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Tax Revenue Sources and Drug "War"

OK, the economy is in the shitter. We know that. We also know that prison expenses are eating huge holes in the taxpayer pocketbook. Yet the major cause for people to end up in prison? Drug crimes.

Prohibition doesn't work. We learned that with alcohol prohibition. So why are the Republicans and some Democrats so wedded to the idea of (street) Drug Prohibition? Why are they acting like they're going to add tobacco to the list any day now?

Seriously, start legalization. It doesn't cause any more social ills than it does now - but they can be better addressed by tax revenues from the drugs. Penalties for driving under the influence of impairing substances (prescription, OTC, alcoholic or illicit) are already on the books. Tax it, regulate the quality, and take the huge profits away from the drug lords, pushers and gangs. Let them work and buy stock in the companies that produce the stuff safely and cheaply.

"But it's addictive!" the prohibitors whine. So? So is alcohol, cigarettes, painkillers (limbaugh pills) and a lot of other stuff. They're still legal, and addiction is a disease, not a crime. The tax revenues from their legal sale can be used to fund treatment, instead of paying for food, shelter, medical care, and very expensive guards for prisons without a matching revenue stream.

Start with marijuana. Legalizing and taxing it's sale would solve the California budget crisis rapidly, in two ways: 1) reduce incarceration expenses for victimless drug crimes, and 2) tax on the weed sold in this state. It would rapidly become California's biggest cash crop.

Then do any other state growable crops next: opium (the better grades would be available for pharmaceutical use), coca (not refined into cocaine) and unrefined ephedra. Again, addiction treatment would be more available, and concentration of the active ingredient would be kept naturally low so that overdose would be less likely.

After society gets used to the fact that your body is really your own, and what you do to it is fine as long as you don't harm anyone else, add the hard stuff, but make getting it a bit more involved. Want an LSD trip? Check in to a trip center for a week, and trained trip coaches with medical oversight will help you get the most out of your experience - for a price, of course.

Personally, this wouldn't affect me. I am mildly allergic to weed, and don't have time, money or inclination for the other stuff. But a guided LSD trip might be fun - it would be cheaper than flying overseas.

Anything that decriminalizes what people have done for thousands of years (engage in recreational substance ingestion) and brings in tax revenue, I'm all for. Hell, might as well legalize prostitution too - let the working girls and boys get health care and pay income taxes.

It's better than the stupid assed idea that I have heard of charging sales tax on rent!


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 28th, 2009 12:32 am (UTC)
Feb. 28th, 2009 12:55 am (UTC)
Gin was the crack-cocaine in England during the eighteen hundreds. It was epidemic until they legalized it. Then gin related crimes went down. Now-a-days we don't think a whole lot about most alcohol or spirits.

I recommend, Reefer Madness by Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation).
It's sub title is; "Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor In The American Black Market." It goes into the whole...one strata of our culture controlling another strata...thing.

Feb. 28th, 2009 02:16 am (UTC)
Charging tax on rent is easier than making corporations actually pay their income taxes. Renters don't have kennels full of tax attorneys and accountants.
Feb. 28th, 2009 12:05 pm (UTC)
Nice idea, but for that damn puritanical ethic of "Thou Shalt Not Have Fun!"

But, should I become Global Dictator, I'll get right on it!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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