Sunday :: Jul 19, 2009

Pot Gold Rush in Closing Prisons, Not Tax Revenue

by paradox

I see from the Google News feed an Associated Press article on medical cannabis in California that many headlines blare gold rush or huge cash cow from anticipated tax revenues, which is not at all the main source of cash in legalizing pot. The article is lazily written in the classically stilted, outsider square manner that serves California and the reader poorly in so many ways, certainly not to be tolerated at The Left Coaster this morning.

Of course California has medical pot clubs, leading to a strange quasi-legal status here for cannabis, because long, long ago the citizens here decided they had completely had it with stories of dying children suffering from leukemia furtively being passed joints by nurses, only to see 10 more where dying human beings suffered horribly because smoking a little pot to allay knifing nausea was forbidden. Californians rightly decided cannabis’ potential problems were not worth the potential benefits of medical legalization, Democracy lives on, right?

Ha. Before 2009 technical registration with an alleged doctor’s signature to a pot club was spotty and perhaps 25% of what it could be, for the horrible Feds were still stupidly, mulishly, and cruelly raiding pot clubs whenever they felt like it in a sickening apartheid-like segregation of futility and repression. No one with any knowledge of the Feds would ever want to get into one of their databases, medical patients could end up the no-fly list if they got your name in a pot raid, who denies it? So many folks stayed away.

But now with Obama in the White House the vicious closing of California medical cannabis has stopped (amazingly, it sputtered on for months after he was elected), so things are starting to loosen up a little bit with the home delivery methods the AP article leads with, the most accurate part of this typical AP journalism mess.

Again, the primary driver for legal cannabis in California was medical relief, and the AP article follows one guy dying of cancer, who says the club has a lot of choices. Without another freaking word about cancer, nausea, treatment for a terrible condition, freedom, liberty, or human decency Wohlsen and Leff deftly wander the work away to the inevitable stoner saying the medical barriers to join the club are a joke.

Californians respect and honor Americans who are cancer patients, Associated Press. Relief of terrible suffering is our motivation, not the enablement of stoners. Since those who purely enjoy cannabis for recreational use don’t really cause too many problems we put up with them.

At least $15 billion dollars changes hands annually in the California cannabis black market, and no one really knows what legalizing cannabis would mean for price and tax base revenue, the most rosy scenarios paint California taking in $1 billion if everything were wide open legal. A billion dollars, yes, but not even remotely close to being the magic bullet needs to solve its revenue problems.

This is a supremely narrow and stilted view on cannabis costs and revenue in California, the real “gold rush” is in prison savings, California will save billions more a year if we just stopped locking our people up for cannabis crimes.

A fiduciary view of incarceration savings is in itself a horribly narrow, stilted human view of the cannabis issue. America, Land of the Free my ass. How dare the State interfere with a purely personal decision and activity, it is supremely sad indeed that modern Americans so lost their way that tolerance for the robbery of liberty in sparking up a fatty was ever allowed to take place. Hello? Leave me alone, Jack. That, too, is a supremely American value and trait.

Now that things are starting to “loosen up” with the Federal pot raids ceased what will that mean for the wise, tolerant citizens of California? Primarily the easing of as much suffering as possible. A huge savings in not locking up our people for such insanely expensive reasons. Perhaps a billion dollars in sales tax revenue. Just as importantly, a blessed relief of liberty in the land as good people, citizens of America, are free to do as they choose in real freedom, not the George Bush kind of the century start. That is our California medical cannabis story, Associated Press.

paradox :: 7:53 AM :: Comments (1) :: Digg It!