My favorite local weekly, the East Bay Express (I loved their print design and long-form stories in the 1990s; after a couple ownership changes they are still good for other reasons, e.g., prolific reporter Robert Gammon) has a story (actually a blog entry, hopefully something of it makes it to print) that very concisely describes prediction markets and states that “TaxCannabis2010 is currently predicted to win” by traders at Intrade.
I’m happy to see EBX cite Intrade and that the initiative is predicted to win, with two caveats.
The market currently gives the initiative a 54% chance of winning. That means a 46% chance of losing. Not remotely a sure thing. Closing prices chart below.
It’s utterly ridiculous to put marijuana users, farmers, sellers, etc. in jail. But this is not obvious to a number of people, or marijuana would not be illegal. I will be surprised if anti-initiative ads will claim that marijuana legalization will lead to an increase in cocaine use, a crime wave, decrease in test scores, and more. So what would really make me happy with regards to prediction markets and citation of the same would be contracts on cocaine use etc. in California conditioned on whether the initiative wins.