Taxing Marijuana?

  • jdsnipaz

    Posts: 41

    May 11, 2009 7:17 PM GMT
    Assemblyman Tom Ammiano will announce legislation on Monday to legalize marijuana and earn perhaps $1 billion annually by taxing it.

    How do you guys feel about it? Will it cause more harm for society or should it be legal for responsible use by adults? I'm kinda on the fence since it's already so easy to get anyway, lol esp. in my college town.

    Maybe if the government taxes the drug and sells it, then the demand for it from the Mexican drug cartels may decrease. Seems like a win/win situation but who knows.
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    May 11, 2009 8:41 PM GMT
    I've always been for this. Not only will it increase federal/state tax revenues, but it will also decrease crime rates (domestically, not just in Mexico).

    Also, it's so easy to get and incredibly ubiquitous anyway, it doesn't make sense to toss an 18-year-old kid in jail (and potentially ruin his life) for doing something so commonplace.
  • bwayne78

    Posts: 46

    May 11, 2009 8:53 PM GMT
    When will our country learn that prohibition does not work.

    To make marijuana illegal when you can just walk down to the corner market to buy liquor boggles my mind.

    It would increase tax revenue, decrease prison/criminal costs - and just make life a little brighter!

    That is what I call a Win/Win/Win
  • Bunjamon

    Posts: 3161

    May 11, 2009 9:12 PM GMT
    I'm all for legalization, which would permit increased regulation AND tax revenue, making it safer and as was already mentioned, reducing crime both domestically and abroad. The amount of people in jail due to marijuana-related offenses could be released, thereby relieving the system a bit and saving tax dollars. And no one would have to hide a beheviour that almost everyone does anyway. Sounds great to me.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14351

    May 11, 2009 9:16 PM GMT
    I think legalization of marijuana is a great idea whose time has come. It is time to face the hard reality that prohibition of it does not work and throwing people into jail for smoking marijuana is not only stupid but also a big waste of taxpayers hard earned money. This is supposed to be a free country but with all these foolhardy, punitive laws advanced by right wing conservatives it appears that America has become more of a big brother dictatorship.
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    May 11, 2009 9:25 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob saidI think legalization of marijuana is a great idea whose time has come. It is time to face the hard reality that prohibition of it does not work and throwing people into jail for smoking marijuana is not only stupid but also a big waste of taxpayers hard earned money. This is supposed to be a free country but with all these foolhardy, punitive laws advanced by right wing conservatives it appears that America has become more of a big brother dictatorship.

    Well said!
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    May 11, 2009 9:36 PM GMT
    As a former cop who worked undercover and now a criminal defense investigator, I am all for legalizing and taxing some forms of marijuana use. Decriminalizing it is a start but then we should really look at those already serving prison sentences for petty marijuana charges and get them out of the prison system and help them rehabilitate. Legalizing and taxing marijuana is fine if we are prepared with to rehabilitate. I have personally seen far too many people start using marijuana and then go on to the harder stuff so we must do something to confront this problem (and I don't care if research says otherwise that marijuana is not a gateway drug, it is for some).
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    May 11, 2009 10:04 PM GMT
    The number one reason I have AGAINST legalizing pot is that it would (and does) take up valuable crop land on a plant that as it is, does not produce enough food to feed its human beings.

    There are movements to band the production of ethanol in some countries (mostly developing and undeveloped countries) because crop land is making way for green energy. Add pleasure plants to the list... well you see where this is going. A similar problem is cut flower and Christmas tree production.

    All of these products fetch a higher price than food crops- and thus as the farmer you would rather produce them.

  • May 11, 2009 10:37 PM GMT
    t_montana9 saidDecriminalizing it is a start but then we should really look at those already serving prison sentences for petty marijuana charges and get them out of the prison system and help them rehabilitate.

    Agreed, but rehabilitate due to their time in prison, or to prevent addiction?

    Also, the reputable studies I've seen show that it's the accessibility of the drug, rather than the type, that determines the gateway, if any. If we increase the education about and availability of treatment for those who need it, most drugs can at least be decriminalized for personal use. Portugal's experience with decriminalization has led to decreased use, lower HIV rates, and more addicts in treatment.
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    May 11, 2009 10:49 PM GMT
    jdsnipaz said
    Maybe if the government taxes the drug and sells it, then the demand for it from the Mexican drug cartels may decrease. Seems like a win/win situation but who knows.


    First thing you might want to consider is what my AIDS doctors, all of whom are part of various AIDS medical organizations, told me:

    DO NOT consider cannabis a drug. It is an herb, it is totally natural. Drugs, by at least some definitions, are made by Man, and/or are artificial in nature. As such, it should never have been illegalized in 1937 but for the duplicitous efforts of a man named Anslinger, who was in the pockets of the tobacco and alcohol interests at the time.

    Of course I'm for its legalization.
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    May 11, 2009 11:33 PM GMT
    Legalize it.
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    May 11, 2009 11:52 PM GMT
    chuckystud saidLegalize it.
    Don't criticize it icon_biggrin.gif
  • kinetic

    Posts: 1125

    May 11, 2009 11:53 PM GMT
    People are gonna toke whether its legal or not.
    I'm all for it being made legal and taxed. Maybe then we can start getting out of our deficit.
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    May 11, 2009 11:53 PM GMT
    Yes, of course I am for legalization (and not JUST because i live in Vancouver).

    but prohibition doesnt work and it never has and it never will.

    legalization will reduce crime, increase state revenues at a time that it is desperately needed (hopefully, it goes to the state, and not the Federal government), and could reduce costs in other areas, such as prison costs.

    the "war on drugs" should altogether be called out as the fallacy it is.

    and yes, the medical benefits alone of cannabis are enough to warrant its legalization. however, big pharma would likely throw its weight against this, as it always has, because truly, it is a miracle plant, along with aloe vera.

    when ever i get a flu, i will smoke pot to prevent nausea, and its the only thing that works for me. and besides its medical benefits, the crop itself is extremely useful, what with hemp products and clothing, etc.

    legalize it

    (p.s. - for the comment on wasting crop land that would better be used for food, there IS enough food, DISTRIBUTION is the problem, when 4 agri-business corporations own most of the food in the world, thats a massive problem. today, famines are economic genocides. and in terms of wasting land, the biggest scam is ethanol, which, while sounding great, using rhetoric like "saving the earth" - it will result in the deaths of millions. in fact, during the massive food riots and global crisis in food of last summer [immediately preceeding the economic crisis, funny that], the World Banks own report stated that ethanol was responsible for around 40% of the increase in price of food)
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    May 11, 2009 11:59 PM GMT
    Alcoholism ruins the health of the alcoholic, and ruins the lives of everyone in his family, and alienates any friends he had. And, it adds a burden to the health care system that has to be covered by tax payers.
    Yet, alcohol is legal.

    Marijuana doesn't ruin lives. In fact, it makes some peoples lives bearable.
    Prisons are full of people who dealt or possessed marijuana. Taxpayers have to pay for that, too.

    It sounds like an easy choice to me.

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    May 12, 2009 12:23 AM GMT
    Another advantage is that you aren't forcing everyday people who enjoy the shit to have to deal with sketchy drug dealers.

    AND my buddies would have no reason to constantly ask me to hook them up. everybody wins!
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    May 12, 2009 12:27 AM GMT
    MeOhMy said

    (p.s. - for the comment on wasting crop land that would better be used for food, there IS enough food, DISTRIBUTION is the problem, when 4 agri-business corporations own most of the food in the world, thats a massive problem. today, famines are economic genocides. and in terms of wasting land, the biggest scam is ethanol, which, while sounding great, using rhetoric like "saving the earth" - it will result in the deaths of millions. in fact, during the massive food riots and global crisis in food of last summer [immediately preceeding the economic crisis, funny that], the World Banks own report stated that ethanol was responsible for around 40% of the increase in price of food)


    ....and thus more acres dedicated to another non-food product would only expand the problem. My point exactly.

    /Agri-business is the ultimate culprit, but with little to no ability to regulate beyond each countries borders, it becomes a game of cat and mouse... with the mouse perched on the cats tail.
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    May 12, 2009 7:02 AM GMT
    I feel the need to respond (what else is new?) to the poster who feels cannabis would be a useless crop when we should be growing food.

    Cannabis, and hemp (which is basically the same, but treated differently in the growing) is one of the most useful crops we could grow. Not only does it give us pot, but it also is used as a very strong textile for making everything from fabrics to hemp rope, not to mention removing carbon dioxide while providing oxygen. It also yields a valuable oil which can be used in cooking, for lubrication, and for fuel. It is a rapidly-renewable resource, and as such will provide much more than just THC.
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    May 12, 2009 7:34 AM GMT
    LEGALIZE IT ALREADY GODDAMNITicon_exclaim.gificon_exclaim.gificon_razz.gificon_biggrin.gificon_lol.gif
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    May 13, 2009 1:47 AM GMT
    zeebyaboi saidI feel the need to respond (what else is new?) to the poster who feels cannabis would be a useless crop when we should be growing food.

    Cannabis, and hemp (which is basically the same, but treated differently in the growing) is one of the most useful crops we could grow. Not only does it give us pot, but it also is used as a very strong textile for making everything from fabrics to hemp rope, not to mention removing carbon dioxide while providing oxygen. It also yields a valuable oil which can be used in cooking, for lubrication, and for fuel. It is a rapidly-renewable resource, and as such will provide much more than just THC.


    Still, the one item we are in the most need of is food.
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    May 13, 2009 1:59 AM GMT
    Are there any benefits with regard to fitness that the herb, marijuana, can produce?

    As far as taxing pot, I wonder if this can be tested on a small scale before launching something nation wide...
  • jdsnipaz

    Posts: 41

    May 13, 2009 11:49 AM GMT
    t_montana9 saidAs a former cop who worked undercover and now a criminal defense investigator, I am all for legalizing and taxing some forms of marijuana use. Decriminalizing it is a start but then we should really look at those already serving prison sentences for petty marijuana charges and get them out of the prison system and help them rehabilitate. Legalizing and taxing marijuana is fine if we are prepared with to rehabilitate. I have personally seen far too many people start using marijuana and then go on to the harder stuff so we must do something to confront this problem (and I don't care if research says otherwise that marijuana is not a gateway drug, it is for some).


    I'm all for rehabilitation, but you'd be amazed at the number of people who do drugs and have no problems keeping their use/habit in check (well maybe you do b/c you were in law enforcement). Just the mainsteam media's idea of a pot user is basically a bum or a loser who has nothing else going for them. I think that while some pot smokers do fit that description, it definitely doesn't extend to all users. The stuff is literally everywhere. Even for people who I thought were completely straightedge, I was a little shocked to learn that they were doing stuff on the dl.

    And yes I agree that pot is a gateway drug. Again from personal experience, it's likely that people are going to wonder what the effects of similar/harder drugs are like. But most are aware enough to see when a potential habit could be adverse. For instance, pot could lead to shrooms, ecstasy, coke, acid, etc. However, the most I ever hear about the use of these substances is that they were tried once or a few times out of curiousity. They recognize that making a habit out of these substances could be very bad.

    I wonder if that coke-head Rush Limbaugh had anything to say about the weed debate lol.
  • jdsnipaz

    Posts: 41

    May 13, 2009 11:53 AM GMT
    zeebyaboi said
    jdsnipaz said
    Maybe if the government taxes the drug and sells it, then the demand for it from the Mexican drug cartels may decrease. Seems like a win/win situation but who knows.


    First thing you might want to consider is what my AIDS doctors, all of whom are part of various AIDS medical organizations, told me:

    DO NOT consider cannabis a drug. It is an herb, it is totally natural. Drugs, by at least some definitions, are made by Man, and/or are artificial in nature. As such, it should never have been illegalized in 1937 but for the duplicitous efforts of a man named Anslinger, who was in the pockets of the tobacco and alcohol interests at the time.

    Of course I'm for its legalization.


    Yea I use to think weed as more of an herb instead of as a drug. But then I started to ask the same question for other natural herbs. Salvia and mushrooms are also natural and their effects are arguably more powerful (actually can't say from personal experience but it's not hard to get someone's opinion where I'm from lol). So is your take-if its natural then it's an herb/plant w/e and if its partially synthesized, then it's a drug?
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    May 13, 2009 12:03 PM GMT
    A couple of quick clarifications:

    1. I believe for most marijuana crimes, the penalty should be rehabilitation rather than any incarceration. That would alleviate millions of dollars in wasted prison beds and would free many non-violent offenders. Of course, if marijuana is legalized, that too would help and then the tax money can go to further rehabilitation and prevention of misuse.

    2. Marijuana is currently being used as a gateway to opiate-derived drugs and prescription meds. This has been the recent trend the last few years where I went from investigating the theft of and use of prescription drugs like Oxycotin, Codein, Percaset, among many others to now representing some of these people and I can tell you that based on their information, it started with marijuana use.

    The term gateway, to me, is a term that is used too often and is an attempt by the user and some clinicians to mask the real reason for the use, or "upgraded" use and that reason is a poor self-esteem or other psycho-social reasons.

    Lastly, there are many social marijuana users who report little problems, which is why I am for legalizing small amounts of marijuana. Living in the Madison area, this has basically been done. What I believe a true, positive consequence of legalizing marijuana would be to tremendously interupt street sales and the corruption that is related to that when it is regulated and controlled by the government. Another positive consequence is that it would further reduce the corruption in government and in law enforcement!

  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    May 13, 2009 5:04 PM GMT
    RPMSoccer saidAre there any benefits with regard to fitness that the herb, marijuana, can produce?

    As far as taxing pot, I wonder if this can be tested on a small scale before launching something nation wide...


    Not to be sarcastic but... it's called Holland.
    /or did you mean somewhere in the US?