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Discussion Starter #1
Taxing pot could become a political toking point

An Assemblyman from San Francisco argues that it's time to tax and regulate the state's biggest cash crop in the same manner as alcohol. Opponents say it would create new costs for society.
By Eric Bailey
February 24, 2009
Reporting from Sacramento -- Could Cannabis sativa be a salvation for California's fiscal misfortunes? Can the state get a better budget grip by taxing what some folks toke?

An assemblyman from San Francisco announced legislation Monday to do just that: make California the first state in the nation to tax and regulate recreational marijuana in the same manner as alcohol.

Buoyed by the widely held belief that cannabis is California's biggest cash crop, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano contends it is time to reap some state revenue from that harvest while putting a damper on drug use by teens, cutting police costs and even helping Mother Nature.

"I know the jokes are going to be coming, but this is not a frivolous issue," said Ammiano, a Democrat elected in November after more than a dozen years as a San Francisco supervisor. "California always takes the lead -- on gay marriage, the sanctuary movement, medical marijuana."

Anti-drug groups are anything but amused by the idea of California collecting a windfall from the leafy herb that remains illegal under federal law.


"This would open another door in Pandora's box," said Calvina Fay, executive director of Save Our Society From Drugs. "Legalizing drugs like this would create a whole new set of costs for society."

Ammiano's measure, AB 390, would essentially replicate the regulatory structure used for beer, wine and hard liquor, with taxed sales barred to anyone under 21.

He said it would actually boost public safety, keeping law enforcement focused on more serious crimes while keeping marijuana away from teenagers who can readily purchase black-market pot from peers.

The natural world would benefit, too, from the uprooting of environmentally destructive backcountry pot plantations that denude fragile ecosystems, Ammiano said.

But the biggest boon might be to the bottom line. By some estimates, California's pot crop is a $14-billion industry, putting it above vegetables ($5.7 billion) and grapes ($2.6 billion). If so, that could mean upward of $1 billion in tax revenue for the state each year.

"Having just closed a $42-billion budget deficit, generating new revenue is crucial to the state's long-term fiscal health," said Betty Yee, the state Board of Equalization chairwoman who appeared with Ammiano at a San Francisco news conference.

Also in support of opening debate on the issue are San Francisco Sheriff Mike Hennessey and retired Orange County Superior Court Judge James Gray, a longtime legalization proponent.

"I'm a martini guy myself," Ammiano said. "But I think it's time for California to . . . look at this in a truly deliberative fashion."

He sees the possibility of an eventual truce in the marijuana wars with Barack Obama now in the White House.

A White House spokesman declined to discuss Ammiano's legislation, instead pointing to a transition website that says the president "is not in favor of the legalization of marijuana."

Several cities in California and around the nation have adopted laws making marijuana the lowest law enforcement priority, including Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Denver and Seattle.

Oakland went even further in 2004, requiring pot to be taxed if it is legalized.

But where Ammiano sees taxes, pot foes see trouble.

They say easier access means more problems with drug dependency among adults, heavier teen use and an increase in driving while high.

"If we think the drug cartels are going to tuck their tails between their legs and go home, I think we're badly mistaken," Fay said.

"They're going to heavily target our children."
By Joe Eskenazi in Breaking News said:
The story SF Weekly broke on Friday is true: Assemblyman Tom Ammiano will announce legislation on Monday to legalize marijuana and earn perhaps $1 billion annually by taxing it.

Quintin Mecke, Ammiano's press secretary, confirmed to SF Weekly that the assemblyman's 10 a.m. Monday press conference regarding "new legislation related to the state's fiscal crisis" will broach the subject of reaping untold -- and much-needed -- wealth from the state's No. 1 cash crop.

Mecke said Ammiano's proposed bill "would remove all penalties in California law on cultivation, transportation, sale, purchase, possession, or use of marijuana, natural THC, or paraphernalia for persons over the age of 21."

The bill would additionally prohibit state and local law officials from enforcing federal marijuana laws. As for Step Two -- profit -- Ammiano's bill calls for "establishing a fee on the sale of marijuana at a rate of $50 per ounce." Mecke said that would bring in roughly $1 billion for the state, according to estimates made by marijuana advocacy organizations.
thoughts?
 

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Yeah i wish. They are more than ignorant not taxing it now. I mean wtf. we NEED MONEY....and we NEED WEED. i mean put 2 and 2 together = alot of people outa jail, money for us, me toking legal!


Edit POST THAT LINK!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
which link? the two quotes have the posters info in the title of the quote? lol.. you sure your not toking right now? ;) ;)

anyway, i am all for new sources of income for the state. maybe it will get the swartz off my back when i get out of the military.. either that or make it so i get a tax return vs a piece of paper saying they owe me one..
 

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if it legalizes, and stays that way, i suspect that the sister states will soon follow. if the money is right anyway.

sister states = NV, AZ, OR, and maybe WA. those are the only states i can think of that often follow CA when it comes to big movements like this.
 

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I think if they legalized it it would produce alot of money but more than likely it would still be illegal to grow your own and sell it so the only people making the money would be the government though it would probably be some of the sticky icky for sure. But to many assholes and idiots out there.
 

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Thats just so much money the government can make. If they tax it like cigs, and alcohol bam there's money right there. Then they no longer have to fight the war on pot and more money is saved. This should have happened a long time ago.
 

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more than likely it would still be illegal to grow your own
most people fail to realize that growing it is not illegal in some areas of some states. there is a certain admin on the board who's area its legal to grow pot ;). "medical/research" pot has to come from somewhere...

Thats just so much money the government can make. If they tax it like cigs, and alcohol bam there's money right there.
true.. but people freak out with the thought of pot heads not being hunted like dogs..
 

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I don't forsee it happening anytime soon, I don't smoke but would if it was legalized. But I think the government is afraid that if it was legalized that people would still grow it in there back yard's jipping the government out of "there money."

We can hope that California pick's it up and it out branches east
 

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The reasons behind legalizing weed outweighs any real concern people have over it's effects. Back in the 20's when you look at how insane prohibition was and the lengths they went too to keep it away from people. Now you can't watch TV without a beer commercial and it's once again an accepted part of culture, has been for many years.

If the government grow the marijuana themselves, make sure of the content of it, keeping PCP and other drugs out of it, tax it. they would make a killing. Imagine the extra money going back into schooling, transportation, health care. I know it frightens some people but honestly, I have never seen someone beat their wife and kids while high, but i've seen it far too many times with alcohol and it's crazy to think of which one is illegal.

Good for Cali if it goes through, I hope Canada follows suit. If it works for you guys it will be implemented everywhere. Because decriminalized weeed in Canada is good for the average smoker, but you can still get in trouble for it. how about going to the store and buying a huge tub of weed and some tubes, rolling up an arsenal of joints and sit back and smile. all the while following every law.
 

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War on drugs = a waste of money. Legalize away.
 
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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Tony Pierce @ LATimes said:


What do the former sheriff of San Francisco, a retired Orange County judge, and an assemblyman from S.F. have in common? They all believe that the legalization and taxation of California's so-called largest cash crop could bring in around a billion dollars in tax revenue to the state coffers.

Assemblyman Tom Ammiano introduced a bill on Monday that he considers nothing more than a bit of fiscal common sense, says the SF Weekly who explains that the Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act would:

"Remove all penalties under California law for the cultivation, transportation, sale, purchase, possession, and use of marijuana, natural THC and paraphernalia by persons over the age of 21," "prohibit local and state law enforcement officials from enforcing federal marijuana laws (more on that later) and establish a fee of $50 an ounce on marijuana on top of whatever pot will cost in a legal future - which legalization advocates say is about half what it costs now. This tax rate figures at about a buck a joint."

Moreover, the Times' Eric Bailey reports that Ammiano claims that legalization would, among other benefits, allow law enforcement to focus on more serious crimes, and protect nature "from the uprooting of environmentally destructive backcountry pot plantations that denude fragile ecosystems."

But the biggest boon might be to the bottom line, By some estimates, California's pot crop is a $14-billion industry, putting it above vegetables ($5.7 billion) and grapes ($2.6 billion). If so, that could mean upward of $1 billion in tax revenue for the state each year.

Are you buying it? Some say marijuana is a gateway drug to harder vices, and not at all worth the financial windfall. But what do you think?
i still can't find the full measure. anyone find it? if so, please post or link it. i would like to read the full measure.
 

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its a great idea. it would generate disgusting amounts cash. it would probably cut crime by a %... but it'll never happen...theres way too many close minded people than you think...when they hear the word pot they think danger and death.

its just a plant people.
 

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theres way too many close minded people than you think...
i thought this too.. BUT that was before those same people voted in a "black" president. i think that NOW is the time for this to pass. will it though? probably not. i think the big gov will shut down the states, if other states follow CA.


please don't make this a racial conversation or a presidential debate. please stay on the topic of Mj only. the comment above is ONLY to show that times might have changed enough to make a measure like this pass.
 

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its a great idea. it would generate disgusting amounts cash. it would probably cut crime by a %... but it'll never happen...theres way too many close minded people than you think...when they hear the word pot they think danger and death.

its just a plant people.
IDK dude the quickest way to change peoples mind in a capitalistic based society is by hitting their wallets. With the budget shortfalls cali is seeing I would be willing to bet that this has some nay-sayers out there at least considering it.
 

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IDK dude the quickest way to change peoples mind in a capitalistic based society is by hitting their wallets. With the budget shortfalls cali is seeing I would be willing to bet that this has some nay-sayers out there at least considering it.
True, its a fine time to appeal to the economy and find a way to generate tax revenue without inflating current tax rates, which people hate. I think the thought of taking the everyday drug dealer off the streets would be good enough for most people but i guess not.
 

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hmm. i dont smoke...but i do know that pot is one drug that was only done away with because parents got mad at their kids for having too much fun in the 60's than they did in 30's and 40's. pot is such a harmless/useless drug anyway. i dont see why congress "tha man" would have listen to a bunch of uptight parents back then.

either way i forgot who said it but yea i ve never seen an actual pothead harm anyone in their life. as long as your safe with it, just like alcohol then everyone will be safe. we ll probably see it legalized within 10 years.
 
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