|By Euan Wilson | Excerpted from the July 2009 Socionomist
Originally published under the title, “The Coming Collapse of a Modern Prohibition”
Many observers today view the legalization movement in America as inexorable. But only a few short years ago, few saw it as predictable.
In this remarkable July 2009 article, socionomist Euan Wilson made the case that a positively-trending social mood—indicated by a rising stock market—is what produces prohibition of recreational substances such as alcohol and marijuana, whereas a negatively-trending social mood—indicated by a falling stock market—produces relaxed regulation.
Using the prohibition of alcohol as a parallel, Wilson predicted that the Drug War will become more violent and eventually collapse as social mood sours.
Here is an excerpt of what has become one of the Socionomic Institute’s more prescient articles.
THE CASE OF MARIJUANA
Over the past 100 years, governmental activities have manifested changing attitudes. During periods of rising mood, policymakers stepped up regulation of cannabis. During periods of falling mood, they eased those same stances.
Each legislative attempt to restrict marijuana came during or at the peak of a bull market. In 1937, Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act. The law banned casual consumption of the drug and limited its use to specific medical and industrial purposes. Franklin Roosevelt signed the law at the top of a roaring bull market, the Dow Jones Industrial Average having quintupled from its 1932 low.
The real crackdown, however, came over a decade later during the massive wave III bull move. The Boggs Act, which increased drug use penalties fourfold, and the Narcotics Control Act, which increased penalties another eightfold, both came during the most powerful portion of wave 3 of III of the bull market. …
NEGATIVE SOCIAL MOOD FOSTERS TOLERANCE FOR MARIJUANA USE
During bear markets, pot users have enjoyed liberal social tolerance. Figure 1 illustrates that the government tends to allow—and in some cases encourage—the growing of marijuana during bear markets. In 1942, the year Cycle wave II bottomed, Congress launched its “Hemp for Victory” campaign to encourage farmers to grow the crop for industrial purposes related to the war effort. According to the Wall Street Journal, farmers planted over 50,000 acres of hemp in 1942 and 240,000 acres in 1943. In 1977, a bear market year, President Carter recommended that Congress legalize possession of small quantities of marijuana. …
In the remainder of this six-page article, see how author Euan Wilson meticulously compares the alcohol prohibition of the 1920s to the marijuana prohibition of the late great bull market. Learn what Wilson says will be the major battlegrounds of the increasingly bloody battle, and discover why Wilson claims the drug will eventually be decriminalized in America.
This article offers as a roadmap of the current legalization battle.
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the opposite: that social mood regulates the character of social events. The
events of history—such as investment booms and busts, political events,
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meter of a society’s aggregate mood, that news is irrelevant to social
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