California cannabis

March 30, 2010Jon Brooks Comments Off

A California voter initiative to legalize marijuana has officially qualified for the November ballot. From the web site Ballotpedia:

Supporters of legalization are focusing on the benefits they say would flow to the state from taxing marijuana; when marijuana is illegal, it is not taxed. If it was legal, the government would be able to collect the state’s sales tax on it. This would add money to California’s coffers during a time that the budget is out-of-balance.

The domestically grown marijuana crop in California is worth an estimated $14 billion a year, making it an attractive target for taxation in a state with an unstable economy and budget deficit in the tens of billions. According to the state’s Board of Equalization study, the state might generate $1.3 billion in taxes if marijuana is legal and taxed.

Tax Cannabis 2010 is the pro-legalization campaign’s official site, at which you can listen to a radio ad currently running in the San Francisco Bay area and Los Angeles, where medical marijuana dispensaries have already proliferated. The state legalized medical marijuana in 1996.

Law enforcement groups and all of the gubernatorial candidates, including Democrat Jerry Brown, widely caricatured as Governor Moonbeam during his first stint as the state’s chief executive in the 70s, oppose full-scale legalization. Here’s a site from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration called Speaking Out Against Drug Legalization.

And hyere’s one of our most clicked-on links (no idea why), a graphic of potential tax revenue from marijuana production state by state, including the number of marijuana-related arrests in the U.S.

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