Legalize pot and tax it

Finally a politician comes to their senses and proposes to tap into a giant revenue keg. 

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. 

Now imagine something like that but on a national level.  It wouldn’t slash the deficit, but could it offset entitlement spending for social security and medicaire?  Maybe. 

The Federal government’s misjudged war on drugs ignores the obvious reality that marijuana is no better or worse than cigarettes, has been around for decades and is so pervasively common nowadays.  Better to accept it and profit off it than spend money trying to prevent it – while creating drug cartels in Mexico and here in the states.

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