Friday, November 15, 2013

Legalizing Pot

For those of you who haven't been paying attention, last year Washington and Colorado both passed initiatives that legalize the recreational use of marijuana.  The regulatory regimes were supposed to be regulated in "a manner similar to alcohol".

For the record, I'm not advocating for the legalization of marijuana.  I've heard the arguments on both sides, and I'm simply not convinced.  However, the voters in those states were convinced and they passed the proposition.  Now, the state is trying to figure out how to deal with it, and it looks like they're going to tax the living hell out of it.  Which is fine, except that the free market is at work.
The upshot of such actions is predictable and depressing. Colorado lawmakers are banking on about $70 million a year in taxes from pot and their Washington counterparts have projected new revenues of $1.9 billion over the first five years of legalization. There’s just no way that’s going to happen if a legal ounce of pot is double the price or more of back-alley weed. Even the most stoned pothead isn’t that easy to scam.
Taxes have to be seen as fair on luxury, or sin items (and marijuana is definitely considered one or the other) or people will find a way around them.  The linked article says that a legal ounce of marijuana, after the tax man gets his bite, might be as much as between $482 an ounce and $723 an ounce.  The black market is going to love those prices.

If you're supposed to regulate it in a manner similar to alcohol, the most consumers would expect to see packs of Alcapulco Gold pre-rolled, right next to the Jack Daniels on the likker store shelves.

Again, I've heard all the arguments, and I'm not convinced, but it looks like the state tax-man is going to do his best to suppress the pot that the voters want.  Let Freedom Ring.


Rivrdog said...

In Thailand during the 1970's, MJ was sold, pre-rolled, next to cigarettes, for about 10% more. The brand was Krung Thiep, IIRC...

Gerry N. said...

My state (WA) rep lives down the street a few blocks so I run into her at the store every once in a while. She's a raving libtard and dumb as a hemlock stump. I had that talk with her about why anyone smart enough to walk upright without a minder would pay twice or more the price for "legal" weed when back alley stuff was: A. Easier to get. and B. Less than half the price?

She didn't get it. I told her that Legislative incompetence and Legislative stupidity were different. Incompetence has limits, Stupidity, not so much. She still doesn't get it.

But she's a nice lady and means well and that's all that matters in ultra libtard W. Wa.