Sunday, March 29

It is our money

From an article I read

It’s time to legalize marijuana, tax it to death, then let struggling Joe Citizen - instead of Joe Dope Dealer - reap the pot profits.

The most popular question at President Obama’s town hall meeting Thursday? Whether legalizing marijuana would help the economy and create jobs. You know: Pottery Barn goes Pottery Bong.

Now the pot posse may have stacked the e-mail deck. Still Obama, who once wanted to decriminalize pot, laughed off the inquiries. “I don’t know what this says about the online audience,” he quipped, then did his post-election about-face. “No, I don’t think this would be a good strategy.”

Actually, it would be a very good strategy. He’s wrong. Enough already with these ancient mariner moralizers like ex-drug czar Bill Bennett, who preached reefer madness while gambling millions in Vegas and smoking two packs a day. A different generation’s in charge now. Millions of Americans understand that you can get stoned in high school, in college, every post-collegiate Saturday night, yet remain a responsible, upstanding, taxpayer. They know because they’ve done it.

Ignoring hysterical politicians and law enforcement types around here, Massachusetts voted nearly two to one in November to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. Has your neighborhood gone to pot? If we took the next step - legalize and tax it - we might not need toll hikes or 19-cent gas tax hikes and they’d surely be hiring at “Roach Brothers,” or “Best Buds,” or maybe even, I can’t resist, “Restoration Weed-Wear.”

If we legalized nationwide, we’d save billions immediately in enforcement and jailing costs. We’d reap many billions more per year in taxes. When Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron published his legalize-pot tax estimates in 2005, more than 500 professional economists, including Milton Friedman, signed on.

Miron was on CNN this week discussing the horrific drug war on the Mexico/U.S. border. He’s long argued that violence is the inevitable norm in illegal, not legal, markets, whether in drugs, gambling, prostitution, or alcohol. We just never learn.

But legalizing pot isn’t only about money. It’s about our ridiculous citizen passivity. Why do we let congressional liars and thieves dictate what we can do, responsibly, in our living rooms? Who are they to take away our children’s student loans over a joint?

Herald Pulse

Should marijuana be legalized and taxed?

73% - Yes
26% - No
1% - Not sure
-29 07:45:39__1_2070_1

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