Legalization, Taxation, Education, Rehabilitation, has been my mantra for YEARS. Personally I'm very libertarian where 'drugs' are concerned. Our prison system is crippled under the weight of drug related criminals. And many of them are low level street dealers OR Joe Average who gets busted for his / her recreational amount of "X" drug.
Well, you gotta start somewhere.
effort is building in Congress to change U.S. marijuana laws, including
moves to legalize the industrial production of hemp and establish a
hefty federal pot tax.
While passage this year could be a longshot, lawmakers from both parties
have been quietly working on several bills, the first of which
Democratic Reps. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Jared Polis of Colorado
plan to introduce Tuesday, Blumenauer told The Associated Press.
Polis' measure would regulate marijuana the way the federal government
handles alcohol: In states that legalize pot, growers would have to
obtain a federal permit. Oversight of marijuana would be removed from
the Drug Enforcement Administration and given to the newly renamed
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana and Firearms, and it would remain
illegal to bring marijuana from a state where it's legal to one where it
His office said Monday it doesn't yet have an estimate of how much the
taxes might bring in. But a policy paper Blumenauer and Polis are
releasing this week suggests, based on admittedly vague estimates, that a
federal tax of $50 per ounce could raise $20 billion a year. They call
for directing the money to law enforcement, substance abuse treatment
and the national debt.
The only thing I see in this first proposal is the taxes are TOO high. $50 an ounce is, by my reckoning, is like a $50 tax on a fifth of liquor. That's kind of high. But there IS a 'hidden' savings here that I don't see ONE of the pointy headed elected worms looking into.
How much money will be saved by taking minimal pot busts out of the legal system? Our for that matter, minimal coke busts? If they'd legalize this crap, put it in the liquor stores, or create DRUG stores just for the now illegal drugs, and we'd save Billions of $$$'s in interdiction, prosecution and prison costs.
It would also, like killing Prohibition did, take money off the streets and take power out of the hands of gangs. That can't be a bad thing.