Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Case Of (B.C.) Bud, Please

In what I think they're making more out of it than it is, the LA Times has an article saying four states are contemplating legalizing and regulating marijuana.

Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson, a Seattle Democrat who is sponsoring the legalization bill in Washington state, said that she "wanted to start a strong conversation about the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana."

Under her bill, marijuana would be sold in Washington state's 160 state-run liquor stores, and customers, 21 and older, would pay a tax of 15 percent per gram. The measure would dedicate most of the money raised for substance abuse prevention and treatment, which is facing potential cuts in the state budget. Dickerson said the measure could eventually bring in as much to state coffers as alcohol does, more than $300 million a year.

"Our state is facing a huge financial deficit and deficits are projected for a few more years," Dickerson said, referring to the projected $2.6 billion hole lawmakers will need to fill next year. "We need to look at revenue and see what might be possible."

While I'm all for it, we have to be realistic here. Two words. The Feds. The Commerce Clause rules so the Congress makes the rules.

But we have to start somewhere.


Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree with you: marijuana should be legal and it should be taxed heavily. It is a fantastic way to raise money; and mj is a great way to keep "addicts" calmed, as opposed to the agitated disregard for order typical of a methamphetamine or PCP binge.

Lucas said...

I think the Justice Department coming right out and saying they are not going to waste resources busting medical marijuana dispensaries is a good indicator of what the feds think of pot. It's only a matter of time before we get to legalized pot in this country. For me though, I'd just like to see us be able to grow industrial hemp in the States. You can make almost anything out of it and it is super easy to grow, but has been a victim of the war on drugs.

Hank Greer said...


Thanks, I forgot about industrial hemp. You're right, it's excellent. But until the law changes we'll continue with cases like this where hemp is still covered by the Controlled Substances Act.