijuana on Tuesday.
For concepts such as whether excessive regulation strangles business or not, it would be great to run a huge experiment: let one state our metro area run with heavy regs and another run with light regs; watch for a few years; measure results; then repeal both laws while you study the result.
Doing so would be terribly disruptive, likely illegal, and actually cruel to whichever group suffered poor results.
So what to do? Watch what happens in a locality, region, or state when a new policy is implemented.
That’s what we have in Washington, Colorado, and now Oregon and Alaska. There is a huge natural experiment to see what happens when heavy regulation is imposed on the newly legal industry of providing recreational marijuana.