Haaa, can’t tax my marijuana!
The fight to legalize marijuana seems to be making major inroads as politicians, greedy for funds of any kind, find ways to get those tax revenues without a direct increase to the taxpayer. While there are some politicians have a more honorable reason for promoting the legalization of marijuana, there are many others who have no interest in the welfare of their own friends, family, and community; they’re in it for the money.
At any rate, I could care less about their reasons for legalization. All I care about is that it get legalized.
However, what I do care about is how legalization takes place, particularly in the way of taxation, for now. I assume that quality control will be an issue in the future as I am sure companies like Altria, makers of smokable poison like Marlboro cigarettes, would find ways to weaponize marijuana as they did with tobacco.
But, I have a solution for all of that.
The problem with taxation are the high expectations for tax revenues. These politicians believe that the current pricing for marijuana will be stable. For them, that high cost equals high tax revenues. But, they don’t recognize that these high costs are in part due to prohibition. Once prohibition is repealed, marijuana prices will drop considerably and those major tax revenues will drop with it.
This is why legalization is not a particularly great solution for the economy. And, here I am making that prospect even worse.
The reason I intend to make it worse is because there’s a segment within the marijuana community that believe in absolutely no taxes for marijuana use. This is because they consider marijuana a medicine and you simply don’t tax medicine. However, it stands in the way of legalization because it if we’re to get it legalized for everybody, taxation has to be a reality.
Besides, medicinal users are already being taxed by having to pay upfront fees for licenses, doctors prescriptions, and the ability to grow if they are providers.
I call that the Republican way to tax. See, Democrats tax you from the front so you see it coming – income tax, sales tax, etc. Republicans reduce face-front taxes. They just wait for you to turn around and bend over so they “tax” you up the behind with increased fees for anything you want to do. Democrats will rather tax your income to pay for roads. Republicans rather put tolls at every street intersection they can find. For example, in NYC, Mayor Bloomberg has sought to lower “face-front” taxes, yet proposed fees for entering the Manhattan below a certain street. Hey, you’ll pay either way so just laugh about this now, think about it later.
The real issue is that medicinal marijuana users don’t like the idea of being taxed at the rates proposed under complete legalization. It truly is their medicine and they shouldn’t be taxed for it. And, let’s be honest, those rates are incredibly ridiculous no matter who’s paying. Not even alcohol or tobacco are taxed as heavily as what’s proposed for marijuana. So, I don’t blame people for getting upset.
The question at this point is how can this be done.
First of all, the politicians will do most of the work for this effort to be a success. By promoting prohibition level pricing, even after the repeal of prohibition, it wouldn’t make sense for a marijuana grower to sell his product at wholesale prices when he can still operate and compete as though prohibition still exists. In fact, it can be considered as prohibition-plus since taxes are going to be a major factor. As a consumer, it would make sense to simply go directly to the grower and avoid any taxation whatsoever.
While this may not be desirable, the politicians will have to learn a hard lesson here. It’s not a lesson that wasn’t already anticipated in history. During the repeal of alcohol prohibition, politicians, then, knew that the legal market would have to price-compete with the illegal market. Otherwise, it would be impossible to regulate and collect taxes. If today’s politicians are too stupid to anticipate such competition and too arrogant to listen to the people, then they deserve to look like fools when their ridiculous taxation scheme doesn’t produce the kind of tax revenues expected.
The second and most favorable method is self-reliance – grow your own marijuana. I am always promoting growing your own marijuana for personal use, so nothing new here. If marijuana is legal, who’s going to come looking for you if you’re growing a few ounces. Even though that marijuana is illegal, it’s still safer because you completely remove yourself from law enforcement radar. You’re not a Mexican drug cartel. You’re not out trafficking bricks of marijuana. And, you’re not out dealing on the streets. The only problems you may have is if smell gives you away or someone you tell decides to snitch on you. So, limit your exposure by investing in heavy odor control and not telling anyone.
Final Side Note
Personally, the only reason I would ever get caught is because of this blog or perhaps the few people that know about me. And, I know what I am doing by exposing myself. But, if I can motivate more people to grow their own, I can help limit the violence injected into the lives of peaceful people by careless drug dealers and aggressive law enforcement as well as reduce the profits of violent drug cartels that most law enforcement protect with their support of prohibition. It’s worth it if I can save another life.