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Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Should marijuana be legalized and taxed in the US, like alcohol?

Asked by Espiritus_Corvus (17218points) July 28th, 2010

Either on a state level or a federal level: The production costs in the US would be a small fraction of the street prices paid today. If it could be taxed to the point of not exceding present retail prices, thus maintaining what the present market will bear, this could pour billions into the treasury over a short period at a time when many states and the US is crippled in debt. Sounds good to me.

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15 Answers

CMaz's avatar

No. It should be legal to grow and posses for personal use only.
Taxing it would turn the government into “drug dealers” Keep government control and taxing out of it. And it will stay a simple herb to enjoy from time to time.

“The production costs in the US would be a small fraction of the street prices paid today”
Only causing the street price to go lower and not preventing drug trafficking.

YARNLADY's avatar

Yes, but only if the users have to follow the same rules as cigarette smokers.

perspicacious's avatar

@ChazMaz I know you don’t, even in your wildest dreams, think that will happen in our lifetimes. Tax revenue will be the only incentive for for most state legislatures to even consider legalization.

Linda_Owl's avatar

Absolutely it should. Pot is much less damaging to a person than is alcohol & the taxes would go a very long way towards paying the nation’s debts. Don’t take the attitude of the government becoming “drug dealers”, this is just religious thinking that has no place in public policy.

Mamradpivo's avatar

Yep. Next question, please.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Yes and yes.

CMaz's avatar

@perspicacious – We wont see it legalized in our lifetime no matter what.

The government is happy to play this smoke and mirror game with the current drug laws. Allows them to pass the responsibility if and when needed.

Due to the nature of pot, any price and tax you put on it. Will still leave wiggle room for drug dealing and drug trafficking. As much as I like pot and as much as I would like to see it legal.
I have no tolerance for that.

If marijuana is eventually handled like tobacco or alcohol. You can buy it, but you cant make it or grow it. Then we are basically back to the same old same old.
Except the dealers are now your government leaders. Having the law behind them to fuck you up if needed. Go ahead, then get caught with a pot plant in your back yard. You don’t see people growing tobacco or having a still in their back yard do you?

Otherwise leave it just the way it is.

I could care less about additional tax revenue. The goal should be for us to stop the drug trafficking. That would save us a shit load of money every year right there.

Otherwise you all sound like a bunch of junkies wanting a fix. ;-)

perspicacious's avatar

@ChazMaz I don’t use it at all and I don’t completely disagree with you. My point was just about the taxing of it. Taxing is why alcohol was decriminalized. I do think we will see states legalize, or at least basically decriminalize it like California has done recently. When enough states do that, the Federal law will change, again, so that a Federal tax can be imposed.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@ChazMaz I don’t smoke weed.

CMaz's avatar

“Taxing is why alcohol was decriminalized.”
Alcohol is not decriminalized. Make a still and see how fast you go to a federal prison.
And, the “decriminalized” you talk about. Was the result of John D. Rockefeller (standard oil) putting Ford Motor cooperation out of the ethanol powered car business. Rockefeller pushed for prohibition because Ford was producing alternate fuel vehicles. Potentiality and eventually taking away from the petroleum monopoly that Standard Oil had.
Preventing people from making their own fuel for their cars. “Moonshine.”

When prohibition was introduced, 25% of Ford cars ran on ethanol.
Once Ford trashed the idea. Because it was illegal to make home brewed fuel. Rockefeller helped push legislation to lift prohibition. Ironically, one year after Ford stopped making ethanol vehicles.

“or at least basically decriminalize it like California has done recently.”
It is still a Federal crime. Not, decriminalized.
Like I said, they are fine playing the pass the blame game.

Ivy's avatar

For most of human history, marijuana has been completely legal. It’s not a recently discovered plant, nor is it a long-standing law. It’s known use goes back further than 7,000 B.C. and it was legal as recently as when Ronald Reagan was a boy. America’s first marijuana law was enacted at Jamestown Colony, Virginia, in 1619; a law “ordering” farmers to grow Indian hempseed. You could be jailed for not growing hemp during times of shortage in Virginia between 1763 and 1767! The U.S. Census of 1850 counted 8,327 hemp “plantations” (min. 2,000-acres) growing cannabis hemp.

The history of its criminalization is filled with racism, fear, protection of corporate profits, yellow journalism, ignorant/incompentent/corrupt legislators, and personal career advancement and greed. (Some things just don’t change.) In the early 1900s, the western states developed significant tensions regarding the influx of Mexican-Americans. The Great Depression only increased tensions, as jobs and welfare resources became scarce. But oddly enough, one of the first state laws outlawing marijuana may have been influenced, not just by Mexicans using the drug, but because of Mormons using it! Mormons who traveled to Mexico in 1910 came back to Salt Lake City with marijuana, and the church’s reaction to this contributed to the state’s marijuana law.

When Montana outlawed marijuana in 1927, the Butte Montana Standard reported a legislator’s comment: “When some beet field peon takes a few traces of this stuff… he thinks he has just been elected president of Mexico, so he starts out to execute all his political enemies.” And in Texas, a senator said on the floor of the State Senate: “All Mexicans are crazy, and this stuff [marijuana] is what makes them crazy.”

And here are some quotes attributed to Henry Anslinger, the newly appointed director of a new division of the Treasury Department ~ The Federal Bureau of Narcotics in 1930:
“There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz, and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and many others.”

“Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death.”

“Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.”

“Marijuana leads to pacifism and communist brainwashing”

“You smoke a joint and you’re likely to kill your brother.”

“Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.”

The narrative since then has been a continual litany of:
Politicians wanting to appear tough on crime and passing tougher penalties.
Constant increases in spending on law enforcement and prisons.
Racist application of drug laws.
Taxpayer funded propaganda.
Stifling of opposition speech.
And political contributions from corporations that profit from marijuana being illegal (pharmaceuticals, alcohol, etc.)
… but that’s another story. Since no process involving scientific, medical, or government hearings were involved in its criminalization, I’m all for federal legalization and immediate pardons for all imprisoned for possession. And as is the American way, the only way in hell that will ever happen is through taxation.

Jabe73's avatar

I agree with @ChazMaz here. I would rather grow it myself than buy it anyway.

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes. But good education is needed as well. All psychoactive substances including alcohol and cannabis do have a dangerous potential too.

SVTSuzie's avatar

Yes, everything should be legal. No, why should it be taxed? That’s ridiculous!!!??!!

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