- The Weed Blog https://www.theweedblog.com

Marijuana’s Baptists And Bootleggers


marijuana prohibitionThe Baptist and Bootleggers theory is an economic idea that two very different groups of people with two very different goals will both push for very similar regulations and laws. Baptists being used to be descriptive of people that push for regulation and laws for “pure and well intentioned” reasons. The main example of this is Baptists pushing for dry counties for the sake of people in their county staying sober. Bootleggers are descriptive of people that want regulation and laws for “selfish and sinful” reasons. The main example of this being bootleggers in dry counties being able to drive up prices of alcohol in a black market, thus making a larger profit.

Well, unsurprisingly, this applies to prohibition across the board, whether it is the prohibition of alcohol or marijuana (or guns or prostitution or any drug).

For marijuana, the Baptist is your regular prohibitionist. This is someone that wants marijuana to be illegal because they believe that marijuana is bad for an individual either because they believe that it makes them lazy, sexually promiscuous, violent, etc. These are certainly righteous reasons, regardless of them being bad logic and based in misinformation. In the eyes of the Baptist, marijuana only brings about the deprivation of society, so why should we allow people to use it medically or recreationally?

However, the Baptist (or the prohibitionist) generally is unaware of their unlikely ally, the Bootlegger. The Bootlegger, in terms of marijuana, is the drug cartel member, the drug dealer, or the gang member. The cartel member wishes to also keep marijuana illegal because if marijuana were legal it would dip into their profits, either because it would remove the demand for black market marijuana or because it would drive the prices to such low prices that it wouldn’t be worth it for them to partake in gang activity. So, without even knowing it, the prohibitionist or Baptist support the Bootlegger or gang member.

Does the Baptist wish to support the Bootlegger? Most likely not. Would the Baptist still support prohibition if they realized it supported the Bootlegger? Most likely not. This is something to keep in mind when you find yourself in a conversation with a prohibitionist.


About Author

John Knetemann currently attends South Dakota School of Mines and Technology where he is a chapter leader for Students for Sensible Drug Policy. John has had a passion for drug policy reform since he was a senior in high school, and hasn’t looked back since. Along with his work in SSDP, he is a part of the North American Executive Board for Students For Liberty. You can find John on Twitter.


  1. Closet Warrior on

    Sorry to hear about the hurdles you have had to overcome but at least you did and you seem to have the right outlook on life. Good for you. A lot of closed-minded folks could learn from your struggles, accomplishments and attitude. Refreshing! I was actually pronounced dead and somebody out there must have thought my work wasn’t done here so I reverted back to my old standby-Mary Jane. She is my main thang and I truely believe it saved my life. I have a lot of ailments too and pills were just dragging me down so I came back to the light and haven’t looked back. Keep your head up calvet11. Some day soon we’ll overcome and the man won’t be able to be in our business.

  2. I’ve had similar events such as yours in my life. Cannabis has been a life changer for me. PTSD, COPD, heart problems, kidney problems, and on and on. Cannabis has helped me with all of it. So it is with utter contempt that I hold those who wish to run MY life. Some people just can not keep their nose out of other people’s private business.

  3. Closet Warrior on

    Good point, but you know how those hardliners are. They get mad just by bringing the topic up but in my experience one of these know-it-all anti-everything mongers get a disease or in an accident then resort to big pharma meds. Next thing you know their better medically but now they’re opiate addicts and then wonder what went wrong? I know because this happened to me, not the anti-cannabis part, always been on board but I too was unaware of the pitfalls of “medicine”.10 years later I sobered myself up and firmly believe that the sweet leaf saved my life like so many other testimonials. Education is key for this cause no doubt but if someone too far gone and set in there ways, then chances are they’re a lost cause and out of touch so those people most likely don’t show up to vote for or against mmj or recreational. We just have to stay the course w/people that want dialogue and info on the facts that yes, you have been misled and here is the science to prove it. Nuff said.

Leave A Reply