Probably everybody who is reading this blog has seen the Kony 2012 video that went viral, amassing 28 million hits in its first day. When we say “viral”, we think of something spreading instantaneously over a wide swath of demographics.
However, some things spread more like cancers. They don’t necessarily infect a large swath of people, but when they do, they have profound effects. It is especially important for our government to consider this when it tries to engineer social behavior. A good example is when the government started a program forcing welfare fathers to work, inadvertently promoting single parent families. See you babe! Government programs have unanticipated impacts all the time.
I have mentioned that when Dennis Peron’s dispensary – the first in the world – was shut down in San Francisco, more dispensaries exponentially metastasized in its place. So what is going to happen with Richard Lee’s dispensary now that it has been shut down (although Oaksterdam University has vowed to remain open)?
There are a few early indications. Oakland has approved operating permits for four new dispensaries and more underground Measure Z Clubs are operating all over the city. Now rather than a center hub it is more of an independent network system. You can close down one source or several sources, but they can’t close the network. It is too large. The risk is relatively low: With so many dispensaries, the chance of any single dispensary being harassed is lessened.
If I were writing a press release for the Cannabis Medical Dispensary Association (which cannot be reached because it does not exist) it would go something like this:
The unfair and unwarranted destruction of the Blue Sky Dispensary by the federal government was despicable; however, it remains ineffectual. Not one medical marijuana patient is without medicine because of this raid. The government faces a losing choice, whether or not it prosecutes Lee. By taking Lee out, the government created a big hole in the forest. It’s fertile soil, and it’s well seeded. So we would like to congratulate the Federal Government for helping our industry grow.
But, getting back to that metastasis, Lee has trained hundreds of people as employees or interns who will now be able to go out and use their entrepreneurial training to open up their own cannabusinesses.
So to all my readers, go forth and prosper. Happy 420!