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ocsurf (< 20)

Jumpstart the economy....Legalize Marijuana!



December 17, 2008 – Comments (23)

If we substitute a tax on marijuana cigarettes equal to the difference between the local production cost and the street price people currently pay--that is, transfer the revenue from the current producers and marketers (many of whom work with organized crime) to the government, leaving all other marketing and transportation issues aside we would have revenue of (say) $7 per [unit]. If you could collect on every cigarette and ignore the transportation, marketing, and advertising costs, this comes to over $3 billion on sales and substantially more from an export tax, and you forego the costs of enforcement and deploy your policing assets elsewhere.

23 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On December 17, 2008 at 3:15 PM, TDRH (97.57) wrote:

Peter Tosh would advertize it!

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#2) On December 17, 2008 at 3:26 PM, l3iodeez (< 20) wrote:

But what about the lost revenue in the alcohol and tobacco industries? You can bet that a lot of people would be switching their preferred poison.

Then you have to factor in the savings in healthcare costs associated with alcoholism and drunk driving. 

Forget smoking it, lets just legalize industrial (essentially non-psychoactive) hemp for making paper, its about 5 times as efficient as using trees. Green is green! Report this comment
#3) On December 17, 2008 at 3:33 PM, DemonDoug (30.98) wrote:

one of the potential benefits of the economic calamity is that things like pot and possibly even other drugs may get legalized - since "everything is on the table" I would not be shocked that this is the case.

BTW in cali there is a significant revenue stream from all the a"pot"ecaries selling medicinal weed.

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#4) On December 17, 2008 at 3:49 PM, TMFLomax (86.97) wrote:

This is interesting because I recently read that prohibition ended in part because the government needed tax revenues due to the Great Depression. Yeah yeah... we'll tell you what is legal and moral citizen... until we need the money. ;) I joked with some friends that it could theoretically be surprising what becomes legal (and therefore taxable) in the current economic climate.

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#5) On December 17, 2008 at 4:04 PM, YoungNGunnin (< 20) wrote:

lol that is pretty crazy, but then they would leave it up to the ethnic president to do the bidding wouldnt they =P......Please no one take this the horribly wrong way......=)

But i've been thinking about whether or not they would ever do that but i doubt Obama would be the one to do it just because of his image he's supposed to uphold.....

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#6) On December 17, 2008 at 4:07 PM, wesdeezy (< 20) wrote:

You have been seeing all of the drug wars that have been going on in Mexico.  We legalize it, taxition would be a plus, but don't forget how many lives would be saved in our country (drug crime) and in Mexico (drug war).  There would be no reason for them to fight for control of the drug trade.  If we get rid of the need for the DEA, think about how much federal tax dollars would be saved every year!  If we legalize it, think of all the reduction in the need for police and jail space, save state and local tax dollars!  It would also be cheaper so all the pot heads getting foreclosed on in Cali can pay more bills.  The lobbist in Washington that lobby for legalization, don't have enough money to pay the right people in DC to get it done.  Best quote about Washington, "'With so much money coming in from both sides, how does anything get done?' 'Nothing gets done, that is the beauty of the system'"  ~Words of a lobbist!

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#7) On December 17, 2008 at 4:13 PM, YoungNGunnin (< 20) wrote:

Well you wouldn't get rid of the DEA, most crimes that are dont on the level your talking about involve the harder street drugs like crack, cocaine, and heroin.....marijuana isn't really a drug people would kill or beat eachother up over.....unless your talking pounds and pounds of it....but still there isnt as much money in marijuana as there is cocaine, crack, or heroin.......its not as addictive as to wher you throw your life away and are willing to bring yourself to the lowest low of society to obtain some..........but yea as far as the DEA goes they would probably cut a FEW cases but i doubt they spend much of their time tracking marijuana dealers unless its like the almighty marijuana disrespect or anything but thats just my two cents..... I have some experience on the subject =) lol bad times......thank you army for saving me!! <3

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#8) On December 17, 2008 at 4:15 PM, eldemonio (98.30) wrote:

After looking at my 401K - I could use a few bong hits to ease my mind. 

You would have to legalize marijuana while prohibiting people from growing their own plants.  You can't generate any income from people smoking home-grown reefer.  You might be better off with a 50% tax on frozen burritos at 7-11.

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#9) On December 17, 2008 at 4:20 PM, Gemini846 (35.38) wrote:

They said in American Gangster the special task force wouldn't sweat anyone for under 15k lbs of pot.

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#10) On December 17, 2008 at 4:34 PM, cgj0198 (< 20) wrote:

I don't think any president wants an image of weed legalization in their administration, ethinicity aside. Trust me weed legalization will not save this economy.....When the smoke clears you will need to have a substantial set of rules, laws, and regulations that will keep this government from going back in the gutter of recession. There is no quick will take time....and it will get worse before it gets better....

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#11) On December 17, 2008 at 4:34 PM, JeanDavid (79.54) wrote:

If you are interested in why some drugs should be legalized, you might wish to read this book:

The Consumers Union Report - Licit and Illicit Drugs that you can actually read on-line at

(It is a pretty thick book.)


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#12) On December 17, 2008 at 4:54 PM, outoffocus (23.97) wrote:

And then we'll have a bunch of pot heads running the country...Oops, to late...

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#13) On December 17, 2008 at 5:00 PM, wesdeezy (< 20) wrote:

Oh blogers, always crapping on my ideas, haha.  If you go to the DEA site, you will see that there is a lot of federal dollars and man power go in to investigating, convicting, and imprisoning people for marijuana related crimes.  The stats I found on this site are from a few years back, but you get the idea.  I don't think local pot dealers are the one killing people in America and Mexico, but the people who traffic it over the boarder do.  The war in Tijuana (5,000 dead this year alone, yes more than the whole Iraq war) is over trying to clam the pot routes into the states left vacant by the recently arrested Javier Arellano-Felix.  The American Gangster quote is a joke because the biggest pot bust in my city's history (Houston) was 10k lbs, and that is not the only DEA pot bust in the history of our city (we have almost 1,000 per year).

"Between October 1, 2004 and January 11, 2005, there were 1,777 Federal offenders sentenced for marijuana-related charges in U.S. Courts. Approximately 94.9% of the cases involved marijuana trafficking. Between January 12, 2005 and September 30, 2005, there were 4,396 Federal offenders sentenced for marijuana-related charges in U.S. Courts. Approximately 95.8% of the cases involved trafficking.(19)"


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#14) On December 17, 2008 at 5:07 PM, wesdeezy (< 20) wrote:

Oh yeah, we are talking about the economy, my bad.  That is jacked up too.  My 401k blows now.  I'm glad that everyone is looking to the government to solve the problems in the economy, you know, because they have a great track record of sucessful policies.  Has the the federal government ever done anything right other than war (not including nation building like Iraq) and taxation?  If so, please let me know.  I love my country but I don't trust my government!

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#15) On December 17, 2008 at 5:32 PM, guiron (38.28) wrote:

Has the the federal government ever done anything right other than war (not including nation building like Iraq) and taxation?

Well, for one thing, we won't have a rerun of the 1930s, because there is federal insurance on bank accounts. There are regulations in place to ensure transparency in most parts of the market. Where that transparency doesn't exist you find the greatest problems, like in unregulated, speculative, highly leveraged markets. Before regulation, there was no transparency, and buying stock was based on a lot of smoke and mirrors, much more than today. Nobody will truly starve because of welfare.

And the very thing we're using right now was built by government research and lots and lots of tax breaks for the infrastructure - the Internet. We all paid for it, and there's a good chance it wouldn't be nearly as resilient or interconnected if we had relied on private business to do it.

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#16) On December 17, 2008 at 6:33 PM, wesdeezy (< 20) wrote:

guiron, good point sir.  Thanks for not talking about the 1930s, b/c social security is a joke and the FDIC in their latest public board meeting stated that they don't have the capital requirements to fund another bank failure the size of Indymac (which means they will have to get printed money from the Treasury).Agree 100% about research.  I think tax breaks for rich people giving money to charity and research are wonderful and I wish they would allow more and make it part your calculated adjusted gross income instead of an itemized deduction with a limit (God forbid less money for the gov't).I believe transparency in the market that we have today (b/c it is far from perfect) would have been achieved without the creation of the SEC.  No one after the depression would have bought stocks until companies found their own way to convince investors to buy their stock.  The creation of the SEC was the easy way out for the big companies of their day to get people to buy their equity again by giving the investor more confidence.  It created an illusion that the government has your back (ask people who bought WorldCom, Enron, etc., how gov't regulations and transparency worked out).  I think there would be generally the same amount of fraud today even if there was no SEC because selling stocks wouldn't be big business.  I think the regulation would have been created without the government.  My beef that I have with the SEC is it allows companies to sell their equity, and no one really knows what that is worth.  If a company needs to create capital, is that bad for them to issue bonds?  I know most of you are stock junkies, but remember that your stock certificate says you own a share of a company that is worth X amount of dollars, well, do you ever really know what a company is worth? No!  Anyone with a brain knows that.  So when you buy a stock, you are making a bet that the people that told you what it was worth are right.  But when you get a corp. bond, you know how many dollars it is worth, and if they shut the doors, you get a bite at what is left over after liquidation.  You buying stock are great for the companies, but it is still a bet on your part.

And dude, seriously, you are pro welfare?  The homeless in my part of Houston are fed by no profit soup kitchens.  Welfare is for those that don't work, but still think they deserve things like a roof and a car.  Not on my dime buddy, get a job or eat your pride and go to the soup line.  At least those that collect unemployment had a job at one point.

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#17) On December 17, 2008 at 8:38 PM, nuf2bdangrus (< 20) wrote:

Well....I've got a big flower garden in my backyard...I gues I could find some room.....of course, these days you gotta go like a pro and turn your room into a greenhouse!  Aw shucks, I'm 20 years too late for that party.


On then flip side, the Dutch tried it, and things don't seem to be working so hot....

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#18) On December 17, 2008 at 9:08 PM, coryquinn (< 20) wrote:

 Yo, Wesdezzy...nice work on the stats from the government- interesting analysis.  I think the only problem that I am having with complete legalization of the " backyard-boggie"  is because I believe we would have spend numerous amounts of money on treatment, rehab, and costly county mental health services.  What do you think?

Perhaps, this socratic/idealistic forum is nothing more than a "pipe dream"- "poof" ...and i am out!

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#19) On December 17, 2008 at 9:33 PM, YoungNGunnin (< 20) wrote:

Im all for the legalization of marijuana...... and wesdezzy i wasnt trying to totally negate your comment.......if people are going that crazy over marijuana then there country needs to fix it.....america has done to much "fixing" already.....i mean come on....the amount of JP8(military gasoline) used to fuel a m1 abrahams(tank) or a bradley and a hmmwv daily in iraq is freakin ridiculous.....not to mention we use fuel to burn actual sh*t  and trash over there....which is detrimental to our health, and the enviroment....especially us infantrymen.....its INSANE...... when gas prices were 4 dollars ....and were over there using it to start fires.........the whole war in iraq i think is the reason for our economy crashing......not the banks i think its us spending way too much time and money in iraq....driving around....paying civilians who dont do jack sh*t over 100 thousand a year to play with computers when the people who are actually getting shot at are getting about 1500 a totally off topic here......but anyways......i dont know blabbering right now.....definetly shouldnt post after drinking......

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#20) On December 17, 2008 at 10:07 PM, coryquinn (< 20) wrote:

 Yo, Wesdezzy...nice work on the stats from the government- interesting analysis.  I think the only problem that I am having with complete legalization of the " backyard-boggie"  is because I believe we would have spend numerous amounts of money on treatment, rehab, and costly county mental health services.  What do you think?

Perhaps, this socratic/idealistic forum is nothing more than a "pipe dream"- "poof" ...and i am out!

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#21) On December 17, 2008 at 11:32 PM, hendrixcr23 (35.59) wrote:

Legalization will not just happen at once, it will have to be decriminalized before it will be legalized. Ron Paul sponsored a bill to decriminalize pot in August I believe. Public opinion of weed has greatly changed in the last 10 years, ever since Clinton admitted to smoking. Barack Obama openly admits to inhailing marijuana, and Joe Biden referred to himself as a halfbaked halfback in college. Decriminalization has occurred in a couple of states, but is not widely accepted. The story of how the fed made weed illegal is pretty funny. The government did not want mexicans coming in the country, and it was a common fact that almost all mexicans smoked this magical marijuana.So the government decides to enact a law that requires a "stamp" to be in possession of marijuana. You could not have any weed unless you had this stamp. Now, in order to acquire a stamp, you must be in possession of marijuana.........Do you see how this works? So, basically nobody was able to get a stamp. This is exactly how our government works. Now, not only would we save money with prison, court, and DEA funds, we would raise tons of tax revenue. On top of this, American farmers could grow it. More farming revenue, more ta revenue, less spending. It wouldnt fix the economy, but it would definitely help

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#22) On December 18, 2008 at 12:31 PM, wesdeezy (< 20) wrote:

 hendrixcr23, funny how since the marijuana tax stamp act of 1937, the federal gov't has never put any of these stamps in circulation.  You are right that it has to be done state by state, because of state laws against possession and the selling of marijuana, but the starting point is with the federal government so that people can sell it without violating federal law.  States can let you have a curtain amount on your person without violating federal law, but you would never be able to sell it like alcohol.  On the bottom of a cigarette pack, you'll note a state stamp showing that the state taxes on that pack of smokes has been paid and is allowed to be sold.  The feds would have to either repeal the stamp act so states could issue (yes actually issue) their own stamps, or the feds could issue there own stamps so that they would get the tax revenue directly.  Another step the federal gov't would have to do is the FDA would have to take it off the list of schedule one drugs (with heroin, coca, and meth) so that it can be sold to people without a prescription.  I love how the FDA has a natural herb that makes you lazy in the same schedule of drugs as mescaline and morphine.  Only after the federal gov't does this, would the states be able to make it legal to sell and posses.

 coryquinn, I think you have a valid concern, but all you have to do is look to the Netherlands.  I'm a gun touting, capitalist SOB from Texas so don't think I want to be Europe, but I do love the fact that the Netherlands has the same drug usage rate as we do here in the States even though all drugs are legal there.  I think that, people are going to do it if it legal or not.  America will always do drugs.  The only way to rid our world of drug lords and drug wars is to either kill the demand for it ("just say no", which Nancy Reagan knows doesn't work), or take the power away from the drug lords by making it legal and produce it here in the USA.  It is funny to think about how the economy, political landscape, and crime rates of entire countries throughout South and Latin America are all based on America's drug problem.

YoungNGunnin, I wish the poor countries could stop the bloodshed south of our boarder, but they make more money then their gov'ts and it is our demand for the product that is the root of this entire problem.  If the Mexican gov’t tries to stop it with force like they are doing now, we will see another 5,000 or 6,000 dead in Tijuana in 2009.  Stop the bloodshed! Legalize it!  Those that smoke Mexican marijuana, remember that you have blood on your hands too!  I’m out!  Have a great holiday!

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#23) On January 16, 2009 at 10:26 AM, KFolie (< 20) wrote:

CNBC will be premiering Marijuana Inc. Inside America’s Pot Industry on Thursday, January 22nd at 9p ET / 10p PT. The marijuana trade has long been one of the country’s leading black market industries. What factors continue to help this taboo business thrive and how is the government profiting as a result?  Join Trish Regan as she explores this growing industry and how it has expanded into a major business with its own sophisticated network of growers, workers, and quasi-legal retail outlets, in the form of medical marijuana dispensaries.  Web extras are coming soon to   Sneak preview on Hulu: Thanks

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