Murder Mountain

Release Date:September 23, 2018
Review Date:January 28, 2019
Reviewer:Blake Leath

This one is so dang bleak that I was slow to pursue it, but I'm glad I did.

It's fascinating in so many respects, but two really caught my eye:

1. Freakonomics guru Steven Levitt made it clear that black markets are wildly successful and drive prices through the roof (high demand, low supply). He would have been the first to tell us that Nixon's war on drugs would be the surest way to bulletproof marijuana production in the U.S. $300 pot became $5,200 pot within months, and those who were struggling became wildly successful.

2. More fascinating is the cultural upheaval that followed, as the pioneering hippies of Humboldt County were overrun by foreigners on four-wheelers.

What's happening now is fascinating, too, as those mom-and-pop producers who pursued legality are being taxed to death, making Big Pharma the only producers who can afford to manufacture at scale and succeed.

Come for the intrigue, mayhem, murder, or culture, but stay for the economics lessons.

I think you'll be surprised by the turn of events.