Pubdate: Wed, 10 Nov 2010
Source: Florida Times-Union (FL)
Copyright: 2010 The Florida Times-Union
Author: Rick Mansfield


Much to my surprise, Californians voted down a bill to legalize the
growing and possession of a small amount of marijuana for private use.

We know that this will have little or no effect on those who grow or
use pot. It will, after all, be a simple ticket if someone is fined
for possession.

Let's look at the bigger picture. It was recently announced that
30.000 tons of marijuana were seized in San Diego. That's 60,000
pounds, or 96,000 ounces, in one city.

For argument's sake, let's say that marijuana under government control
is sold for $100 dollars an ounce. Value $9.6 million. The government
adds a 10 percent tax on each ounce sold. If my math is correct, that
would be a tax of $960,000. Remember, this is one seizure in just one

If you consider that millions and millions of ounce bags change hands
in a single year tax-free, a product far less dangerous than alcohol
(I stand convinced that driving under the influence of pot is far less
dangerous than driving while drunk) is getting a free ride.

Not only that, the war on drugs has cost American taxpayers billions
of dollars and filled our prisons with small-time drug dealers and

The war is a dismal failure. At the same time, the definition of
medical marijuana is growing, and more and more states are turning a
blind eye altogether.

Maybe it's time to reconsider the use and taxing of marijuana. After
all, neither the sale nor use can realistically be stopped, and
billions of dollars of potential taxes are being lost.

Can we really afford to overlook this potential revenue?

Rick Mansfield

Ponte Vedra
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