“Could legalizing marijuana save California?”

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By jove!  They’ve got it.  In fact, correct me if I’m wrong, but could legalizing marijuna save the world?

It’s time to admit that the war on marijuana has been “an abject failure,” said Dan Walters in the Fresno Bee. It costs taxpayers a fortune every year. “Wouldn’t it be smarter to legalize marijuana”—as a San Francisco assemblyman is proposing—”and tax its sale to adults much as we do liquor and cigarettes?”

Typical.  Well, what did I expect, that they wouldn’t tax it?  While I am completely for the legalization of marijuana, I do not think that it is fair to the rest of the country to use its legalization as a way to “bail” the country out of the financial crisis.  Some people are genuinely opposed to its legalization (and they have the right to be).   But when these people see that it might get California out of financial crisis, they may quickly change their minds.  Not to mention that those who already smoke marijuana (illegally) will now have to pay a tax (probably not desired) and may not agree with legalization by these means.

And let’s not forget to mention that while medicinal marijuana use is legal in California, the DEA spies on and arrests users and growers.  Would these law abiding citizens (and if it was legalized) still be targeted for such offenses?

Hopefully with the taxes so high (a proposed 50 dollars per plant, 20 dollars per gram) that the price of the herb itself would drastically lower, balancing out the cost.  However, I feel as if the price is the same that it is now when it is illegal, it may not be worth it for users when made legal — and other measures may be taken to keep prices lower (tax evasion).

I feel as if its a win/lose situation.  If it is legalized, in any way, for the general public’s use (not just medicinal), we’re taking a step in the right direction.  If it is only legalized for the purpose of benefiting the government through taxes, I feel as if we’re only giving the government more power.

The government should not have a right to tell its citizens that they cannot do as they please with a plant that could be grown in the privacy of one’s own home and causes little if no harm to the general public.

And I am well prepared to dress up like an Indian and dump barrels of marijuana into the Pacific Ocean, mind you!

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One thought on ““Could legalizing marijuana save California?”

  1. Marijuana will be pretty hard to tax effectively: it’s easy as hell to grow on a small scale, and informal networks of exchange already exist. Depending on how it’s regulated, I’d assume it would mainly be cafes and stores aimed at occasional users that would be paying the tax, with regular users carrying on much as they always have but without the threat of imprisonment. Also depends on how much it’s taxed, of course.

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