Could marijuana be the answer to the economic misery facing California?

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    Mar 13, 2009 2:45 PM GMT
    "Democratic State Assembly member Tom Ammiano thinks so. Ammiano introduced legislation last month that would legalize pot and allow the state to regulate and tax its sale — a move that could mean billions for the cash-strapped state. Pot is, after all, California's biggest cash crop, responsible for $14 billion in annual sales, dwarfing the state's second largest agricultural commodity — milk and cream — which brings in $7.3 billion annually, according to the most recent USDA statistics. The state's tax collectors estimate the bill would bring in about $1.3 billion in much-needed revenue a year, offsetting some of the billions in service cuts and spending reductions outlined in the recently approved state budget."

    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1884956,00.html?cnn=yes
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Mar 13, 2009 4:38 PM GMT
    i volunteer to be a "quality control inspector"... icon_lol.gif
  • jmanorlando

    Posts: 205

    Mar 13, 2009 5:21 PM GMT
    I am not a fan of drugs but knowing that:

    1. 30 - 50% of murders are drug related
    2. Drug use fuels - 15 - 30% of all theft
    3. That the time and effort to find, arrest and prosecute drug realted crimes runs billions and billions every year.

    And last do we want all the power in gangs and drug lords or do we want to manage sell and use profits from legally selling drugs to fight this crime?

    I would prefer that it be legal and that and use tax revenue to fight the other addictions.
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    Mar 13, 2009 5:29 PM GMT
    that's funny but i had the same thought recently, especially since the mexican cartels are flaring up on our border -- maybe this is an opportune moment to consider de-criminalizing some narcotics. obama recently named a drug czar and the story mentioned that the job has been downgraded from a cabinet level appointment. i'm quite libertarian-leaning, especially on this issue; if people want to hurt themselves why should the goverment waste money in a failed attempt to stop them. it's perfectly legal to drink but not smoke up? why? there is no good reason.icon_rolleyes.gif

    maybe this argument will have a more receptive audience on account of the fiscal crisis... could be the silver lining.
  • Aquanerd

    Posts: 845

    Mar 13, 2009 5:36 PM GMT
    Ending the "War on Drugs" is second only to the adoption of the "Fair Tax" in having an immediate positive impact on the US and world economies. Image how much money could be freed up to fund Obama's Socialist Agenda, without increasing taxes, if all the money being thrown drug prevention and the incarceration of drug users, could be redirected.
  • Iota

    Posts: 55

    Mar 13, 2009 5:50 PM GMT
    I dont think it will work. It is a quick fix to a big problem and it might jump start things again but it will fail after a while if thats all that they do, plus what will happen to other contracts that CA has with other states, like the water that they get from the Colorado river. CA gets a lot of water from that river for growing fruits and veggies, so if they start growing pot with it. Other states might say they are violating the terms of the contract and they will lose their right to that water and other states will get the right to the water and then pick up growing fruits and veggies, and then what does CA do? that water provides a lot of their drinking water. Also where are people going to get the money for this pot? I think many people would not care to buy it right now if there is a chance that their job will be gone tomorrow. I dont think they should do it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 13, 2009 5:59 PM GMT
    First I am opposed to it. It is a mind altering drug that ahs been illegal for so many years for very obvious reason. The use increases accidents and crime.

    The fact that it would bring in Billions of dollars would only be offset by the billions in extra mediacal care for those involved in accidents. the extra cost in insurance rates, police and other law enforcemnt to combat the increase in crimes.

    This is not the way to solve the fincial woes of any state. Responsible spending is.
  • psycotic_1

    Posts: 13

    Mar 13, 2009 6:12 PM GMT
    well if pot is so bad, what about alcohol, or cigarettes, i say this find one pot related death or accident and maybe your point would be valid. i think this could work for CA, but taxing wont be easy.
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    Mar 13, 2009 6:14 PM GMT
    psycotic_1 saidwell if pot is so bad, what about alcohol, or cigarettes, i say this find one pot related death or accident and maybe your point would be valid. i think this could work for CA, but taxing wont be easy.


    There are thousands of documented work related injuries point to the use of illegal drugs, pot being one of them. This is common knowledge. But if you want. Go to OSHA websight and look it up. It cost employers millions.

    Plus there are laws against driving while drunk, and laws to protect people from 2nd hand smoke. In time Im sure smoking will be illegal or so expensive no one will smoke.
  • Tiller66

    Posts: 380

    Mar 13, 2009 6:22 PM GMT
    Well I can understand why some would have problums with making pot legal.But why do we have booze&tobaccohey cause alot of people pain but you buy them in the supermarkets and other stores all over the world.I'm pot friendly myself I've been around since I was 5yrs. old and I'm a 3rd generation smoker.And in my family almost everything bad that has happened has been becuase of tobacco or bozze not pot.Now I'm not saying that everyone should do it and I do adimt that it can lead to stronger drugs,but I bet that if you asked most smokers that they would tell you they started with tobacco.So if you really want to get rid of drugs start with the legal ones.icon_evil.gif
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    Mar 13, 2009 6:32 PM GMT
    Taxing marijuana would provide additional tax revenues. In Pennsylvania the cigarette tax supports health insurance for children of low wage earners (this is not welfare which is for the poor). We have a lottery which helps defrays the cost of meds and public transportation for the elderly, Tax on alcohol I believe goes into the general budget for roads schools and social programs. There is concern that marijuana (soft drug) may be a gateway drug to hard drugs such as narcotics, meth others. I looked into statistics from the Netherlands where small amounts of marijuana are legal. After looking at this information the proposal may be workable.

    The following information was taken from Wikipedia ( I know that Wikipedia may not be the most factual. Its food for thought )

    In the Netherlands 9.7% of young adults (aged 15-24) consume soft drugs once a month, comparable to the level in Italy (10.9%) and Germany (9.9%) and less than in the UK (15.8%) and Spain (16.4%), but much higher than in, for example, Sweden (3%), Finland or Greece. Dutch rates of drug use are lower than U.S. rates in every category. The monthly prevalence of drugs other than cannabis among young people (15-24) was 4% in 2004, that was above the average (3%) of 15 compared countries in EU. However, seemingly few transcend to becoming problem drug users (0.3%), well below the average (0.52%) of the same compared countries.

    The reported number of deaths linked to the use of drugs in the Netherlands, as a proportion of the entire population, is lower than the EU average. The Dutch government is able to support approximately 90% of help-seeking addicts with detoxification programs. Treatment demand is rising.

  • Aquanerd

    Posts: 845

    Mar 13, 2009 6:35 PM GMT
    Cowboiway saidFirst I am opposed to it. It is a mind altering drug that ahs been illegal for so many years for very obvious reason. The use increases accidents and crime.

    The fact that it would bring in Billions of dollars would only be offset by the billions in extra mediacal care for those involved in accidents. the extra cost in insurance rates, police and other law enforcemnt to combat the increase in crimes.

    This is not the way to solve the fincial woes of any state. Responsible spending is.


    I completely understand and appreciate your thinking. I guess I should have added that with the legalization of Pot and all other drugs, But I respectfully disagree. I believe the money that is wasted in the feeble attempt to keep illegal drugs from being used, sold, and/or imported would vastly out weight those expenses, especially if the government was actually enforcing, to the full extend, all current laws that make DUI/DWI a crime. Drinking and Driving is a Crime, but drinking is not.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 13, 2009 6:35 PM GMT
    Absolutely. And don't forget the cost savings from de-criminializing it.
  • TexanMan82

    Posts: 893

    Mar 13, 2009 6:37 PM GMT
    Cowboiway saidFirst I am opposed to it. It is a mind altering drug that ahs been illegal for so many years for very obvious reason. The use increases accidents and crime.

    The fact that it would bring in Billions of dollars would only be offset by the billions in extra mediacal care for those involved in accidents. the extra cost in insurance rates, police and other law enforcemnt to combat the increase in crimes.

    This is not the way to solve the fincial woes of any state. Responsible spending is.


    Yeah, and the reason it's been illegal for many years has nothing to do with your own good. Read up on the history of its illegality.

    You really believe there would be a sudden, sharp increase in crime and accidents? Why do you think this? Everyone who wants to smoke, already does.
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    Mar 13, 2009 6:40 PM GMT
    I am not familiar with California's drug laws, so this could be irrelevant, but, I would be much more comfortable with just decriminalizing pot. 40% of all people incarcerated are there on drug related crimes. Marijuana represents a tiny fraction of that 40%. But the savings on the many people who are processed by the legal system regardless if they are eventually jailed or not is not insignificant.

    Fixing California's housing assessment laws sounds like better route to a better economy and school system.
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    Mar 13, 2009 6:40 PM GMT
    Caslon9000 said"Democratic State Assembly member Tom Ammiano thinks so. Ammiano introduced legislation last month that would legalize pot and allow the state to regulate and tax its sale — a move that could mean billions for the cash-strapped state. Pot is, after all, California's biggest cash crop, responsible for $14 billion in annual sales, dwarfing the state's second largest agricultural commodity — milk and cream — which brings in $7.3 billion annually, according to the most recent USDA statistics. The state's tax collectors estimate the bill would bring in about $1.3 billion in much-needed revenue a year, offsetting some of the billions in service cuts and spending reductions outlined in the recently approved state budget."

    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1884956,00.html?cnn=yes


    Here's the gotcha, though:
    Law enforcement, and all its allied services, is a growth industry in the United States. That's why we have nearly 2.5 times as many folks in jail as China. Those organizations making huge profits from the incarceration business have a huge vested interest in things staying the same. The folks with only a GED that work in the allied positions, or in law enforcement, have no interest in a downsizing of the law enforcement economy.

    Here's an example. Telephone service for inmates can be bought at 1/2 cent to 1 cent, per minute. That same service is resold at 50 cents per minute, to the inmate. What a business, huh? A captive (literally) customer, who will pay whatever you want. Isn't that even better than on a street corner? The folks who sell that service have private jets, and lavish homes. That's criminal justice in the United States. That's why 85% to 90% of all inmates are there for non-violent, drug-related offenses. It's a GROWTH industry that will only go down kicking and fighting.

    It has NOTHING to do with saving lives, and everything to do with profit, conformance, and control. If we were interested in saving lives, we'd outlaw fat people which die prematurely at the rate of 8 MILLION annually, needlessly. That's a HUGE number compared to the 3500 who dies from all illicit drugs COMBINED.

    There are a huge number of interests that want things to stay the same. Bigger prisons, etc. The problem is that throwing folks in jail doesn't work. Disenfranchising those folks from society doesn't work. Of course, some folks to belong in jail, but, unfortunately, because of the absolutely insane drug laws here, the really bad guys end up with early release.

    I don't smoke pot, but, the laws regarding it, in my view are ridiculous, but, do you think the growth industry of law enforcement will take it lying down? Of course not.

    Here's the thing about law enforcement. Once you criminalize something, say pot, the person who is charged will say whatever he's told (the pot made me do it, etc) to save his own ass, even if it's not true, and help LE build a purely fictional case against a particular substance. Strange what folks will say under duress.

    Because of the HUGE demand for pot, there's big money at stake in supplying it, and since it's illegal, there are no business rules. The folks in Mexico that run the import business in a country where homeland security is a joke have been making the news much lately. That's what prohibition has brought us. GANGS. CARTELS. Dead folks. Let's get real honest: there could be an armed guard every three feet at the border, but, as long as demand for pot is so high as to make it the country's #2 cash crop, folks will get it. PERIOD.

    When do we stop putting folks in jail over pot? When the jail population hits 4 MILLION?

    You'd think we would have learned with alcohol, but, just as the mob got its deep roots with prohibition, so do the Mexican cartels. How many more lives have to be ruined before folks say "this is insane?"

    Pot should be decriminalized or legalized because of its high demand, and relative lack of bad effects.

    Could it help California? Sure. Will it? We'll see. California, and the Left Coast are leading the way. Time will tell.
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    Mar 13, 2009 6:51 PM GMT
    I am all for the decriminalization of pot. And to make other drugs available under a dr's supervision.

    This drug war is a lot of crap. It is no better than Prohibition was. It just drives up the cost of drugs, creates crime, but doesnt stop a damn thing.

    By decriminalization the bottom would fall out of the market. Crime would go down and govts could get tax revenue.

    Indeed, some peope would be harmed by their access to the drugs. But that is no different than soem people are harmed by alcohol. And since people are getting the drugs anyway, they are being harmed anyway. Plus a lot of other people affected by the crimes.

    Legalize and tax drugs.

    and...

    Tax the churches!
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    Mar 13, 2009 6:58 PM GMT
    I'm a bit on the fence about this. It would be great if you could smoke pot and not be punished but if the states start regulating it, it could be bad. Pot is way stronger than it used to be and super cheap, if the gov gets it they will weaken the hell out of it and tax the hell out of it. icon_confused.gif
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    Mar 13, 2009 7:07 PM GMT
    It's about fucking time!!! This has been my solution to the economic depression, even before it reached today's low.
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    Mar 13, 2009 7:08 PM GMT
    Miasma saidI'm a bit on the fence about this. It would be great if you could smoke pot and not be punished but if the states start regulating it, it could be bad. Pot is way stronger than it used to be and super cheap, if the gov gets it they will weaken the hell out of it and tax the hell out of it. icon_confused.gif


    Interesting how high demand leads to product development which leads to better product and price reduction. LOL. Free enterprise at work. :-) That's what prohibition gets you. If folks are crossing the line, they want a quality product.

    Prohibition accomplishes all the wrong things.
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    Mar 13, 2009 7:11 PM GMT
    chuckystud saidProhibition accomplishes all the wrong things.

    Education is the correct tool to fight drug abuse.
  • vindog

    Posts: 1440

    Mar 13, 2009 7:13 PM GMT
    Cowboiway said
    psycotic_1 saidwell if pot is so bad, what about alcohol, or cigarettes, i say this find one pot related death or accident and maybe your point would be valid. i think this could work for CA, but taxing wont be easy.


    There are thousands of documented work related injuries point to the use of illegal drugs, pot being one of them. This is common knowledge. But if you want. Go to OSHA websight and look it up. It cost employers millions.

    Plus there are laws against driving while drunk, and laws to protect people from 2nd hand smoke. In time Im sure smoking will be illegal or so expensive no one will smoke.



    when I went to OSHA and typed in "marijuana" I got this

    Your search for marijuana has returned 0 relevant documents.


    I searched cannibus too....nothing. So did someone tell you this and you just believed it, or can you provide a link to this? The thing about marijuana is that its stays in your fat cells and someone will test positive even after having smoked two weeks prior, although the physical effects wore off the day after you smoked it. So, say someone wrecks a car for work and gets drug tested. They'll come up positive and get fired even if they hadn't smoked in a week. Thus while the pot had NOTHING to do with the wreck, they get fired anyway. It's like them telling you that you were drunk for drinking a week before.



    Pot is mostly legal in California anyway. The state just needs to make some money off it. Plus the Mexican cartels are going into National Parks and forest service land, clear-cutting it, using nasty fertilizers and destroying the place to macrofarm herb. It's a fucked up situation that is causing more violence, environmental degradation and piping tons of US dollars to Mexico.


    And most of the water used to grow it is from rain and wells anyway, so I wouldn't worry about that.




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    Mar 13, 2009 7:19 PM GMT
    Miasma saidI'm a bit on the fence about this. It would be great if you could smoke pot and not be punished but if the states start regulating it, it could be bad. Pot is way stronger than it used to be and super cheap, if the gov gets it they will weaken the hell out of it and tax the hell out of it. icon_confused.gif


    I am a strong believe in the enterprising spirit. If government mandates week, high priced pot a black market already exists selling strong, cheap stuff. Only now it would be like smuggling raw milk cheese over the Canadian boarder (have I thanked you yet Canada for raw milk cheese?).
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    Mar 13, 2009 7:31 PM GMT
    I think what most forget..it is would still be illegal in 49 other states. Still be tested for in drug tests done by most companies.

    It is a personal choice. I have never done any drugs. I wont date soemone who does them, and I leave any party they are being done at. This includes pot.

  • Aquanerd

    Posts: 845

    Mar 13, 2009 7:43 PM GMT
    Cowboiway saidI think what most forget..it is would still be illegal in 49 other states. Still be tested for in drug tests done by most companies.

    It is a personal choice. I have never done any drugs. I wont date soemone who does them, and I leave any party they are being done at. This includes pot.



    Cowboy, I'm right there with you. Though I can't say I've never used drugs, I can say I have never abused drugs, and at this point would not consider doing drugs, and would not date anyone the uses drugs, or be around while they were being used. That said I think that all states and the federal government should legalize drugs for the same reason I think that abortion, suicide, and all sexual acts between consenting adults should be legal...

    "The government does not have the right to say what I can do and can not do with my own body." Period.

    Any consequences that arise from the choices I make are my own responsibility to deal with, and I would never expect the government steal money from anyone else (i.e. tax payer money) to pay for those consequences. And I have no respect for anyone that would. Period. Exclamation Point! icon_cool.gif