A marijuana tax is being considered by cash-strapped states as a means of using cannabis to solve their budget woes partially. But should proponents of legalized marijuana be supporting a marijuana tax as a means to an end, or should pot be legal regardless?
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the proposed marijuana tax would bring in more than $1.2 billion to the state of California. However, the study assumes a traditional sales tax, along with an additional $50 levy for every ounce of marijuana sold.
Skeptics warn that a marijuana tax “is not a cash cow that can solve anyone’s fiscal problems.” Instead, a nationwide legalization that taxes marijuana like alcohol and tobacco would bring in about $6.4 billion. $4.3 billion would be for the government and states would split the remaining $2.1 billion. Of course, none of these estimates know for certain how much the federal and state governments might choose to tax marijuana.
Alcohol prohibition laws were repealed not because they were unjust laws, but due to increased lawlessness, which propped up the mob, and due to the huge loss in federal tax revenues combined with the increased cost of enforcing prohibition. Similar reasons should give Congress plenty of reason to legalize marijuana despite the lure of “easy tax money.”
American jails are filled with people committing the crime of mere possession of marijuana. Families are broken up. Medical patients spend too much money on Marinol when their drug supply could be grown in their backyard almost for free. Police waste resources on this issue which should be going toward catching real criminals. Decriminalizing marijuana would also greatly diminish the income for these criminals, which hopefully would put the hurt on organized crime groups, making their other operations like sex trafficking, weapons, and dangerous drugs more difficult.
Because of reasons like these, marijuana should probably be a controlled substance that is regulated like tobacco and alcohol, although it’d be preferred if governments keep their hands off in general. As in, no taxing it either, because Congress has a spending problem as it is and doesn’t need to waste more money. Historically, whenever Congress receives more money it just spends more. If a marijuana tax is enacted, all revenues should go to the states and not the Federal government.
Do you think marijuana should be legalized without a marijuana tax?