Legalize, Schmegalize 

Legalize, Schmegalize 
Posted by FoM on August 19, 2001 at 14:33:56 PT
By Joel Miller
Source: WorldNetDaily
Solutions to the drug war often fall into two rough categories. On the one side, we're told we should pull out all the stops and go ballistic, launch an all-out offensive and let nothing (not even the Constitution) stand in our way to victory. The other side is the legalization crowd  the members of which oftentimes are not for any sort of legalization I'd want. Correctly citing the black-market forces created by drug prohibition and the negative effects that follow in its wake (social breakdown, crime, etc.), they say resolutely we should "legalize drugs." 
The only trouble is that they tack on enough restrictions to render the reforms moot. I received an interesting e-mail last night that illustrates this perfectly. Someone named Frank Tymon, who is apparently the author of a number of books, including "Raise Your Child for Success," mass-mailed a missive saying, "THE DRUG WAR WAS LOST ABORNING AND IT'S TIME FOR A CHANGE OF STRATEGY." Agreed. Tymon goes on to say, "Drugs sales are extremely profitable, and once you have a client that client is hooked for life. Add to that you cannot be made to pay income taxes, since doing so would constitute self incrimination." Luckily, Tymon has an answer to the problem  unfortunately it's the same stupid canard that too many so-called legalizers parrot as a workable solution: legalize and tax. Says Tymon in all-caps, "LEGALIZE DRUG SALES. AND TAX IT OUT OF EXISTENCE." Tymon, you'll notice, slept soundly through his econ classes. You can't tax things out of existence. Tax payments are done in the legitimate marketplace. If the taxes become prohibitive, buyers and sellers simply move to illegitimate markets, as happens right now. Black markets only serve as alternative markets, enabling people to get what they want at the prices they want, as the Brits are learning now with cigarette taxes and tobacco smugglers. Tymon's wonderful solution won't fix a dang thing because taxing drugs out of existence is as much a pipedream as jailing junkies out of existence. But Tymon has more in store: He says we should "REQUIRE LICENSING OF PURVEYORS OF DRUGS. ISSUE LICENSES ONLY TO PEOPLE WITH CLEAN RECORDS. AND PRICE THE LICENSES BEYOND THEIR MEANS." Same prob, Tymon. Too many legal barriers in the market just opens the door for illegal markets, and then we're back to square 1, no solution, no fix, things just as messed up as they are now. Because criminals currently run the drug trades, Tymon figures "There is no question that they would evade paying taxes, buying licenses." He's happy about this because slipping the law "would give law enforcement additional charges to bring against the elements who have stolen the lives of the addicts." And how well has this worked to date? We have plenty of charges for law enforcement to use against dealers. They don't work. The only thing new laws will accomplish is give lawyers something else to bicker about in court. And as for evading taxes, as Tymon is convinced newly legalized drug purveyors would do, how about Merck or Pfizer? If the taxes are no more prohibitive than current pharmaceutical companies are paying, why worry about them skipping their bills? Legitimate businesses like to stay legitimate, which means complying with the law. As long as the law is not overly intrusive they're going to play ball. When legalizers start ranting and raving, as Tymon, that "THE POWER TO TAX IS THE POWER TO DESTROY," so "LET US USE IT TO DESTROY THE DRUG LORDS!" we are up against the same sort of ignorance and short-sightedness that landed us where we are with our current policies. Psychoactive substances are a fact of life. Always have been, always will be. Tymon is no different than the current drug warriors in thinking that the law can be used to stamp them out of existence  if not by outright prohibition, then by taxation. Learning lessons from the past or from their econ textbooks is something neither group of people  "declare war" or "legalize and tax"  is very good at. People like drugs and will use drugs. Trying to defeat the market only drives the market underground. Better to deal with it above board, on a social/cultural level, pulling in the law only in cases of criminal misconduct  like, say, driving stoned. Tymon's ignorance of market forces  shared by many  only proves those calling for legalization and heavy taxation fail to realize that their own solutions to the drug problem are "LOST ABORNING." And hearing them bantered about time and again like valid answers gets boring, to boot. Newshawk: ddddSource: WorldNetDaily (US Web)Author: Joel MillerPublished: August 10, 2001Copyright: 2001, Inc.Contact: letters worldnetdaily.comWebsite: Articles - Joel Miller 
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Comment #15 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on August 20, 2001 at 08:12:42 PT:
Government Cost of Cannabis
I saw a figure on what cannabis in cultivation cost the government. Once you took out security costs, in 1978, it came out to the lowest coin of the realm per gram. I kid you not.
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Comment #14 posted by Kickaha on August 20, 2001 at 08:04:33 PT
Production Costs
I estimated a friend's production costs for a small,(>10 plants)consistently yielding, high-quality garden, analyzed over 4 harvest cycles, at $35.00 an ounce. This is for top-quality stuff that would easily go for $350-$400 an ounce if it made it to the market (it's medicinal, so it does not).As you can see, the markup is quite high even on a small scale. The largest portion of the cost is in labor, which I figured at $10.00 an hour. Electricity is the next biggest portion, and water and nutrient costs are almost negligible. Startup and equipment costs are are also neglible, as the sale of one crop or even just the savings of not purchasing it commercially will pay for the equipment. High-Quality seeds, on the other hand, are quite expensive. This is one factor that would change drastically under legalization. (You could always produce your own, but there's that variety thing...)These costs could be reduced signficantly through economies of scale, but boutique greenhouse plants will always command higher prices than field-grown varieties because they are more labor-intensive. Additionally, commercial enterprises would have transportation, storage, and marketing costs that don't apply to a private garden.The biggest single factor in my friend's success is the fact that he was already an avid gardner. Even so, it took a year or more to get consistent, high-quality results. It's true pot will grow anywhere you throw it, but to get the kind, it takes effort, skill, and patience.
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Comment #13 posted by J.R. Bob Dobbs on August 20, 2001 at 06:57:22 PT
Treat it like beer!
  The black market now has cannabis priced in the realm of gold. Once we stop funding criminals, and the growers can grow without elaborate security measures and legal fees, the prices will plummet close to that of corn. Taxing it back up wouldn't be a problem, as long as they didn't tax it too high. We're so used to paying inflated prices right now, that $10 an ounce sounds like utopia. And it's really quite possible. Plus, consider the peace dividend of having another $20 billion in the federal budget... would they even need to tax it with that kind of spending money? I think they could come up with an excellent regulatory system for a lot less than that...
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Comment #12 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on August 20, 2001 at 06:12:06 PT:
Commercial vs. Homegrown
No doubt, our readership includes many "connoisseurs of cannabis" who will, no doubt, grow their own when legislation permits it. However, the simple fact is that most will buy commercially. A lot should be dictated in advance as to standards: no recombinant DNA, organically grown without pesticides, known cannabinoid/terpenoid content, no additives, good quality paper if a reefer, reasonable price, etc. What a pleasant utopian vision. 
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Comment #11 posted by kaptinemo on August 20, 2001 at 05:47:40 PT:
My tu'pence
As some one who tried - with partial success - to grow his own, I can say without trepidation that for convenience's sake, I'd buy from a store.But like anything else I'd buy, it would be with a little research first.As to the anti-capitalist sentiments expressed here: sadly, unless we went to a total barter economy, we're stuck with capitalism. But what I have always strenuously objected to is monopolism. That's when you get Corporate Statism, overbearing military use for corporate gain, diminished rights and 'for-your-own-good' tyranny.So, I join in the cry of "No Phillip Morris!" getting the stranglehold on production and distribution of weed. But sadly, I know that it's likely to happen, without some major safeguards in legislation. And even then I'm not so sanguine about it.
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Comment #10 posted by dddd on August 19, 2001 at 21:07:58 PT
Right on Rainbow
It's true,,,after weeks of smokin' thed prime homegrown,some variety would be quite alluring....After Seagrams,and Annheiser-Busch,,or RJ Reynolds,,,,Nike,,Kraft,,,Hormel,,,Nestle,,,Monsanto,,Georgia Pacific,,and Folgers,,,,after they all got into the game,with theirown brands,,it would be facinating to go down and select froma variety of robust and aromatic Sativas, and Indicas,,,,likesome really good coffee store......Of course Starbucks wouldbe right there,,,,,an outstanding cup if rich coffee,enhancedwith a delightfully robust,and aromatic fresh bud smoke,is thestuff that can brighten ones day!dddd
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Comment #9 posted by Rainbow on August 19, 2001 at 20:47:38 PT
Tax and legalize
This is a good idea since some of us you can not grow all the types available might want to try this and that.Sorta like when I go and buy a dark beer. I brew my own but heck I really like that Moose Drool from Montana Brewery. This is why I like the coffe houses in Amsterdam - variety and it is available all the time. Don't have to buy lights, pay electrical bills, buy fertilizer, tend the plant, dry the leaves etc etc. Or me make Hash? sorry but I have a job and a family with little time to even make my homemade beer.Yes this aged hippie type would march right down the the shop and buy some skunk or thai. And when I get ill and my bones ache I will definietely not want to grow my own and it will be hard to get someone else to grow it.So will you take a check? CheersRainbow
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Comment #8 posted by lookinside on August 19, 2001 at 18:34:44 PT:
lol..."rasta-bell?" I WANT A FRANCHISE!!!concerning tobacco and alcohol...last year i ordered some tobacco seeds to see what theylooked like and see if i could grow them...those suckers areTINY...several hundred can fit on a pencil eraser..a healthycannabis seed weighs as much as 100 of those little bittytobacco seeds...i finally got a few to sprout...they were so small andfragile that i let them dry up...they were only 1/2 inchtall after 3 weeks...i found upon doing a little research that tobacco is a toughproduct to produce...MUCH more difficult thancannabis...ever heard of tabacco mosaic virus? there arehuge numbers of insects that love tobacco...curing thetobacco after harvest is an art in's easy tomake an error...turning it into compost...i know people who make their own beer and wine...alotta workinvolved for the but definitely not economicalin terms of man hours...pot takes some TLC, but, grown outdoors, it proves thenickname "weed" is an accurate description...the stuff willgrow ANYWHERE with sufficient moisture andsunlight...everything else we do to increase potency andyields is time well invested, but merely a bonus...a fair market price for premium bud in a legal environmentwould be about $500 a pound(before taxes), as growing,manicuring, and curing the stuff takes time...the growershould be paid a fair wage...the tax man will increase thatto $2000 a pound...i think these prices would stifle theunderground market...any higher and people would search forcheaper alternatives...i'm hoping we'll be able to see the reality soon...
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Comment #7 posted by dddd on August 19, 2001 at 17:44:18 PT
nope.....I'll leave the deliveries to "Ganja Hut",,or for fastweed,you could go to the drive-thru at "Rasta Bell",,,if ya wanna usethe American Express,or Visa,,then you'll have to go over toWeed-Mart,,or Pot Depot.....dddd
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Comment #6 posted by Robbie on August 19, 2001 at 17:30:21 PT
question you deliver? do you take American Express? ;-)
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Comment #5 posted by dddd on August 19, 2001 at 17:09:17 PT
You're probably right Robbie
....but that $30 dollar pound would probably be $530.00 bythe time the taxman got done with it,,,and if I could offeryou a pound of my premium organic homegrown Honey-Skunkfor $230.00,then who ya gonna call?....dddd
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Comment #4 posted by Robbie on August 19, 2001 at 16:59:16 PT
Tax schmax!
Says Tymon in all-caps, "LEGALIZE DRUG SALES. AND TAX IT OUT OF EXISTENCE." Wasn't that the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937? That worked so well, they outright prohibited cannabis in 1970.I want to see all drugs legalized...there's still no reasonable proposition given as to why an American should be questioned about his own personal habits when they don't affect anyone else.If you want to tax anything, put tax on cocaine and heroin. But marijuana should not be taxed. Taxes were levied on tobbaco and alcohol because the government knew that those substances would harm people and cause later problems that would eventually have to be addressed.Marijuana? No problems, no societal impact, no taxes. The only tax that anyone might suggest is an administrative tax, but thats just because our gub-mint needs to pay for the "regulation" of pot. Other than tax.dddd: I don't agree...there'll be a HELL of a lot of cannabis users who will not want to grow their own, and that external weed will have to come from somewhere. But government only needs to monitor quality control of farm yields, so that's the only tax I'd accept and I wouldnt mind paying it....since a pound would probably sell for $30 or something.No Phillip Morris of pot, no profit-mongers for the currently illicit drugs... Free the drugs without capitalism.
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Comment #3 posted by dddd on August 19, 2001 at 16:17:27 PT
tax it?
..I gotta agree with the tax thing ,,at least when it comes to Marijuana...Trying to tax a plant item will not be the glorious answer that manysuggest....Marijuana is unique when compared to tobacco and alcohol.I guess one could obtain tobacco seeds,and it isnt that hard to makeyour own alcohol,but pot would be different,,because if it was to belegalized,and taxed,who would want to buy the taxed version fromtheir local liquor and pot mini-mart?,,Only squares,who were neverhep to it in the first place.....The true Marijuana people would grow their own.....The reason is,,that prohibition has created a largeunderground of pissed off people,who have the seeds,,hate thegovernment that made them into oppressed,"offenders" for so manyyears,,,,I mean think of it,,,are you gonna want to give that assholeUncle Sam money ???as if it was some sort of priveledge to enjoygrowing,and smoking a God given herb?,,,what,,would you list theamount you sold on your tax return or something?,,,,yea ,,,right.Uncle freekin Sam knows this too,,that is one of the main reasonshe will do anything to prevent acceptance,and legalization of thesacred weed....Too many people,have too many seeds to make theidea of taxing it realisticly profitable...That's why they will notallow it,,because it will be impossible to control,ort tax it....dddd
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on August 19, 2001 at 15:20:04 PT
free pickings
It is too easy to see some tax free weed pickins. Yet if and when it's inconvient, I will go down to the cannabis sales area and pick up on some till then. LIke drop some seeds and be patient in a tax free manner.
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Comment #1 posted by The Offspring on August 19, 2001 at 15:08:12 PT
Legalize the Herb
All I have to say is Legalize and tax it at a reasonable rate. 
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