hippies in a van for legalization of pot ganja weed

Signatures are currently being collected for a constitutional amendment in the state of California that would fully legalize marijuana for all adults regardless of medical need. Essentially pot would become a regular old controlled substance like tobacco or alcohol.

While the amendment, currently being called The Inalienable Rights Enforcement Initiative, may not actually get the required 694,354 signatures it needs by September 5, 2008 in order to make it onto the November ballot, it might be a big step in the right direction for a state who's incredibly vague medical marijuana laws have turned out to be troublesome and riddled with problems.

Here in Humboldt County, Calfironia's most well-known marijuana producing region, pot growing is totally out of control, and residents are starting to notice the problems associated with irresponsible growers, lack of taxation and regulation, and the all-out exploitation of Proposition 215 which has resulted in widespread greed and lawlessness.

The amendment would allow the state to legalize the sale of marijuana at any store that sells alcohol, and would "establish local boards with expansive powers" to allow for proper regulation and taxation at a local level. The amendment also would require tax revenues to support "specific programs" and would immunize marijuana growers and sellers from liability.

State revenue would be collected in the form of stamp and license sales, much like tobacco. A $5 stamp would be required for the sale of an eighth ounce of pot ($640 for a pound), and a $50 annual license would be required for each marijuana plant grown. 30% of this revenue would wind up back in the localities where the stamps and licenses were sold.

taxation of marijuana

As good as it sounds on the face, this thing probably won't make it to the ballots, and if it does, it certainly won't get the popular vote. Here's why: The amendment would also exempt marijuana profits from income taxes, prohibit advertisements for tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana, and require substantial up-front costs to establish the proper boards and regulations throughout the state.

Basically, the proposal involves too many non-marijuana-related clauses and extra requirements to actually capture the popular vote. Also, why the hell would marijuana profits ever be exempt from income tax? Isn't that already a major problem here in Humboldt County where thousands of growers are greedily raking in untaxed income and giving absolutely nothing back to the community? Isn't that a big piece of the story of recent federal raids on growers throughout Humboldt?

We understand that the author(s) of this initiative are trying to stick it to The Man by specifically stating that no income tax shall be paid on marijuana profits until the government prohibition of marijuana is lifted, but it is still absurd to propose that income from the sale of a substance that is worth as much as $400 per ounce and grows everywhere be exempt from taxation. Get real. The last thing we need is a law encouraging people to grow pot and evade federal taxes.

Read the actual text of the initiative here. Then tell us what you think. Would you vote to have eighths of weed sold alongside tobacco at your neighborhood gas station? Would you pass a law that would legitimize for-profit pot growing and encourage federal income tax evasion? Would you actually expect the same growers who currently do not pay taxes on their profits to shell out $640 for a stamped baggie to put a pound of their homegrown in before selling it to a dealer?

<< Humboldt County Just Got Even More Dangerous Feds Came and Went - Now What? >>


By Smoker, on Jul 1, 2008 - 11:24
Yeah don't forget that the tobacco and alcohol companies will NEVER let this thing through because it would destroy their ability to advertise in California. The initiative even says it would reduce revenues from alcohol and tobacco sales, which implies that any revenue generated from a marijuana tax stamp system would directly come from decreased revenues on alcohol and tobacco sales.

Also i have to agree with the author that no pot growers would actually buy the tax stamps because pot sales are all taking place underground on the black market! Why would they suddenly start paying taxes? They'd probably just buy the annual plant permits and sell the goods out the back door without ever paying taxes of any kind. That's how it works now with 215, you just go pay some quack doctor $200 for what is essentially a license to grow. Then everyone just grows pot and sells it on the black market, never paying taxes aside from the doctor's fee.

Marketing Specialist

By Fido, on Jul 6, 2008 - 11:50
I'm am completely against the legalization of marijuana. It would destroy the black-market. It's all about selling pot not growing. Pot sells have never really been illegal. Always, it the growing that the law doesn't like


By adult, on Jun 24, 2009 - 11:45
Damn Fido you are one grade-A idiot!


By fido likes balls, on Sep 22, 2009 - 15:36
I can't believe how ridiculous that comment was lol. how old are you, 11 or 12?

By elite, on Jan 10, 2010 - 17:34
I seriously wonder who the columnist or columnists are that write these articles, WHY DO YOU LIVE HERE? GO AWAY. NO ONE WANTS YOUR STUPID PROPAGANDA.

Post a Comment