Posts Tagged ‘marijuana’

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class="post-611 post type-post status-publish format-standard hentry category-policy tag-cannabis tag-control-and-tax-marijuana tag-illegal-drugs tag-marijuana tag-medical-marijuana tag-prop-19">

Legalized Marijuana is Coming

September 12th, 2010

Recreational cannabis use may become legal in California this November. That’s right. Whatever you prefer to call it—pot, grass, weed, marijuana—like alcohol, it would become legal for adults to use recreationally. Cannabis is already permitted for medical purposes in 14 states. Millions of Americans use it for recreational purposes. Regulating it allows the government to tax it and control how it is used. This is not unlike the prohibition amendment in the early 20th century that led to a massive black market. When substances like alcohol and cannabis are forced underground, you simply feed crime, lose control of age limits, lose out of taxing it, send a lot of otherwise productive citizens to jail, create drug wars in other countries (e.g., Mexico), and make it more attractive to users.

The state of California need the money. Taxing cannabis will bring in between $1.4-2 billion annually, and will significantly reduce the costly prison population of California’s overcrowded detention facilities. It will also save on drug enforcement, allowing the police to work in more productive areas. In 2003, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) published “Economic Costs of Drug Abuse,” which stated without separately analyzing cannabis related costs, the United States was spending $12.1 billion on law enforcement and court costs, and $16.9 billion in corrections costs, totaling $29 billion.

Right now polls indicate that the bill have a shot of passing this November. Before we look at further implications of this initiative—called Prop 19—let’s review some history. » Read more: Legalized Marijuana is Coming