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Robot Jesus
11th February 09, 09:25 PM
The Audacity of Dope
Could legal marijuana save California’s economy?
By Jeff Segal Posted Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - 10:36am


Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps has made marijuana a popular topic. He was photographed smoking from a bong, lost corporate sponsorships, and was suspended from the sport as a result. But celebrities aren't the only ones thinking about dope.

Some legislators in California have pot on their minds, too. That's because the government of the biggest economy in the United States is facing a massive budget deficit whose pain would be alleviated by decriminalizing marijuana.

California's current deficit stands at a whopping $15 billion and is expected to reach $42 billion next year. And the state run by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has virtually run out of cash. It recently delayed $3.5 billion of payments to taxpayers and counties.
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While nearly all U.S. states currently face budget shortfalls, California's deficit is more than one-third of its general fund. That's largely due to its dependence on income taxes, which slide during a recession. And the state can't easily borrow due to the government bond-market freeze. Moody's even warned it may downgrade the state's rating.

There's no easy fix to the problem, as any solution likely requires cutting benefits and social services—tough political choices for Schwarzenegger. But the state does have an abundant natural resource it may be able to draw on for help.

Marijuana is California's largest cash crop. It's valued at $14 billion annually, or nearly twice the value of the state's grape and vegetable crops combined, according to government statistics. Indeed, a recent report pegged marijuana as two-thirds of the economy of Mendocino County, a ganja hotbed north of San Francisco. That's not surprising—it costs $400 to grow a pound of pot that can sell for $6,000 on the street.

But the state doesn't receive any revenue from its cash cow. Instead, it spends billions of dollars enforcing laws pegged at shutting down the industry and inhibiting marijuana's adherents. Of course, there's a reason for that. Marijuana's social costs may include addiction and rehabilitation treatment and lost productivity. Yet these are minute compared with the extensive social costs of alcohol or tobacco.

Of course, just legalizing pot wouldn't automatically harvest revenues for the state. An organized system of regulating sales and collecting taxes would need implementing. And it's possible that general drug use could rise, though the debate that pot is a gateway drug to harder substances is inconclusive.

There's also the question of whether or not taxing marijuana would simply create a black market that would again skimp the state on taxes. The best corollaries here are cigarettes and alcohol. Rises in "sin taxes" on them have decreased consumption—a positive—but don't seem to have destabilized the legal market. Decriminalization could lead to some job losses in law enforcement, though the countervailing argument would see these forces put to work stopping harder crime.

So what are the numbers? A national legalization effort would save nearly $13 billion annually in enforcement costs and bring in $7 billion in yearly tax revenues, according to a study by Harvard University economist Jeffrey Miron. Since California represents 13 percent of the U.S. economy, those numbers suggest the state could save $1.7 billion in enforcement costs and nab up to $1 billion in revenues. That doesn't include any indirect revenues as, for example, rural farming communities grow or marijuana tourism, which has been lucrative for the Netherlands, takes off.

Put it all together, and California could potentially wipe some $3 billion off its budget deficit by letting its people puff and pay. That still leaves it with a gaping $39 billion hole to fill, so the state's problems go far beyond what a new cash crop can fix. But anything to help soothe the state's chronic fiscal pain—even if unpalatable to some—is worth considering.

http://www.thebigmoney.com/articles/judgments/2009/02/11/audacity-dope

If this goes through I see a cascade effect when the world dosent come to an end

or this http://www.smbc-comics.com/comics/20081123.gif



eather one's good

RickTheCritic
11th February 09, 09:39 PM
legalize weed, that is all.

SFGOON
12th February 09, 12:49 AM
I'd support it with the following conditions.

1. The state maintains a total monopoly on the sale of marijuana.

2. Obvious age limits apply, 21 and up.

3. Those who purchase the weed must first register with the state as a "known cannabis user," submit a mug shot and fingerprints, and have a huge RFID chip implanted in their face so that other members of society can identify and marginalize them.

Steve
12th February 09, 01:15 AM
I'd support it with the following conditions.

1. The state maintains a total monopoly on the sale of marijuana.

2. Obvious age limits apply, 21 and up.

3. Those who purchase the weed must first register with the state as a "known cannabis user," submit a mug shot and fingerprints, and have a huge RFID chip implanted in their face so that other members of society can identify and marginalize them.

I agree with you.

As long as alcohol users follow number 3 as well.

WarPhalange
12th February 09, 01:23 AM
I agree with Steve.


It would also help to let these vile criminals who dared inhale plant smoke out of prison so that instead of us paying for them, they could pay for themselves and their taxes as well.

partyboy
12th February 09, 07:48 AM
or you could just move to denver

EuropIan
12th February 09, 08:02 AM
or you could just move to denver
Why would you do that?

EuropIan
12th February 09, 08:08 AM
There has been some legalisation buzz as of recent.

But that's all it is, buzz.

Right?

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Sun Wukong
12th February 09, 08:10 AM
I support the right of people to get high safely with pot, even though I haven't smoked any in years. I still think it's a damn fine way to pass the time when one feels motivated to do so.

Edit: if only it were an actual legal right.

billy sol hurok
12th February 09, 10:42 AM
I support the right of people to get high safely with pot, even though I haven't smoked any in years. I still think it's a damn fine way to pass the time when one feels motivated to do so.


Wotta oxymaroon!

partyboy
12th February 09, 02:16 PM
Why would you do that?

it's legal to have 1oz of pot on your person at any given time

EuropIan
12th February 09, 02:19 PM
Ok, did not know that.

Denver sucks less now.

Zendetta
12th February 09, 02:21 PM
Seriously, the only people I know who DON'T want weed legalized are in the marijuana growing business. That should give the pro-prohibition folks something to think about.

RickTheCritic
12th February 09, 04:24 PM
First of all I have never smoked weed and really dont want to ( I dont even drink)

But even I can see legalizing pot is a major boon for society in general. With that said I do have some concerns with it

1) Contact (second hand high)

2) Looking to the furture with pot legalized organized crime will turn to prostitution possibly leading to us having to legalize prostitution ( which is a little more immoral then smoking pot)

edit: bad grammar

Zendetta
12th February 09, 04:31 PM
You have "common sense capitalism" in your politics field and you want to restrict people's ability to Get High With Whores?

Whatdafuq, mang?

EuropIan
12th February 09, 04:34 PM
First of all I have never smoked weed and really dont want to ( I dont even drink)

But even I can see legalizing pot is a major boon for society in general. With that said I do have some concerns with it

1) Contact (second hand high)

2) Looking to the furture with pot legalized organized crime will turn to prostitution possibly leading to us having legalize prostitution ( which is a little more immoral then smoking pot)

1) Don't hang out in enclosed spaces with stoners.


2) wat?

RickTheCritic
12th February 09, 04:35 PM
Im saying when people have a legal alternative to drugs Organized Crime in genral will lose most of thier revenue. So they would turn thier efforts to the sex trade. To combat this one of the options( most effective IMO) would be to legalize prostitution ( which many people would have a problem with)

Robot Jesus
12th February 09, 04:39 PM
First of all I have never smoked weed and really dont want to ( I dont even drink)

But even I can see legalizing pot is a major boon for society in general. With that said I do have some concerns with it

1) Contact (second hand high)

2) Looking to the furture with pot legalized organized crime will turn to prostitution possibly leading to us having legalize prostitution ( which is a little more immoral then smoking pot)


whats immoral about one concenting adult paying another concenting adult to bend in half and lick her own ass.

Yiktin Voxbane
12th February 09, 04:46 PM
DO NOT Legalize , decriminalize instead .. allow me to ellucidate .

If Legal will be Govt. run and controlled , nothing like paying $10.oo for a govt. weed package just to get home and find it's all stalk and leaf .

Decriminalize BUT .... Sell License to grow , caught growing w/o one off to the Big-house with ya .

Couple of benefits ...... will Largely eliminate the black market . The Govt. will win a LOT of favour with a lot of folks, while Alienating a small minority . A LOT of revenue will be raised by and for the Govt .

EuropIan
12th February 09, 04:46 PM
Im saying when people have a legal alternative to drugs Organized Crime in genral will lose most of thier revenue. So they would turn thier efforts to the sex trade. To combat this one of the options would be to legalize prostitution
Actually, in the US, prostitution is in a bigger legal grey area than weed.

Yiktin Voxbane
12th February 09, 04:47 PM
Oh and all the gun nuts will be exstatic, they get to *Defend* their property .

RickTheCritic
12th February 09, 04:47 PM
whats immoral about one concenting adult paying another concenting adult to bend in half and lick her own ass.

Im not against it but many people would be

RickTheCritic
12th February 09, 04:48 PM
Actually, in the US, prostitution is in a bigger legal grey area than weed.

Yay I heard they have brothels in Las Vegas

EuropIan
12th February 09, 04:53 PM
And are the living conditions of these Nevada prostitutes horrible and immoral?

RickTheCritic
12th February 09, 05:00 PM
Wow your making it sound like im against this. No, im looking to the furture and imagining all the Religious groups all the family first groups protesting against this

Edit:added group

EuropIan
12th February 09, 05:02 PM
No, I just thought the connection didn't make sense.

'values voters' fuck up things for everyone else.

They're basically huge poopers of parties.

RickTheCritic
12th February 09, 05:04 PM
?

EuropIan
12th February 09, 05:08 PM
"hypothetical weedgangsters expand into prostiution, cuz moar sinfull"

^this didn't make sense to me.


As for the other stuff, that was me agreeing that value voters are poopy-heads

RickTheCritic
12th February 09, 05:18 PM
"hypothetical weedgangsters expand into prostiution, cuz moar sinfull"

^this didn't make sense to me.


As for the other stuff, that was me agreeing that value voters are poopy-heads

At least we agree on something :D

Ok what I was saying is with a legal alternative to drugs, why buy illegal drugs?

Drug Cartels, Dealers etc. will lose money and alot of their power. They resort to the next big thing the sex trade. When I say sex trade I mean sex slavery (Taken style) (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0936501/plotsummary)

Again, me looking to the furture I can imagine mexican drug cartels doing this (they already kidnap americans from border towns)

EuropIan
12th February 09, 05:35 PM
I thought meth would be the more related area to expand into.


Are you basing the legalisation of weed -> legalisation of prostitution because of Holland?

RickTheCritic
12th February 09, 06:19 PM
Im just speculating

legalized pot hurts all illegal drugs

MrGalt
12th February 09, 10:46 PM
Has anybody here actually met a pot dealer who has what it takes to be a pimp? I think these are non-overlapping skillsets.

Sun Wukong
13th February 09, 09:11 AM
On the subject of a second hand high, I've never ever had a contact high. My room mate in college tore through about about an ounce every week and one of my long term girlfriends was a wake and baker who generally smoked 6 to 10 joints a day.

I never got second hand high. I did get a few first hand highs, but never a second hand high.

EuropIan
13th February 09, 09:59 AM
It's not impossible to get high 2nd hand, but for the most part I would guess the strong fregrance of weed might convince a non-toker that he has "t3h high"