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MARIJUANA: Tax benefit to legalizing pot

Letter by Thom H. Smith, Tacoma on Sep. 24, 2010 at 2:15 pm with 15 Comments »
September 24, 2010 2:33 pm

Peter Callaghan mentioned in his column (TNT, 9-23) that some thought the main reason liquor was legalized in 1933 was for government revenue to help the country out of the Great Depression.

Right now we are in the biggest recession since then, and we have the opportunity to do the very same thing by legalizing marijuana. There would be even more advantages this time besides helping our enormously distressed government budget.

Our court system is helplessly bogged down with prosecuting marijuana cases and trying to fight a war that will never be won. Legalization would take a huge dent out of this fiscal nightmare.

Marijuana does not lead to more dangerous drugs except for those people who would go in that direction either way. I think everyone can see that pot will be decriminalized in the near future anyway, so let’s take advantage of the situation now by selling and taxing marijuana.

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  1. firemannotfirefighter says:

    My goodness, can’t anyone do at least a BASIC level of research regarding these letters? The idea of taxing Marijuana has been one of the biggest arguments for the Legalization crowd. However, the RAND group recently conducted study that showed marijuana prices would PLUMMET if it were to be legalized. Additionally, why pay taxes on something that you would be able to legally grow? If you want to decriminalize the doobage, come up with a valid argument. Like it isn’t a gateway drug, or it’s effects are less than alcohol, or because the company that make Funyuns needs a fiscal boost!

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/07/08/national/main6658178.shtml

  2. smcelhiney says:

    I’m sure firemannotfirefighter is partially correct. Prices would plummet if legalized. Taxes would drive it back up a bit much like with alcohol. Sure people could grow their own, but that actually takes a lot of work to get a good product and while anyone can brew their own beer, most people just go out and buy a six pack. I suspect tax revenues would approach those of alcohol or tobacco products. And people could grow their own tobacco also… right?

    Rest your examples of arguments are also valid… but you need to substitute Cheetos :)

  3. bobcat1a says:

    The biggest impact of legalization would be putting Mexican drug cartels out of business.

  4. blakeshouse says:

    Pot was initially made illegal back in the 30’s. It was done for purely racist reasons. Since that time noone has been able to show that any of the claims made against it are in the least bit valid reasons to maintain its status as a dangerous narcotic. As a recreational intoxicant it is much more benign than alchohol and causes no harmful side effects. The arguements for a continued ban are spurious at best

  5. blakeshouse – we agree. This may be the first (and last) time ever.

    RE: firemannotfirefighter’s comment. Yes, prices would plummet – that is why growers and dealers are strongly against legalization. But, as smcelhiney points out, the legalization of brewing has done nothing to negatively impact tax revenues from beer sales.

    I brew my own but I still buy commercial beers. I also grow my own vegetables and fruit but still go to the market for produce.

  6. Sumner401 says:

    marijuana prices would PLUMMET if it were to be legalized.

    And that would bring down the crime rate….all crime.
    It’s a win win, must be why the right is against it, that it’s you know freedom and they hate freedom.

  7. hansgruber says:

    With the current price for “Legal” medicinal Marijuana between $280 to $400 compared to the “dealer on the corner” $120 it makes no sense to legalize it the tax base would be nil. You would have to bring the prices down under $100 for an ounce and that would defeat the purpose of legalizing..you know, taxes.

    Seattle Marijuana Prices: Depends on who you know, if you\’re a regular buyer
    from a dealer, usually, you can find the main source of supply, and can get
    pretty sweet prices (1/8ths for sometimes $30 or so).

    Standard pricing as everywhere else, mostly though. 1/8 for $40, 1/4 for
    $80-$100, etc etc. Again, it also depends on what you\’re buying.

    and also: “If you know someone, you can get an ounce of BC Bud for $200, though the average is between 240-260. The locally grown afghan indica and F1 hybrid varieties are higher quality, and you usually pay between 280-300 for an ounce of that chronic.”
    http://www.webehigh.com/city/detail.php?CITYID=2017

  8. Sumner401 says:

    Considering your accuracy on every other topic hans, I will question your figures.

  9. hansgruber says:

    Poor Sum, if I said the earth was round Sum would say I was wrong.

  10. Sumner401 says:

    No but I would sure question it.
    Poor hans, always wrong…about everything, even his childish insults.

  11. theogsters says:

    Well written, Thom. Not only would the revenue from taxing “pot” help our state’s deficit but law enforcement would be free to pursue real criminals.

  12. Sumner401 says:

    The savings from law enforcement/warehousing offenders alone makes it worth doing.

  13. eagle_beak says:

    as a society we ban cigarette smoking in more and more ways even so far as our health dept considering to attempt to stop it in apartments.
    if we now understand better the health dangers of smoking, why would we want to put any kind of smoke in our lungs? seems ridiculous doesn’t it?
    there already is a legal form of marijuana in pill form and you can get an Rx for a truly legitimate reason.
    i read your comments and see that many have flawed “logic” if you want to call it logic at all.
    God bless America and help us make our country great!

  14. eagle_beak says:

    also i see that many of you engage in comments that “put down” another as if to elevate yourself and your opinion.

    God bless America and help us make our country great!

  15. Interesting to note that the beer lobby is donating to the anti-legalization campaign in California….ironic that purveyors of alcohol would be paying for ads that claim that another substance being legal would lead to dangerous driving.

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