Monday, 28 February 2011

One Tax Over The Line, Sweet Jesus

Oh, California! I love living here, with all of the palm trees, mountains, beaches, celebrities, big city living, weirdos galore--I mean, where else can you go and see a medical marijuana dispensary and a botox clinic side-by-side? Not many places, I assure you.

But, funny enough, the Federal government allows doctors to inject botulism into the faces of patients, but does not allow those same doctors to prescribe medical marijuana. However, here, in California, the Feds have given up chasing down growers and sellers in the medical community, and like a parent whose child has drawn on the walls for the 500 time this month, sigh, roll their eyes and let the "delinquents" be.

Now there's actually a chance that perhaps California can paint a picture that the Fed actually likes regarding the growth and sale of marijuana. If there's any smell more powerful to the Feds than the overwhelming waves of pot smoke, it's money. Yep, there's a proposal on the table to add state tax for the growers of medical mary jane here in CA, meaning that taxation of CA's largest crop would demonstrate its ability to bring in mega revenues and help the state drag its way out of debt. If that happens, I guarantee that other states AND the Feds will take notice of the benefits of legalizing marijuana for medical, and even eventually recreational use.

As far as recreation goes, there's a sin tax for alcohol and cigarettes. Think about how much money would be earned by a tax on pot! Plus, think of all of the spin-off revenue that would be taxable as well: pipes, commercial pot brownies, pot beverages, fuzzy neon posters, munchies...okay, I'm only half serious there, but still it would probably be a great boost for the economy. If we're so worried about creating jobs, we really should think about the possibilities here.

I fully understand the arguments against legalization in general--the kids getting bombarded by ads, the fears of a sudden burst of weed-crazed activity by otherwise rational adults, the bleak slide down the spiral to heavy drug abuse, but, honestly, I think those arguments are a bit silly. Here, we could have a HOME GROWN crop of good ol' fashioned American ganja, put our farmers to work, as well as many of our impoverished folks living on a sliver of a dime. People who go overboard on pot might go overboard--but what's the worst that could happen? They pass out? Eat too much? Lose motivation in the workplace and get fired? I reiterate the idea that has been part of the age-old bolster for pot advocacy, which is: far less death occurs as a result of too much marijuana smoke versus alcoholism. Not only is alcohol legal but people can drink as much as they want, whenever they want, and some people go overboard (I believe they're called "alcoholics" and some people don't. Children's brains regularly absorb materials advocating the coolness of alcohol and cigarettes, and, likely, if they're going to experiment with those things, they will, regardless of availability. Since when is it the government's responsibility to instill a moral compass in each and every human being? It's up to parents to tell them what's up.

While I'm in no way a NORML member, nor a pot-head, I do think that there is a lot of merit in getting this vote through. Those who truly advocate pot legalization in this country should be vying for this vote to pass here in California as well.

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