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Reefer Will Save The Economy

maryjane3.jpgWant to quickly raise money some cash to save your state’s massive budget deficit? A legislator in California has presented an easy, brilliant solution:

A state legislator is reviving the debate about legalizing marijuana as a way of raising money for cash-strapped state and local governments.
Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, a San Francisco Democrat, introduced a bill Monday that if approved by the California Legislature would put pot on the same legal footing as alcohol. Adults over the age of 21 would be allowed to buy it, and driving under the influence of marijuana would be prohibited.
Under Ammiano’s proposal, which has been endorsed by some law enforcement officials, pot would be taxed at a rate of $50 per ounce and bring an estimated $1 billion into state coffers.

$1 billion in taxes! An entire industry created out of thin air. Think of all the legitimate job that would be created. Cops would able to divert their resources to more meaningful activities. Pass this California. Make it work. Saving the economy might be the one thing that might get this passed. Then, maybe we can use the same argument for gay marriage: Think of all the wedding-related jobs it will create!

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Comments

"Then, maybe we can use the same argument for gay marriage: Think of all the wedding-related jobs it will create!"

Not to mention all the cases for divorce lawyers to profit from!!!

I've been saying pot and railroads are the cure for our economic woes ever since we started hearing about the slump. Camel cigarettes already has a "green" line waiting to roll!

I think I would keel over from shock if this passed. The gay marriage/wedding industry argument was made, and it still didn't convince enough people to vote against prop 8. It seems that people are willing to take their "morals" all the way to the poor house.

i heard some comic say the same thing (in an older bit) on XM radio a couple of months ago, and agreed with HIM at the time. the same with govt. run prostitution. whatever creates jobs AND puts money in the kitty (no pun intended) works for me!

three elle - not sure how this is a moral issue. What's the moral difference between pot and booze? One is illegal, that's all - Well this would solve that little problem wouldn't it? From what I can tell, the folks that want to smoke pot are ALREADY smoking it, and I believe the whole "gateway drug" argument is total crap (coming from personal experience). This bill would merely change the ecomonics of the trade.

Errr..

Okay, I love cannabis as much as (probably much much more than) the next guy, but there is something we're forgetting.

legalization conversations always made me wonder "would they legalize but still make it illegal to grow? then we'd have to buy our pot from folks like Philip Morris, laden with chemicals and taxed to death"

well it may come to pass. If they legalized weed for tax purposes then letting us grow it ourselves would defeat the purpose.

At least in Cali there's already a thriving pseudo legal/medical pot selling industry, so there would be no tobacco companies ruining things...But I still want to grow!

So what then? tax us for every plant we have? sigh...

Perl, I (personally) completely agree that it isn't a moral issue. My point was just that the people out there who oppose legalization do seem to think it is a moral issue, and therefore will vehemently oppose it.

Sweet Jesus, legalize the Sweetleaf already. Add to the billion dollar surplus yet a billion more by releasing marijuana offenders from the clogged prison system and then yet another billion in savings from the eradicating pot off the list for the drug war. Remember, God made Marijuana, Man made alcohol. Who do you trust? Atheists, do not answer.

Rich blokes smoke dokes.

The funny thing is, the people who would be most against this bill passing are the growers themselves.

Think about it: right now they are getting tax-free profits from massive sales at prices inflated by the risk factor. Larger growers often have employees who are running the grow, trimming the harvest and getting it ready for sale. They don't want to have to pay taxes for these employees; it's easier just to pay them under the table. As for overhead, a taxable industry needs to be regulated, so the grow-rooms (which probably won't be in converted bedrooms and garages anymore) will have to be inspected, and permits will have to be bought, etc. So, despite the boost to the economy of California at large, it would be a huge blow to the profitable illegal pot industry.

Can you tell I live in Humboldt County? I don't doubt that our local economy would virtually collapse without the money from pot. It's our only exportable commodity (aside from Redwood, but that's pretty limited now, thank goodness).

Upon reflection, I'm not sure whether this bill is merely going to be taxing pot already bought and sold through medical dispensaries, or actually attempting to tax all marijuana sales. Because, honestly, there are plenty of people who are illegally growing and selling pot now, so who says they won't be doing it as much or more in the future in order to evade taxes?

One aspect most people seem not to consider about pot legalization is the environmental impact. Most large outdoor grows, particularly in places like California, are illegal ones on untended government lands (the swamp land around SF for instance). By legalizing pot and industrial cultivation, Cali will be creating yet another large, well-funded group interested in cutting into state and federal preserves.

Also, cultivation will almost certainly fall into the hands of the big cig makers; Carter allowed the ban to lapse during his admin and, before it was re-established, the tobacco industry bought all manner of intellectual and production rights for "green" items.

I quit smoking pot about 30 years ago and have always thought it should be legalized. I'll never understand why it's OK to smoke 3000 chemicals with your tobacco but don't you dare light up a joint!