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Prohibition Failing: Legalizing Could Be Tax Boon


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Most people who use cannabis are responsible and have a job, just like those who use alcohol. If cannabis were regulated like alcohol, there would still be cannabis abuse like there is alcohol abuse, but how bad could cannabis abuse really be for society?

I doubt that fast-food chains and pantry stores would be getting held up for munchies or that youngsters would pawn their iPods for water bongs, but are those images what is so frightening about legalizing it?

The biggest concern about a taxed and regulated market for cannabis is how to enforce driving sobriety issues. People should not drive impaired by any substance. If they do they are endangering others, thereby breaking the law, and should be punished accordingly.

For most teenagers it is easier to get cannabis than alcohol because dealers don't card, so making the cannabis market a taxable legal market would actually prevent access to cannabis by children. Plus, why is the government concerned about "sending the right message to children"? Shouldn't that be the parents' duty and responsibility? Adult cannabis use should not be illegal in an effort to "send the right message," and a legal cannabis market would have age restrictions and penalties for those who supply children with cannabis.

Maintaining cannabis prohibition because of its addictive qualities is a flawed argument as well. Cannabis has been shown to be less addictive than alcohol and nicotine in a study done for the NIDA in 1994 by Jack E. Henningfield.

The study noted the dependence, tolerance and withdrawal levels of cannabis were lower than those of alcohol and nicotine.

Prohibitionists face the problem that cannabis use is not as bad as they have been portraying, and more and more studies are being released documenting the medical benefits of cannabis. Any concerns about "smoking" medicine can quickly be dismissed by the use of vaporizers and ingesting cannabis. Plus, if smoking cannabis is so harmful, then why aren't there widespread cases of lung cancer among cannabis users?

Cannabis has not one documented fatal overdose, which cannot be said about many over-the-counter drugs found in most homes.

Cannabis use is still common despite being against the law, and more than 97 million Americans admit to having tried it, according to the 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. This is proof that cannabis prohibition is not working, and regulating and taxing cannabis is a better option. Cannabis users are probably the only segment of the population that actually wants higher taxes!

These cannabis consumers would rather pay a tax on their habit and purchase it legally than risk arrest, and with government budgets stretched thin, how can we afford to keep losing this potential source of tax revenue? A recent study by Jon Gettman, Ph.D., "Lost Taxes and Other Costs of Marijuana Laws," estimates that marijuana in the U.S. is a $113 billion industry annually and that American taxpayers are losing a total of $41 billion toward enforcement of marijuana laws and lost potential tax revenue.

Source: Rockford Register Star(IL)
Copyright: 2008 Gatehouse Media Inc.
Contact: Rockford Register Star - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star
Website: Home - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star


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The reform all cannabis prohibition laws, are in many peoples best interest for various reasons. The continued education of the social, medical & economic values that all cannabis products have to offer is a lengthy effort by those who believe changes can made to help and assist the sectors of commerce & medicine.
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