Jim sent me an email from the Seattle newspaper about pot sales taxes and suggested I write a letter toGovernor Jerry Brown to get on the bandwagon and cure California’s budget woes by legalizing marijuana. Hmm. Sounds good on the surface of it. Here is a copy of the piece from the news:
SEATTLE (AP) — Washington will haul in nearly $150,000 in excise taxes from the first three days of legal marijuana sales — and that doesn’t include state and local sales taxes.
Randy Simmons, the Liquor Control Board‘s project manager for legal pot, says that’s not bad, considering the market is in its infancy, with only a few stores open statewide.
The law voters passed in 2012 to legalize pot for adults specifies that excise taxes of 25 percent are imposed when producers sell their product to licensed retail stores, and another 25 percent is imposed when shops sell to consumers.
All excise taxes due from the first day of sales Tuesday totaled $61,604. The figure dipped to $30,924 on Wednesday, and rose to $55,728 on Thursday, for a total of $148,256.
If there was more to the article, it didn’t I didn’t see it. Not exactly in depth news.
I’ve personally had misgivings about marijuana use and believe medical marijuana is a good idea, but I’m wondering about the full legalization of marijuana. It is an addictive substance and people can drive impaired just like using alcohol. I looked on several websites about growing marijuana for medical use in California. Nothing much about how it is grown. And, most of it is grown by the person for personal use, I expect. It isn’t very clear.
But what is clear, California growing regulations for Marijuana mention nothing about the actual cultivation, except the number of plants and a background check for growers, and on and on about stems and leaves and carrying it, and so on. Of course, recreational users can loop hole themselves around the regs. The problems is, California’s marijuana harvest is vast—and getting vaster all the time.
According to Mother Jones, “To meet demand, researchers say, the acreage dedicated to marijuana grown in the Emerald Triangle has doubled in the past five years. Like the Gold Rush of the mid-1800s, this “green rush,” as it is known locally, has brought great wealth at a great cost to the environment.
Whether grown in bunkers lit with pollution-spewing diesel generators, or doused with restricted pesticides and sown on muddy, deforested slopes that choke off salmon streams during the rainy season, this “pollution pot” isn’t exactly high quality, or even a quality high.
“The cannabis industry right now is in sort of the same position that the meatpacking industry was in before The Jungle was written by Upton Sinclair,” says Stephen DeAngelo, the founder of Oakland’s Harborside Health Center, a large medical marijuana dispensary. “It simply isn’t regulated, and the upshot is that nobody really knows what’s in their cannabis.”
Washington State has well thought out regulations that tracks the use from seed to sale at State stores with a stamp that it is state produced. Legalizing marijuana is beginning to sound better and better to me. People are going to use it whether it is legal or not, that is very clear. But, it is still smoking and we know so little about marijuana’s affects on the body. What few studies are available say that no long lasting affects of impairment remain when the person quits using. And, people with mental or psychiatric disorders are more likely to be negatively affected by marijuana use. Hmm.