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Gibson writes: "If you're ready to stop being confused and end the senseless prohibition of marijuana, demand your state legislators introduce bills in the following session that do just that."

An elderly women smokes a joint at hemp fest. (photo: The Washington Post)
An elderly women smokes a joint at hemp fest. (photo: The Washington Post)

How Legal Marijuana Could Save $72 Billion Each Year

By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News

01 September 12

Reader Supported News | Perspective


f there was something readily available that had proven to successfully grow brain cells, kill cancer cells, treat glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, PTSD, insomnia, loss of appetite and other ailments, how infuriating would it be to know that both state and federal governments were spending in excess of $26 billion of our tax dollars every year arresting and incarcerating people for having, selling and using that substance? Could you imagine this guy going to jail for simply curing his thyroid cancer?

I still remember my 16-year-old cat dying when I was in high school, and crying after it happened. Losing a pet is traumatizing for any kid, especially little ones. I can only imagine the fear, terror, anger and hatred felt by three kids in St. Paul, Minnesota several weeks ago when drug task force agents raided their home in the middle of the night, shot their family dog, and made them sit handcuffed next to the bloody carcass at gunpoint for over an hour while officers ransacked their home. One child was kicked by a cop and searched while loaded guns were pointed at her. Another child was deprived of her diabetes medication and went into diabetic shock induced by low blood sugar levels. And the drug cops weren't even raiding the right home.

Retired California Superior Court Judge James P. Gray argued in 2009, during the state's debate over the ultimately unsuccessful attempt to regulate and taxed marijuana like alcohol, that the more than 30-year War on Drugs has failed miserably. Gray went on to state that the prohibition of marijuana has only led to the proliferation of even more potent marijuana, just as the days of alcohol prohibition motivated bootleggers to peddle stronger booze to turn a higher profit. The facts back up Judge Gray: Mexican drug cartels currently kidnapping, raping and murdering thousands every year would be crippled if marijuana, their biggest source of revenue, was made legal in the United States.

With taxed and regulated marijuana, federal and state governments would suddenly free up $26 billion spent annually on the failed drug war. And the additional tax revenue taken in, assuming the states regulate and tax the sale of marijuana, would mean an additional $46 billion in tax revenue every year. China spent $70 billion modernizing their high-speed rail system, which simultaneously created jobs, streamlined transportation, and will drastically improve the environment over the years. What if we invested $72 billion in American high-speed rail with that new revenue?

While state governments in Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Connecticut, and yes, even Kentucky are waking up and realizing the benefits of both prescribing medical marijuana and regulating marijuana like alcohol, the federal government's chief drug enforcer, Michele Leonhart, is still blindly parroting vastly outdated talking points, even when confronted by members of Congress. And yes, this is the same federal government that has issued 300 pre-rolled joints every month since 1982 to stockbroker Irv Rosenfeld, who suffers from a condition that causes painful bone tumors. It's also the same federal government whose president said he would stop raiding medical marijuana farms and dispensaries in 2009. It's also the same federal government that continues to raid medical marijuana farms and dispensaries, like the ones at Oaksterdam University in 2012.

Confused yet? According to Kevin Drum of Mother Jones, the US government signed a treaty in 1961, with a host of other countries, that made marijuana a Schedule I drug, meaning it's flatly forbidden. Keep in mind, this was done not long after Harry J. Anslinger's lurid testimonies as US Commissioner of Narcotics, and racist fear-mongering by yellow journalists like William Randolph Hearst that insinuated that smoking marijuana would turn women into prostitutes.

But today, over half of Americans are ready to see marijuana legalized. And $3 million has already been raised to help the legalization efforts in Colorado, Oregon and Washington state. If you're ready to stop being confused and end the senseless prohibition of marijuana, demand your state legislators introduce bills in the following session that do just that. Demand members of Congress and presidential candidates to withdraw from the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. If they won't, elect legislators, congressmen and presidents who will.

Carl Gibson, 25, is co-founder of US Uncut, a nationwide creative direct-action movement that mobilized tens of thousands of activists against corporate tax avoidance and budget cuts in the months leading up to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Carl and other US Uncut activists are featured in the documentary "We're Not Broke," which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He currently lives in Manchester, New Hampshire. You can contact Carl at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , and listen to his online radio talk show, Swag The Dog, at

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner


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+72 # acorus 2012-09-01 18:55
it's so painfully obvious that the drug war has not succeeded and is only being waged now for profit (along w/ all other wars), that marijuana is inexorably safer than alcohol, that certain states will be realizing the tax revenues of cannabis and hemp imminently, and that the feds are so corrupt that they even take money from the mexi drug cartels, whom will be severely crippled if marijuana is legalized, it's a no brainer for the citizens, only the feds will suffer
+31 # Ralph Averill 2012-09-02 06:53
You're going to have to fight Big Pharma and the booze/beer lobby to get close to legalization. Especially Big Pharma. Reading in the first paragraph the partial list of maladies either eased or cured by marijuana, (and the complete list is a long one,) is the unwritten list of very profitable drugs that would no longer be necessary. Big Pharma can't have that happen. Marijuana could never be effectively taxed; it's too easy to grow, even more so if it was de-criminalized .
-3 # George D 2012-09-02 10:08
Your points punctuate the points made in the article and, as a liberal, I think that marijuana should be legalized. The problem I have with this article though is that some of the claims don't pass the "sniff test" for me and, if I think they sound a bit hard to believe, then what would a rabid Republican think?
Marijuana grows brain cells??? Really???
If that's so, why was every pot head I ever met lethargic and unable to concentrate? Why did I have similar feelings when I experimented with it as a teen? This claim, even if scientifically provable, sounds absurd.

The other comments about tax revenue sound exaggerated also, and I agree that anything that can be home grown can avoid taxes. Of course, a Republican that smokes pot might argue that alcohol and tobacco can be produced at home also but, the consuming market for these commodities choose to buy the commercially produced versions of them instead.
That whole "brain cell" argument just escapes me though.
Carl; What have YOU been smoking?
+11 # M. de la Souche 2012-09-02 13:37
Ultimately, politicians on the right (conservatives, not libertarians) will oppose legalization for one or more of the following reasons: 1) Immense amounts of money are being spent on a (failed) War on Drugs which mostly benefits arms manufacturers, and manufacturers of related tactical gear (vehicles, etc.)--industri es traditionally allied with the right;
2) For states with privatized or semi-privatized prison systems, immense amounts of money are being spent to incarcerate thousands of people convicted of cannabis-relate d crimes. These private prison corporations are also traditionally aligned with conservative politicians and causes;
3) Big Pharma and/or large breweries and distilleries;
4) Other than taxation (and perhaps the medical marijuana quasi-cartel), a profit would be difficult to wrest from cannabis if it was to be fully legalized.

As to your question about the benefits of cannabis consumption, I would point out to you that addiction and abuse can occur with a variety of substances, and the impairment of the stereotypical "pot-head" is no different than that of the beloved "town drunk." Both are the result of the INDIVIDUAL'S choice to over-consume.

One peer-reviewed study for supporting cannabinoids' role in neuronal growth is here:
There are others, and the neuroscience community is generally accepting of this research.
+3 # Ralph Averill 2012-09-02 17:39
"why was every pot head I ever met lethargic and unable to concentrate?"
Unable or unwilling?
I always found it much easier to focus after a couple of hits. As a teenager, I took a series of psychological tests over a couple of days and scored a higher IQ (whatever that is,) on the day when I smoked a joint before the test session.
However, I'm with you; skeptical about "growing" brain cells.
-3 # Christie Abercrombie 2012-09-03 06:35
I'm with George D. I'm liberal and believe that the state should not interfere with an individul's right to alter their state of mind. However, I choose not to to smoke at all (nor drink for that matter) precisely because alcohol and pot are mind-dulling substances! I seriously doubt the claim that it grows brain-cells and I feel that many pot-smokers make elaborate and conspiratorial excuses for what is essentially an addiction. Also - the claims of police violence is an issue, but an issue aside from whether or not to legalize pot, surely? The incidents described are concerning because of how brutal they are, I hope that Gibson is not claiming that this level is only unnecessary because of the 'crime' they are related to - citizens should not be treated in that manner, full-stop. For me, that doesn't argue for the need to legalize pot - any thoughts?
-4 # Billy Bob 2012-09-03 12:46
One of the most well-reasoned and articulate comments I've read on the subject.
+47 # DaveM 2012-09-01 22:26
Not only would legalized marijuana save an incredible amount of money and create a new cash crop for farmers (it's already grown "semi-officiall y" in several states and in terms of dollars is the largest cash crop in the United States), the legalization of industrial hemp would open yet another lucrative market to American farmers.

At the moment, numerous hemp products are quite legally offered for sale throughout the United States. Yet the makers of these products must turn to other countries for their raw material, as it cannot be grown here. It's time for that to change.

Hemp is a renewable crop that can produce biomass, fibers for rope, textiles, and papers. Hemp oil has a variety of uses, some of them medicinal. It will grow in all 50 states (indeed, already does), can tolerate almost any soil, requires little or no fertilizer, more or less weeds itself, and not especially prone to insect predation, need for insecticides either.

Cannabis varieties have an increasing number of demonstrated medicinal properties, with few or no documented health hazard. There is not one case of marijuana overdose on record. Shouldn't people have access to this useful medicine?

Yes, some people will smoke or otherwise ingest the stuff and listen to The White Album through headphones all day long. It's their choice. Is that not better for this country than having a de facto war fought by organized crime at our southern border?
+12 # Capn Canard 2012-09-02 06:27
Dave, yeah... the thing is that the entrenched industries don't want any competition or decrease in potential market: paper, big pharma, plastics, prison industrial complex, etc etc etc. MJ is used by less than 50% of Americans therefore it is highly unlikely to be legal, no matter how beneficial legalization would be. I watched this for over 30 years, and I believe it is that simple.
+25 # wrknight 2012-09-02 08:30
Not sure about that. The fact that fewer than 50% of people use marijuana is no guarantee that we will keep it illegal. I'm one of those who don't use it but I fully support legalizing it, and I know a lot of folks who feel the same way. On the other hand, you are right about a number of major corporations that would fight it because it would impact their profits.

But that brings up a another point. Who is our government working for -- citizens or corporations -- and I don't care what the Supreme Court says, they are not the same. Unfortunately, however, it's much like Clint Eastwood said at the Republican Convention the other night "We own this country!" -- and he wasn't talking about you and me.
+28 # maddave 2012-09-01 22:29
I have no idea where Gibson gets his numbers, but the USA has almost half a million people in jail at any one time for MJ offenses ---at a cost of conservatively $50K per prisoner. This alone, Beloved, totals $25 million!
1. Directly & indirectly, we lose at least $150 BILLION per year fighting a losing War on Drugs.
2. The net revenue (insofar as anyone can tell) in the illicit drug trade is $500 BILLION.
3. Mankind has had a love affair with mind altering drugs for 10,000 years that we know for sure.
4. With numbers and a history like this our candy-assed, racist and puritanical attempts to suppress ANY naturally occuring driug (
+5 # maddave 2012-09-02 07:24
CORRECTION: maddave, above: line three, last word ought to be "BILLION" vice "million"
+29 # angelfish 2012-09-01 23:14
WHY won't they legalize it? It's no more likely to cause OTHER addictions than Alcohol and it is FAR less damaging. Neither a user or Fan, I believe Marijuana should be treated like Alcohol when it comes to it's sale. Perhaps when the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson begin cultivating it, it will be legalized, regulated and Taxed into oblivion. I guess we'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, never, EVER Vote ReTHUGlican! Just sayin'....
+24 # Kootenay Coyote 2012-09-02 08:14
Marijuana is not addictive (a chemical issue), though it may support dependency (a psychological issue). Thus the narcotic label is dead wrong (as well as biologically & chemically inaccurate).
+27 # maddave 2012-09-01 23:16
OOPS - Picking up where i left off:

4. With numbers and a history like this, any attempt to wipe out ANY naturally occurring drugs (MJ, cocaine, opium & its derivatives, etc) with our puritanical, racist drug laws is pre-ordained to FAIL!

Standing four-square AGAINST drug law revision are:
1. The illicit drug dealers.
2. Our own Drug Warriors whose mantra is "It may be shit to you, but it's my bread & butter!"
3. Our legislators, much of whose "power" is derived from throwing money at LOCAL, ineffective-but -feel-good anti drug projects like DARE, LEAA and SWAT teams in every American Podunk and crossroad.
4. Uncounted ignorant demagogues and fear-mongering preachers who can't tell their anus from a bullet wound.
5. So called "ethical drug manufacturers" whose cash cow pain-killers pale beside UN-PATENTABLE (unprofitable) "natural" marijuana, heroin, cocaine, etc.
6. The burgeoning prison industry.

Conclusion: Through our asinine anti-drug policies, we have created an artificial economy in which ordinarily dirt-cheap pain meds bring in outrageous revenues . . . which in turn finance other crime and wars upon our own nation.
2. The amount of money involved is so great that corruption in our government & police force is rampant. For decades, J Edgar Hoover forbid his "untouchables" from drug cases for just this reason!

+22 # maddave 2012-09-01 23:26
Still more:
Q. The two mind-altering drugs MOST difficult for a fourteen-year-o ld to buy are WHAT?
A. A six-pack of beer followed closely by tobacco products.

Why? The clerk at the 7-11 loses her job &n goes to jail if he/she does NOT check ID to ensure age requirements are met in both alcohol & tobacco sales. . Street dealers of illegal drugs is not so encumbered.
+20 # mickeynow 2012-09-01 23:34
It's been a lot of years that people have advocated a new way of looking at and accepting marijuana. The amounts of money spent on trying to control usage of this product is obscene. But there is also a whole industry built up to handle the so called problem. Police, lawyers, courts, and prisons exist on this basis. I've wondered for a long time why marijuana hasn't been made legal and taxed. One of the worst drugs we have legalized is alcohol which ruins many, many more lives than marijuana ever has. It doesn't make any sense until you factor in the number of industries surrounding and surviving on the continuation of the lies regarding this drug. Let people decide what they want to do with their lives. Butt out with this nonsense. Contact your elected representatives and let them know this would be an excellent way to raise money.
+26 # ceesa 2012-09-01 23:39
Isn't it obvious it doesn't matter anymore that 'over half of Americans are ready'_________ _____ (you insert the message). End the drug war, pull out of Afghanistan, allow gay marriage, stay the hell out of our reproductive decisions, prosecute financial criminals, repair roads, build bridges, educate our kids, stop wasting our tax dollars, it doesn't matter. The politicians lie, cheat (yes cheat!), get elected then do what they want to enrich and secure, most importantly, their financial future. Arrrrgh!!!
+27 # kentuckywoman2 2012-09-02 00:12
I love reading your articles, but could you please do some proofreading before you publish? There's no excuse for basic spelling errors, noun/verb disagreement, etc.

That being said, I live in Kentucky and I can tell you that Perry Clark is going to have an extremely tough road to hoe as far as getting this bill through the legislature. He may even lose his Senate seat because of it - that's how strong the opposition is. I mean, you're talking about a state where it's legal to carry a gun into the Capitol Bldg in Frankfurt, as long as it's not concealed. Legislators ARE allowed to carry concealed weapons. Does that tell you the mindset? I might further add that the Commonwealth of Kentucky has roughly a 47% illiteracy rate - which is why Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul get elected. Dumb-d-dumb-dum b-dumb. Dumb butt ignorant are most of the uneducated population down here.

Even though Kentucky, arguably one of the poorest states in the country, could become one of the WEALTHIEST if marijuana was once again legal, I won't hold my breath....becau se the average Kentuckian, including those in the state legislature, are just butt dumb ignorant.

I mean, we're the only state to have a "Creation Museum". Sigh.
But hey, we can always HOPE. Speaking of which, where is all that HOPE and CHANGE Pres. Obama promised us? He's the lesser evil and so I will vote for him, but I think we should put more pressure on him to legalize marijuana.
+1 # dkonstruction 2012-09-04 13:58
Given that pot is Kentucky's number one cash crop the question has to be asked who is benefitting from it being kept illegal and what is their rational? Clearly it isn't economics (unless you argue -- and a reasonable case can be made for the arguement -- that the increased cash brought in by virtue of the fact that it is still illegal (and the subsequent economic benefit derived from spending this money in Kentucky -- if one can show that this is in fact that case -- outweighs the lost direct tax revenue. somehow i doubt this is their objection though and it is probably more along the lines that "it's a drug" and therefore "immoral"
+18 # Dave_s Not Here 2012-09-02 01:31
Ignorant, mercenary, vicious thugs with their snouts buried so deeply in the public trough they can neither see nor hear.
+26 # Lingtao 2012-09-02 02:07
Please don't re-legalize pot!! My peers and I are making damn good money off its illegality. who are we?? I'm the prison bus driver who always has a full load and plenty of overtime pay. I'm the county jail clerk with a two foot high stack of new cases on my desk (and plenty of overtime). I'm the probation/parol e officer who's got a second vacation condo on Maui with a mortgage to pay off, so I'll bust you if you are twenty minutes late for a meeting. You get four more months behind bars and I get more paper work and more of that pesky overtime pay. I'm the guard watching fifteen year old pot abusers behind a fence,... with plenty of overtime and benefits. I'm the 'Walter Mitty' swat team member kicking in the wrong door,... with plenty of that hard earned overtime.

You get my drift? There is a whole army of us in America who depend on the drug trade and the profits it generates to keep us in the chips,.... and to keep you from yourselves. Legalize it,.. and by God we'll have a country of 'Willy Nelsons' on our hand,... for crying out loud!
-31 # Billy Bob 2012-09-02 02:14
Legal marijuana is a conservative's dream. It is a drug that specifically targets liberals and makes them more passive. All that passivity will be useful in the next few years as even more of our rights are stripped away. It could also save the para-military police a lot of money by passifying crowds of potential protesters.

If I were a conservative I'd say, "Here! Smoke this and shut the hell up!"
0 # George D 2012-09-02 10:18
I have to agree. I see no down side for either political party or social group to be in favor of this.
The affects of using pot are not any more harmful to society than using alcohol or cigarettes. If it's limited to use in one's own home, not even legalized to the degree of public consumption, then I see no risk to the public and a much greater potential "up" side.
+5 # rockieball 2012-09-02 11:12
Not legalizing marijuana is a conservatives dream. It creates more spending arms militarizing our police force. It helps fill those newly privatized for profit corporate prisons. It helps the drug companies to make bigger profits selling people drugs that cause more side effects thus making more drugs to treat them in an endless circle. It helps banks to make even more profit by laundering drug money. It helps the tobacco industry in the continuation of selling cigarettes that even their second hand smoke kills people. I am sure others could ass to this line of thought.
-4 # Billy Bob 2012-09-02 12:40
Do you honestly think the military/securi ty/police are going to be lacking funding ever?

This is a win-win for conservatives and a lose-lose for liberals. Not legalizing it makes us focus our attention on it rather than other things, and legalizing it would help get them to the polls in even greater numbers.

I don't have a personal problem with the legalization of the drug. I have a huge strategic problem with making that too much of our focus. If you honestly think we could realistically pull off legalizing it within the next 50 years, great. Otherwise, I see it as, at best, a back buner issue, and at worst, a huge distraction.
+13 # lollie 2012-09-02 03:48
The war on drugs does not make sense . But i am sure there are those it makes perfectly good sense to,follow the money,and that portion of the population that is harassed and controlled by the govt. in the name of "protecting"us from this weed.Propaganda at it's best.
+22 # James Smith 2012-09-02 04:56
It's the same old story - follow the money. Surely the alcohol industry has a vested interest in keeping marijuana illegal. Legal pot would surely affect their profits.

Another industry that would be hit very hard is the DEA. Thousands of agents would have nothing to do. Then what about judges, prosecutors, and prisons? They would have to focus on real criminals, much harder targets. Pot convictions are and and can improve the won/lost record of the prosecutors and help judges look "tough on crime."

The entire "war on some drugs" is another example of the hypocrisy and dishonesty of the American "justice" system.
+14 # maddave 2012-09-02 07:40
Re DEA lay-offs due to drug decriminalizati on: It couldn't happen to a more deserving group, BUT the DEA gum-shoes could be re-trained and put to work ferreting out Medicare fraud . . . which costs the system tens of billions of dolars every year.
FACT: Many drug dealers in Miami & elsewhere are shifting from dealing drugs to scamming Medicare because it's safer, the penalties are very light and the profits are comparable.
Go figure.
-4 # arkee 2012-09-02 08:31
Everyone is sounding off as if pot were a harmless toy. I would like to refer you to an in depth study of the effects of cannabis on young users.
OK, legalize, but then come up with an idea for a propaganda campaign that will make kids think it is uncool to smoke it.
+8 # ABen 2012-09-02 11:22
Here's a flash for you--most high school students are very familiar with pot and its effects. After teaching HS for 20+ years and in various settings from grindingly poor to very well-to-do neighborhoods, I can tell you that young people between the ages of 12 and 17 do not need to be informed of the dangers of being a "stoner" by their elders. They are more aware of who does what (drugs & booze) as well as the long-term effects. If we want to do young people a favor, regulate pot as we regulate booze so that the person they buy pot from doesn't also want to sell them coke, speed, or some of the even worse substances floating around out there. Young people (teens) tend to be adventurous, impulsive, and rebellious, but not stupid.
-11 # Billy Bob 2012-09-02 12:42
One thing young people can't know first hand is what it's like to go to a 25 year class reunion and find out how many of the stoners who used to be your friends are now dead.
+3 # Kalamakuaikalani 2012-09-02 08:32
As a "pot-head" for over 40+ years, I am one of the people who would like to see pot legalized. But I find the arguments "all the money we'll get from taxing it" as totally bogus.Don't believe me ? Take Colorado, the most progressive state so far in setting up dispensaries, selling & taxing pot. How much did they get last year in taxes from pot ? LESS then $5 million. Add up the states, the people & the taxes & you'll be asking where's the rest. Not many current growers will voluntarily pay taxes on a product that has been illegal & non-taxable. Why would they? Yes, the govt. will save money that currently goes towards the so-called "drug war" against pot, but the govt & their supporters are smoking better stuff then most if they think there's that much money out there. All of a sudden after years of being hidden about it, I'm gonna register with a govt agency & pay taxes on something thats been tax-free forever ? Hahaha, now who's smoking the good stuff. Instead of trying to tax every thing in site, wouldn't one be better off just cutting your spending ? now there's where the billions are, not in pot.
+7 # jayjay 2012-09-02 08:37
There's a question on the Washington State ballot this November that would allow for legalization of marijuana, and guess who's against it? The marijuana growers who supply the medical marijuana market. that who. Go figure. Of course, where $$$ is involved, everything else comes second.
+8 # Doc Mary 2012-09-02 09:01
Here's part of the problem. As with many of these issues that show roughly half the country in favor, the ones in favor are younger and do not vote at the same percentages as older citizens who don't know anything about marijuana is (until the use it for cancer). all they know is decades of propaganda, and that is hard to sweep away.

So get your buddies out there VOTING.
+7 # grouchy 2012-09-02 09:38
Let's take the total cost to us as the current situation is; police, jails, trials, with all their detailed parts, then divide that massive figure by each taxpaying citizen. What we get is the cost TO EACH OF US for this nonsense. If the system was presented to the public in this manner, I think the results would be great shock and the realization that making marijuana illegal is a stupid extreme LUXURY! Let's stop the stupidity and save the money for better things!
+1 # Kalamakuaikalani 2012-09-02 09:52
The only ones who'll make millions out of it will be the dispensaries. When I'm offered only $375 for a 1/4 lb, while they're selling it for between $10 & $18 a gram, go figure out who's making the money & why some growers will not sell to a dispensary. I can undercut any official agency that sells it WITHOUT paying taxes. People are assuming that all of a sudden people in the pot industry will rush to sign up & pay taxes on pot. Have you heard anything more ridiculous then that ? Pot growers will do exactly what big business would do; find a way to avoid paying taxes, not rushing to be legal & pay taxes on a product that nobody will be able to figure out who's growing, who's legal & did they pay taxes on it. Don't be fooled by the tax collectors AGAIN!!!
+1 # Kalamakuaikalani 2012-09-02 11:14
And I might also add: where will they get the money to set up a govt agency that will regulate the industry ? OOOPSIE, there goes your mythical billions in taxes now into sliced up into realistic millions, assuming of course that every grower & seller will rush to pay a tax on their product.
+4 # rockieball 2012-09-02 12:38
How about from ending the subsidies that the tobacco industry get's. Yes they get them just like the big oil, big pharma and the big agru farms.
+3 # lollie 2012-09-02 11:31
What has happened to choice in our "democracy'? whether it's abortion, gay marriage, or pot? It seems to be presented as a mandate, when it actually is simply a choice and in a true democracy your right.
+5 # David Starr 2012-09-02 11:59
I don't need to back up Gibson's effective argument since it gets to the point. Legalize it, and don't criticize it. I wonder how many or little in the Republican base are toking. There must be some. I simply cannot believe there's not any. That's simply too-good-to-be- true; like the Repubs "wonderland" of hypocrisy. As usual the Repubs have regressed into the past, apeing the failure of Prohibition. And pakalolo is a convenient scapegoat for them to demonize since it became prominent as a 1960s, counterculture drug. I smoked on occasion while living in Hawai'i years ago. And if possible I'd still take the occassional toke. It does provide a relaxing feeling. Maybe the Repubs would sensibly cool out if they took up the "habit."
0 # Billy Bob 2012-09-02 12:59
ron paul is a repug and one of the reasons he's so popular on the internet is that he claims he wants to legalize pot.

So, OF COURSE repugs smoke pot.
-5 # Billy Bob 2012-09-02 13:01
Otherwise, why would liberals vote for a man who wants to destroy everything else about this country? Just for the sake of smokin' a little weed? No. These are right-wing conservatives who agree with everything the repug party has to offer (or offers to take away), and also like to get high.

Makes perfect sense to me.
+6 # James Marcus 2012-09-02 12:12
Please Realize:
Legalization of Marijuana would end nearly All drug cartels almost overnight. Why?
The supply would flourish (I mean FLOURISH) dropping the price tremendously,we ll below any 'real' profitability. No profits? NO traffic !
Also, users of other dangerous, far more expensive substances would then change, almost immediately, to That ... which was available, cheap, and legal. (those that could, would). And the Demand for these other substances would drop, as well. No Money in it? Traffic automatically bstantially.
+1 # Kalamakuaikalani 2012-09-02 22:10
Quoting James Marcus:
Please Realize:
Legalization of Marijuana would end nearly All drug cartels almost overnight. Why?
The supply would flourish (I mean FLOURISH) dropping the price tremendously,well below any 'real' profitability. No profits? NO traffic !
Also, users of other dangerous, far more expensive substances would then change, almost immediately, to That ... which was available, cheap, and legal. (those that could, would). And the Demand for these other substances would drop, as well. No Money in it? Traffic automatically diminishes...substantially.
the price has already dropped tremendously; an oz of mid-grade pot was about $250-$350 ... now, the dispensaries are buying 1/4 LBS for about $300-$350 f that same quality. The only ones who will make any money outta all this so-called billions are the agencies you as a voter, puts in charge of all this.And explain why users of other drugs would change any of their habits ? A crackhead doesn't cop his type of buzz smoking pot! Get real. All that will change is a junkie will steal more to support their habit, not go to a lesser drug, lol. And yes, there will be profits, one doesn't talk about a billion dollar industry without somebody making some serious profits. IMO, your whole argument is flawed.
+2 # elenwith 2012-09-02 16:04
One elephant to recognize is that the growers in this part of the country would have their profits cut 80% as a headline in the Ukiah,CA paper said just before California voted to not legalize last year. Not just cartels would lose a now entrenched living style.
+1 # panhead49 2012-09-03 10:17
Quoting elenwith:
One elephant to recognize is that the growers in this part of the country would have their profits cut 80% as a headline in the Ukiah,CA paper said just before California voted to not legalize last year. Not just cartels would lose a now entrenched living style.

What election last year? Granted you read the Ukiah Daily Urinal. As to profits, well folks could brew their own booze and grow their own tobacco but do they do it? Most folks do not have the time, desire or space. Cops, courts, correctional personnel and cartels are the big winners here if we keep the status quo.
-7 # The Voice of Reason 2012-09-03 10:01
Just what we need, another immoral economy. That ought to save us from the oil companies?

Actually, if people want to smoke pot, it should be free, meaning no cost. Same for alcohol and other predator economies. The idea of others profiting from people becoming addicted to a drug is quite offensive to human dignity. Let alone that the state gets a cut from every alcoholic's purchase.
+2 # dkonstruction 2012-09-04 14:01
Quoting The Voice of Reason:
Just what we need, another immoral economy. That ought to save us from the oil companies?

Actually, if people want to smoke pot, it should be free, meaning no cost. Same for alcohol and other predator economies. The idea of others profiting from people becoming addicted to a drug is quite offensive to human dignity. Let alone that the state gets a cut from every alcoholic's purchase.

somehow i think an economy that includes a military budget that is almost as much as the entire rest of the world combined as well as one in which we (the US) are by far the largest seller of weapons in the world is far more "immoral" than millions of folks smoking pot. And, just as with alcohol, most pot smokers are "recreational users" just as most that drink alcohol are "social drinkers"...nei ther are "addicts"
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