Solve for the New York equilibrium

Black lawmakers and activists are blocking a push to legalize recreational marijuana in New York, warning that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s proposal could perpetuate the racial inequality that it purports to fight.

The lawmakers — including some of legalization’s most vocal supporters — say that unless people of color are guaranteed a share of the potentially $3 billion industry, in the form of job training, adult education and licenses in the industry itself, there may be no legalization this year.

That is from Vivian Wang and Jeffrey C. Mays in the NYT.

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How does the State of New York guarantee a share of the business? Medallions?

Give me free stuff because of racism or something. Write the laws to discriminate in my favor but don't you dare say that's because I'm not smart enough to survive in an equal system. We demand more free stuff.

Were your precious feelings hurt?

Hurr duur, durr hurr.

There are safe spaces for snowflakes like you.

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Should team up with David Brooks. Weed and reparations make a pretty fly combo.

Just give it 1 or 2 Friedman Units of time to see how this plays out.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedman_Unit

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Give every black person 40 acres of weed and a mule!

"Wars are fought by brave and courageous men, not cucks."
Alexis De Tocqueville

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Wow, you can't even be a stoner without White Privilege being raised.

Not exactly White Privilege but Rich and Connected Privilege was on the ballot a few years back with Ohio's attempt at legalization. 10 farms owned by already wealthy people almost got their monopoly.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/the-ohio-marijuana-vote-that-could-make-nick-lachey-a-weed-kingpin-yes-that-nick-lachey/2015/10/30/58bd2b28-7cc4-11e5-b575-d8dcfedb4ea1_story.html

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It's the ennobling identity politics that make America great.

ha

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"Wow, you can't even be a stoner without White Privilege being raised."

My understanding is that stoners are the poster children for unequal justice: black stoners get substantial jail time for dope offenses (they must gangstas anyway, right?) while white stoners (my neighbors kid, after all, and a nice kid really) get day in the park picking up garbage.

Yes, you'd probably turn your neighbor in if he were murdering people but if you see or more likely smell him smoking pot, probably not, other unfamiliar people maybe you do.
It is a huge problem with victimless crime.

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Disgraceful racial grifters.

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When I saw the headline of this article in today's NYT I assumed the objection in the black community to legalization was due to the anti-social behavior linked to marijuana's use. I was wrong. Instead, what's implicit is that, since black people are such significant consumers of and affected by marijuana, black people should be rewarded for the legalization of it. Oh, my.

I'm remind of the lyrics in Cole Porter's Anything Goes.

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Reading the absolutely fascinating, "Freakonomics" style book written by an economist Sam Wilkin, "Wealth Secrets of the One Percent" (it's NOT a 'self-help' book but candidly explains how the 1%--like myself--got that way throughout history, going back to the Romans, and it's from rent seeking mainly, even and especially the Robber Barons, as well as exploiting the law by ignoring or rewriting it (Pharma Bro or McGowen-MCI style), there's also a chapter on patents that I've not gotten to, and the author correctly points out that "hard work" in a competitive, non-monopolistic market will yield about zero profits, as any Econ 101 textbook can tell you. In a chapter about TBTF (banks too big to fail) the first such banks rescued by the FDIC were black-owned small banks, Unity Bank of Boston and Bank of the Commonwealth of Detroit, in the early 1970s, that set the example for later much bigger bailouts. The reason was racist: it was assumed blacks, if their banks failed for even a temporary period of time (I'm sure the depositors would have eventually gotten their money back after a few years, as happened in MD in the 1980s when state-chartered, non-FDIC credit unions/banks failed), the blacks would riot. A racist assumption as Wilkins said. I think the same dynamic is playing in NYC with weed.

Bonus trivia: I highly recommend the above book, though I don't like it's not sourced, no footnotes, but fact checking what Wilkin writes seems to hold up.

It's not just the assumption that they will riot (or protest), but that they will riot in close proximity to commercially important districts. This is the biggest trump card that Blacks hold, and is an important reason that they are able to extract so many rents through the political process. Native Americans are not able to extract such rents because they live in rural areas, and unless they block an oil pipeline, no one cares if they riot.

Not true. Native Americans do enjoy certain advantages codified in law like the Bureau of Indian Affairs, tribal sovereignty, gambling licenses, land rights, affirmative action, etc. Most of these benefits by the way are in rural areas. Not arguing one way or the other but Blacks got not a whole lot for slavery in comparison.

There are groups of native Americans in every major city. Except for Elizabeth Warren few hold national elective office any where. Unlike blacks, who have a notable presence in entertainment, politics, sports and business, it's unlikely that you or any other white American can recite the name of more than three living persons who identify as native Americans.

Tiny, tiny groups. There are 37 million black people and 3 million native Americans in the US. But you are right most natives are urban now, 70% in 2012 vs 45% in 1970 and 8% in 1940.

Natives have it very very hard. Terrible things happened to them and still do. The US does what it can to assist them today. Do you have anything else to add?

About 5.5 million people claim Indian or Eskimo ancestry to the Census Bureau. Tribal enrollment in 2003 stood at 1.9 million.

And what does tribal enrollment signify? The tribe of John Smith's celebrated native wife, Pocahontas, wasn't itself recognized by the federal government until July of 2015, 398 years after her death.

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The tribes are sovereign nations, though, and *always have been*, which is why their differential treatment doesn't run afoul of the Equal Protection Clause. Are you suggesting we should begin to treat black people as a sovereign nation? The entire purpose of the Civil War, and then the Civil Rights Movement, was to make black people full American citizens.

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No rioting needed. We should be celebrating the fact that this is routine politics. A constituency has enough representatives that they can block legislation that doesn't cater to them. The social justice noise around it is just noise. The native population in Alaska is large enough to do this on the state level. Nationally, as others have noted, their numbers are too small.

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"...the author correctly points out that "hard work" in a competitive, non-monopolistic market will yield about zero profits, as any Econ 101 textbook can tell you."

This is a very silly misunderstanding of Econ 101, but what the hell, it's MR. Economic profits for a firm in a competitive market approach zero, which means is that accounting profits for the firm are about equal to opportunity cost: this is not zero and should be about the average rate of return on investment. We can also probably assume that the owner is getting paid for his labor if he's working to manage it.

I have no clue to what extent this describes you or any other member of the "1%", but you can't get to "nobody gets rich except by rent-seeking" just by invoking zero economic profit in competitive markets.

@Vaquero - thanks for the comment! FYI "about" means non-zero but close to it. A perfectly competitive market gives you just enough money, as Malthus said, to feed you and your family (barely), subsistence wages. In a Pareto optimal society, aka "Star Trek" or "post scarcity" economy, this is not so bad but in a real economy such wages are dirt, and one reason farmers moved off the farm. Read Sam Wilkin's book, it's very well written with anecdotes.

Bonus trivia: the S&L crisis of the 1980s caused between 2% to 10% in damage to the US economy, in financial cost (not same as economic costs however), and 'fraud' was a factor in 40% of failures, mainly in lightly regulated states like MD (!) and TX, but keep in mind 60% of failures were caused by interest rate problems due to, among other things, Regulation Q et al being lifted, interest rates rising, and S&L's owning lots of fixed rate old mortgages they couldn't offload to a secondary market (which back then did not exist). Wilkins explains this in a very entertaining way.

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"Wet my beak" in action. Funny

They would rather blacks keep getting arrested than let spoils slip away.

If you think "job training, adult education" is "wet my beak," sure. But I agree this is politics as usual.

Don't I remember Tyler coming out in favor of pork barrel spending by Congress, because it encouraged getting things done?

What could be different in this situation...

If you think “job training, adult education” is anything but a fig leaf for “weed medallions” then you’re even more of an idiot than you had appeared to be.

Friends of politicians will become millionaires through graft. And they’re willing to throw people in prison unjustly until they get their payoff. There’s a literature in public choice about optimal amounts of corruption. New York has clearly blazed through that point.

“job training, adult education” done by non-profits run by the "activists" and connected to the politicians is absolutely beak wetting

Sure with a little pretzel logic and assumption we can make job training bad.

No we don’t need your faux nonsense logic.

“Job training” always turns out to be graft and stupidity. Whether it’s Trump University or the federal government and VA handing out checks to grifters, it’s almost always entirely bullshit.

Rent seeking through and through.

That's a really bad claim, so I will just leave you to represent for it.

http://mikerowe.com/tag/skilled-trades/

WTF does that link have to do with anything??

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NYC politicians, activists, and NGOs are definitely going to train people to do blue collar jobs trade work lmao.

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Don’t give up the game yet, Bear.

You’re getting dangerously close to revealing yourself as a troll to make liberals seem ridiculously inept and stupid.

Yeah, I go back an forth between thinking he's an idiot versus a high quality troll.

Idiot is too harsh a word. Perhaps 'willfully ignorant' would be fairer.

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It is amazing how you can come in every day and take a shallower reading of what I say than what I mean.

Did you just assault me because this is, as I say, politics as usual?

You write shallow posts and are treated in accordance to your quality as a commenter.

lol, empty drive-bys mean nothing to me.

If you want to step up, tie it to Tyler's endorsement of earmark spending.

Your dictionary must be missing the definition of irony. Perhaps Twitter could locate one for you.

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Bad faith misrepresentation. The article is all about marijuana licenses, NOT just "job training"

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Does he a) take a position on this article or b) recommend earmarks ON THE BASIS OF RACE????

Of course not. He's trolling you into reading irrelevant links.

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There are several tragedies on this page, but one is that you look at earmarks by politicians for their constituents as about "them." Black people.

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It should not be surprising at all that politicians seek earmarks for their constituents.

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Such is life in Trump's America. More than three decades after Sir Paul McCartney and Mr. Stevie Wonder first sang about ebony and ivory living together in perfect harmony side by side on their piano keyboard, their dream that one day America would rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed, "We hold those truths self-evident: that all men are created equal", have not become true yet. Some fear it will never come true.

krugman
the name of the van is
College Hunks Haul Junk.com
tomorrow morning give the 3.2 billion euros
to the drivers of the College Hunks Haul Junk. Com van

I had made a living in New York, saved in San Francisco, was divorced after a solid decade. I became iterant, eschewed my appetite, fattened my view, delighted the orange, put money in heaps, learned a tune, married the bone, discovered plenty.
“Be honest,” Tom said. “What do you make of this?”
“Why don’t you display any of Tara’s work?”
“She says that would be mastubatory.”
“It feels like we’re inside,” I said.
“But it’s cooler, right?” he said.

remind us please
how did Krugman tell you that finland could control
finlands health care costs?

about a god we've never seen but never fails to side with me

Ymmärrämme
David Brooks on osaksi neulominen

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Reminds me of a piece I read about HST in California. Once it became seen as an "unstoppable" project, suddenly all the interest groups lined up to try and latch their particular projects to it.

HSR in CA. is just another slush fund to finance Democrats.

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I laughed out loud with this one. Well, if you are against "gentrification" because nice cities tend to cost more, of course you can make the case that legalization is bad because it gets criminals out of a job.

You don't get it. This is how New Yorkers behave. All of them. They are hustlers.

Eliminating graft would be a disaster. The incompetent multitudes would be hopeless. That's why unions were created, right? To eliminate competence, or at least reduce it to the lowest possible level.

Which reminds me: What do you call the person who graduates last in their class at med school?

Doctor.

Cute joke that ignores the fact that the last person is there because people who dropped out, got kicked out, or held back are no longer there. It also ignores the rigorous admission criteria. I think most people know this, but the joke is funny, so it persists.

I doubt the "rigorous admission criteria" for med schools will leave open enrollment spaces if paying customers are available - and yes, the implication is both intentional and true: becoming a doctor is as much a statement of social and financial status as it is of ability. (bubble pops)

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"the joke is funny"
probably because so many people have walked away from a doctor at one time or another wondering what popsicle stand proffered the degree.

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+1 for Armin Chosnama

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This is the correct answer.
Trump is basically doing the same thing for working class white guys, so why shouldn't African American's get their cut?
This is just how things are done in New York.

That said, this is totally frustrating. Black people will be better off in a totally free market because, as Trump demonstrates, when the government is in control, they will always be outvoted by white guys. The levers of power always end up being used to advance the interests of the most politically powerful.

Not sure how Trump is mentioned here, especially as blacks have done better under him than Obama, but I do agree that ;Black people will be better off in a totally free market' just like everyone else.

Trump is from New York. When he talks about making deals, he's talking about wetting beaks.

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Mo' swag.

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Am I missing something or is there a big equal protection issue as soon as you try to roll this out?

Ever heard of affirmative action? Equal protection takes a back seat to equal outcome. Government is (according to many) obligated to put its thumb on the scales until everyone attains equality.

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Because some set of Black folks were imprisoned for doing something illegal, some other *totally different* set of Black folks should get affirmative action into the recreational marijuana industry.... Such is Trump's America /Thiago.

I mean, seriously, they're not going to propose amnesty and release and training for ex-cons on drug charges? That would at least be *pretending* that they care about the actual individuals caught in the shrapnel of criminalisation. This is more like a jobs program for the "Talented Tenth", paid for by the suffering of the others. "Community reinvestment" indeed.

My initial reaction is that it might be a nice idea to give some type of grant to people of all races who were locked up for small-time pot possession and dealing to help them enter the legal marijuana business. Then I think about the unseemliness and numerous problems of letting former mobsters running illegal gambling halls getting a large share of control over running legal casinos.

It's unseemly if they're actually mobsters, less so if it's some Chinese uncle running an illegal mah jong parlour. I don't know which demographic is more applicable, really.

I feel like former mobsters ending up running legal casinos is probably less unseemly than giving a large share to people who just happen to be totally unrelated people who happen to be the same ethnicity (particularly if they're already rather privileged yuppies).

I mean, if it was wrong to imprison the mobsters, then they should be the recipient of any compensation.

If it was right to imprison then, they why should anyone be compensated? Particularly why the people who have either most benefited from them being imprisoned, because they're the people the mobsters would pray on, or who are just some random ethnically similar people with nothing to do with them.

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Ballot initiatives do go off the rail sometimes, but the process really worked in Michigan to keep the pols fingers out of recreational marijuana. We ended up with a simple, clean legalization with low (10%) excise taxes and the legislature can't screw with it after the fact (except with a super-majority vote) because it was enacted by initiative.

Well, good for Michigan.

The best legalization would be to treat pot like any other agricultural product? No license to grow corn, then none needed to grow pot. Taxes should be the same as any other product too.

Do you feel the same about alcohol? No license needed to make, taxes same as other products?

There's at least a plausible health argument against distilled alcohol - if you screw that up you can end up killing people.

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Isn't asking for special privileges for blacks in the marijuana industry perpetuating racial inequality?

We're getting to the point where in 10 years liberals will be arguing that separate but equal is a good thing so long as it's done by black people and anything colorblind is evil unless it specifically benefits black people more than others. It used to be this line of thinking was something only Nation of Islam loons believed was good.

I heard this line on the sexes 2-3 years ago

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The money will go to unfunded pensions. There is no discretionary spending left in New York.

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Jesus. And people still think diversity is a great idea.

It's more that slavery was a bad idea.

You are absolutely right...

WE SHOULD'VE PICKED OUR OWN DAMN COTTON!!!

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Slavery ended 150+ years ago.

At some point blacks need to man up.

We all have our throwness, so deal with it.

Talk to anyone from Eastern Europe or the Middle East. People love holding on to collective grievances, especially when it means they can use it as an excuse for their personal failures.

People in Iran are still pissed off about the Arab invasion. Heck. They're still pissed off about the Greeks kicking Persian assess over and over again. 150 years is nothing.

Shit. White people in America are still pissed off about affirmative action.

So we're supposed to be racist, or not? Can't have it both ways.

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Weak.

Not as weak as "muh slavery ended way long ago". We just had a post about how blacks were treated in this country as recently as 40 years ago. And we wonder why they have a chip on their shoulder.

It wasn't all rainbows and puppies after 1865. Blacks were treated as barely human after being treated as non-human, for decades.

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Which as I understand is still going on. Unlike, say, the Battle of the Field of Blackbirds.

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Weedparations Now!

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These activists may be on to something. To make sure that the Green New Deal doesn't perpetuate economic inequities, we should require that any climate change legislation guarantee that benefits are distributed to minority communities. For example, no carbon tax can be enacted unless tax revenues are distributed to communities of color. We should also impose a moratorium on electric car tax credits until the racial demographics of electric car buyers matches the general population. Also, no new environmental regulation should be enacted that doesn't include funding for helping minorities deal with the cost of such regulation.

We should also freeze entitlement spending until mechanisms are enacted that ensure that the percentage of Social Security and Medicare benefits paid to black seniors exactly matches the black percentage of the general population.

Similarly, Free College Tuition for All should not be enacted until college graduation demographics match population demographics nor should we enact Medicare for All until our health care system starts producing equal outcomes across all racial groups. An education and health care system that produces racially disparate outcomes is unworthy of taxpayer dollars, and we must first guarantee that those subsidies will not perpetuate racial disparities.

Your first para is standard woke environmentalism, aka "environmental justice."

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Back in college in upstate NY fifteen years ago, if you wanted to buy weed you just walked around until you saw a black guy and then simply asked him. Half the time he would sell, the other half he would point you to the guy who did. Efficient for everyone.

"He bent over me, curious and tense, while his machete slowly dropped until it grazed my eyelids. I closed my eyes." Octavio Paz

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Perhaps while they're at it they could lay out the racial spoils ratios that will be applied to all future government actions. Then we could take a vote on whether we want to adopt this form of rationing.

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"If reinvestment initiatives are not put in place alongside legalization, the underground market is likely to remain, said Dasheeda Dawson, the chief executive of MJM Strategy, a cannabis consulting and marketing firm.

“The industry right now reads as very white,” Ms. Dawson said. “If I’m in the hood and I’m hooking up my man with revenue by purchasing from him, I’m going to continue to buy black.”"

I can guarantee she doesn't live anywhere near the 'hood, nor doe she know anybody who lives anywhere near the 'hood. I love the idea of these stoner white wiggers not being able to have their legal weed, not because of the uncool white Republicans, but because the community needs its gibs.

"If I’m in the hood and I’m hooking up my man with revenue by purchasing from him"

This is some of the most awkward-sounding phrasing I've heard, it's like she is used to giving professional consulting reports, but threw in "hook up my man" so that it would read as authentic and street-wise just because she's talking about weed and black people.

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Basically making the "ethical producer" argument. "Support local businesses!". But that's a form of conspicuous consumption for rich people, so always kind of ridiculous when set in a context where it's act of opposition to the dominance of the class that those rich people tend to come from.

Ethical quinoa, sold to wage slaves for multinationals engaging in the same sort of business that ethical quinoa is an act of opposition to, and the like... Ridiculous!

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I don't appreciate the finer points of race politics in the US, but this does make me think of the Washington Post article a few months ago:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/canada-legalized-pot-in-october-but-its-black-market-is-still-going-strong/2019/01/04/ca09a3b0-fe53-11e8-a17e-162b712e8fc2_story.html

There's a grain of truth in this as far as I can see. Don't be so dumb as to privatise weed in a way that makes it impossible for dealers to go legit. Seems obvious to me.

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There are thousands of black/Hispanic (and yes, asian/Indian) owned bodega’s, small mom and pop grocery stores in nyc. Don’t see what’s wrong with them fighting to make sure they’re not frozen out of their seat at the table (cause that’s never happened before).

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No idea Tyler's intent. Could he really not see "look at the funny black people" as the most likely response? With "look at the bad black people" as a too common subtext?

Step back and think about it. Are you looking at this with a perspective bias?

https://twitter.com/oliverbeige/status/1105385063984828416?s=19

This has nothing to with anything; perspective bias is a very limited term, it's not simply "you're not looking at this the right way". Oliver Beige needs to go take some second-year psychology classes.

Would you say that the world over people view their representatives getting benefits for them differently than they view "distant" groups getting benefits?

Would you further acknowledge that in America race is a significant demarcation of distance?

No, I wouldn't acknowledge either of those.

Well then we know what you think.

For what it's worth, I remember driving out from Anchorage to Denali, and seeing miles and miles of bike lane along the road. This was the expensive fully separate kind.

For the first few miles, I thought "cool, people ride bikes." But then we rolled on mile after mile never seeing a bicycle. And I started to think "it must be nice to have powerful senators from a low population state."

I am guessing this is your perspective bias speaking?

It is my acknowledgement that I could approach it that way. I could say "bad Alaskans," but in fact I get along fine with Alaskans.

"but in fact I get along fine with Alaskans"

How do you know that's a fact though? Maybe it's just your perspective bias that makes you think you "get along fine with" Alaskans, but Alaskans' perspective is that you don't get along at all.

What have we learned from Anonymous today? There is no racial divide in America, and all those friendly Alaskans harbor dark secrets.

Trollish in both cases, I would say. Certainly situational argument.

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More likely the idiot greenies in DC. Around here if a road gets repaved, and there are any federal or state dollars involved, it's bike path too. Doesn't matter if it cuts the street's car carrying ability in half, or if makes no sense at all to put in there.

It's quite possible that federal funds were "made available" for any state to build bike paths, yes.

You drove to Denali?

........

Or you drive to the park?

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Those bike paths aren't continuous past the Wasilla area. There's a mile or two through some of the small towns along the Parks Highway and in the area near the Park.

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"it must be nice to have powerful senators from a low population state"
Very nice indeed. Almost makes up for living on the movie screen that the rest of the country projects its fantasies on.

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To continue on the theme of "blacks are better off in a totally free market"...
In this instance that is demostrably easy to see. There's no way that the NYC government can guarentee that licenses would be handed out on the basis of racial quotas, because that would be illegal. Over time, the legal licenses will end up being held by more politically powerful groups.
By contrast, If you don't have licenses at all, black people can keep selling weed out of their homes. In general high barriers to entry in any business are going to have a disparate impact on blacks, because black people have less capital available to overcome those barriers.

How many black people make any serious amount of money 'selling weed out of their homes'? By serious let's say it provides at least 40% of the household income. Relatively few I imagine.

To continue on the theme of "blacks are better off in a totally free market"...

Are Republicans better off in a totally free market? Two of the most reliable supporters of Republicans are real estate agents and car dealerships. Two businesses that more or less wouldn't exist absent special anti-market protections.

I mean the small percentage of black people that sells weed can keep doing it legally.

Ultimately everyone's better in a free market, because it gets us closer to the global optimum. You can't cover everyone with special anti-market protections without it being a net drag on the economy. Car dealers make a little extra compared to other people right now, but more (and more expensive) cars would be sold if other people had more money to buy them. The trick is trying to make the optimal free market state stable in a democratic system.

I agree the number of people that sell weed illegally is very small in the black community and the portion of that population that actually sees it as a major part of their household income is much, much smaller.

"Car dealers make a little extra compared to other people right now,"

The typical car dealer is not rolling in riches. But car dealers as a class exist because of special provisions allocated to them. However the car dealership appears to be a major employer because there's lots of them and there's often many people working at any given one AND it is usually not too hard to at least try a job at a dealership. So it's easy to see how they can believe themselves to be major employers in the community.

Here, though, I think the economics minded are getting too tripped up in theory. The black community is right to use legalizing weed as a tool to balance the scale. This doesn't mean so much allocating licenses with racial quotas. At most how many weed shops will there be in NYC? Let's say they are as common as tattoo parlors. How many are making living wages in NYC employed by 'big tattoo'? Not many.

But...

1. Most communities will not want weed shops in their neighborhoods. So everyone, not just blacks, will play the political game of "I'll give you X if you grant Y"

2. There's a lot of things blacks should demand....for example wiping out convictions for pot, making sure license requirements don't discriminate against those with said convictions (No you can't have a pot shop because you got busted for selling weed to Ralphie, white college guy back in 1985...but guess what! Ralphie will hire you to work at the shop he got a license for!).

3. Of course, a share of the tax revenue which all groups and communities fight over in politics.

I don't see why blacks should want pot dealerships to be licensed. If they can't get a fixed cut of the licenses (which they can't), then the likely result is that they will be cut out of the industry, which is exactly what happened in other states where pot legalization came with licensing, and where white business men stepped in and immediately monopolized the market, which is what prompted this whole uproar in the first place. They're better off advocating for no licenses so that they can be free to sell weed like before only legally.

I agree they should also insist on wiping out prior pot convictions.

Eh, they'll have the same competitive disadvantages in an unlicensed market, probably compared mainly to Asian and Hispanic entrepreneurs particularly, not just or even mainly White people (particularly in New York city and most of the urban locales where they live outside the south), and the overall product will probably be less well regulated for safety and quality information and its market overall less efficient.

Black competitive disadvantage is not "White people are better at gaming the licencing code", it's "All other ethnic groups are flatly better at scaling just about any business that doesn't come with ridiculous jail time risks for small profits". If jail time for small profits go away, no comparative advantage, because the sharper businessmen are sharper businessmen in a regulated or unregulated market, so long as it's not actually criminalized activity.

That's not to argue there's any economic advantage to their group for licencing; it probably gives gains to all, but not gains to Blacks specifically. So why not play the game of spite and see what you can get? Of course, the disadvantage of the game of spite is it gives all other ethnic groups in the US - the Europeans, the Latin Americans, the Asians - another thing to point at any say "look at these spiteful people, acting only in the selfish interest of their group. why should we differ?". Cumulatively, all that matters at some point.

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"I agree they should also insist on wiping out prior pot convictions."

I would agree that any pot convictions that would have been legal or would have been a much lessor offense under the new laws should be adjusted to fit. But presumably that's a normal legal process.

"They're better off advocating for no licenses so that they can be free to sell weed like before only legally."

This however is a Libertarian extremist position. You can't even sale a hotdog without a license in NYC. There's Zero chance of that happening and anyone making the argument in an attempt to hold up the process of legalization is probably after something else.

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"I don't see why blacks should want pot dealerships to be licensed. If they can't get a fixed cut of the licenses (which they can't),"

1. A 'fixed cut' is not very important economically. The number of jobs/businesses created by legal pot is not going to be all that much in the big scheme of things (see tattoo parlors).

2. Blacks are probably justly concerned that their communities will end up with all the pot shops. Licenses for pot shops, just like for bars and other businesses communities have a love/hate relationship with would allow them to control their neighborhood's character (trust me, there's no way upper class communities won't do this as well).

3. Yes getting rid of criminal records *should* happen but never trust the system to do what it should. Insist and verify and make it clear you will throw sand in the gears if it even smells like the system may roll over you without thinking about it.

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Once weed is fully legal at the national level, how long will these parochial arrangements and local businesses last before Merck, Altria, and/or Imbev mashes them out of existence?
Many established growers in Northern CA understood this and tried to resist legalization.

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