Monday, July 19, 2010

Taxing Pot

One thing that is absolutely consistent with our government, regardless of the level, is that if they legalize it, they will regulate it. And if they regulate it, they will tax it. I am guessing that all those people who have been advocating for the legalization of pot didn’t think about what would happen once government got into the game. Let’s face it, anyone who thought that their dealer was ripping them off isn’t going to be one iota happier when the bureaucrats start slicing the pie:

(AP) After weathering the fear of federal prosecution and competition from drug cartels, California's medical marijuana growers see a new threat to their tenuous existence: the "Wal-Marting" of weed.

The Oakland City Council on Tuesday will look at licensing four production plants where pot would be grown, packaged and processed into items ranging from baked goods to body oil. Winning applicants would have to pay $211,000 in annual permit fees, carry $2 million worth of liability insurance and be prepared to devote up to 8 percent of gross sales to taxes.

The move, and fledgling efforts in other California cities to sanction cannabis cultivation for the first time, has some marijuana advocates worried that regulations intended to bring order to the outlaw industry and new revenues to cash-strapped local governments could drive small "mom and pop" growers out of business. They complain that industrial-scale gardens would harm the environment, reduce quality and leave consumers with fewer strains from which to choose.
Never had much use for the stuff myself but I’ve never been opposed to legalization either. I’ve always reasoned that enforcement of marijuana laws cost more than they are worth. On the other hand, the short sightedness of marijuana proponents amuses me. Pot has always been big business. Anyone who thought government would pass on the chance to milk that cash cow is either stupid or stoned. Let the “Wal-Marting” begin, and remember, careful what you wish for.

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