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Budget Solution: Legalize Marijuana

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
Another state budget writing season is over, and another deficit budget adopted, with lip service to fixing the so-called "structural deficit." Meanwhile, from deep in the Emerald Triangle of Northern California, reputed as the national capital of marijuana growing, comes a simple idea that could solve the budget deficit and end the greatest American hypocrisy since Prohibition. Too bad it has no chance of passage in this decade or the next one, either. You remember Prohibition. The era when hard liquor was banned by federal Constitutional amendment but remained available to anyone who wanted it. The era when rum-runners got rich and moonshine whiskey distilled in secret became a cottage industry. Substitute pot for booze. It is available today for almost anyone who wants it. Drug cartels and the small private grower get rich from the illicit trade. Pot gardens abound in wild, woodsy and hilly areas of California. Homes in middle class suburbs are turned into greenhouses by hydroponic pot growers who are sometimes caught when their electric bills attract attention. How much pot is grown in California? The take from the annual Campaign Against Marijuana Production, a campaign of state, federal and local authorities, now approaches $7 billion in street value, but law enforcement estimate they confiscate no more than one-tenth of the crop. That estimate spurred the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors to implore its congressman, Democrat Mike Thompson, to press forward efforts to get marijuana legalized. As medical pot users have discovered since passage of Proposition 215 in 1996 attempted to legalize medicinal use with a doctor's recommendation, any legalization will have to come from the federal level.

The Mendocino County letter contains the seeds of a budget solution. It was based on one official's estimate that marijuana contributes about $5 billion annually to the county's economy. The estimate is based on the $500 million worth of pot rousted by local authorities. The county might get $50 million a year in fresh income. That figure could be low. Statewide, legalizing pot would produce much more for government. Do the math: If $7 billion is confiscated, production in the state is worth about $70 billion, all untaxed. Legalize weed and you get an immediate $5.77 billion in sales taxes. Legalize it, and you can track who's getting the money and make sure they pay income taxes, which ought to produce another $7 billion or so.

Add an excise tax and you get even more. The federal government's take might be as much as $60 billion a year. This money now goes to criminals. Legalize marijuana and much of that criminal activity would end. And law enforcement could concentrate more on other drugs like methamphetmines. Sure, pot makes users unmottivated. It can be a step to harder drugs. The same can be said for alcohol, and was said about it before Prohibition ended. But Prohibition ended because it was flouted to the point of absurdity. The same is true for anti-marijuana laws today. It's a shame that, for now, the Mendocino County idea has no chance of even coming to a vote in Congress.



News Hawk- User http://www.420Magazine.com
Source: The Salinas Californian
Author: TOM ELIAS
Contact: tdelias@aol.com
Copyright: 2007 The Salinas Californian
Website: Salinas Californian
 

deezledave

New Member
EXACTLY!! If its legalized and sold in stores like cigs for at least 50% less than ud pay for coppin on the "black market" NO ONE in there right minds gonna buy from there local neighborhood deeler for double the amount, So,1. Black market eventually dries up and 2. The Gov can now tax Mary Jane! Of course the arguement would be made about drivin around smokin herb...WELL Hmmmm how long has drunk driving been a prob?? Riiiiight,still legal right? Then Of course ya got the Age limit reqrmnts and MAYBE easier acces for kids....AGAIN ya can argue that kids already have the acces and jus like alch and tobacco its up to the clerk to keep that from happning...Besides has the drunk driving accdent rate and cancer/liverocis /heart disease rate caused Alchahol and tobacco to be banned??!! HEEEELLL NO! HYPOCRISY TO THE FULLEST! The way I see it...Is Ganj 100% safe NO,But what in this crazy ass mixed up world were living in now is? :51:
LEGALIZE IT!!!
 
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