Thursday, November 4, 2010

Taxing marijuana

Now that Prop 19 has failed in California, a strange battlecry has returned to the Internet:

"Legalize marijuana and tax it!"

Two things come to mind:

First, don't worry, they would never forget to tax it.

Second, if they tax it enough the violent black market for marijuana will still exist. Imagine if they taxed it $500 an ounce. Clearly most people would continue buying it from drug dealers and nothing would change.

The stuff grows like a weed, remember, so anyone with a sunlamp in their closet can harvest it. The tax needs to be low enough so that the trouble of buying it illegally isn't worth the risk.


  1. I've always taken th taxation arguement with a grain of salt... If it's legal to possess, why not cultivate it yourself. With the right equipment, ( which is NOT that expensive), you can grow a mighty weed in the space of a small closet. not to mention whay you can grow outside. Where does the tax dollars come from that? Plus the taxation bit chafes my limited government outlook.. ; )

  2. (art here)

    I agree, taxation isn't the silver bullet of revenue generation that people say it is. Arguing that legalization is right for that reason is missing the point: it should be legal simply because it shouldn't be illegal. The government should regulate it, certainly, and have laws regarding its use, but there simply is no justification for the limitation of personal freedom that this law represents.

  3. There and again how are the Hop-heads going to get past the draconian anti-smokers. MANY of whom are the same people

  4. I agree that the ban on it is immoral, and that should be the reason to end the ban. It's the same reaction I had when people were arguing that gay marriage will bring more money to the state.

  5. Who thinks the revenue from taxing it is the primary reason for legalization? I roam in very leftist/liberal circles and that isn't usually at the forefront of people's arguments.

    I'd say that it's just another talking point. You weigh the pros and cons and that's simply one more coin to add to the Pro side of the scale.