Tuesday, February 24, 2009

How to fix California's economy? Legalize Humboldt County Gold!

You can't tax illegal products, so tax-hungry California wants to legalize marijuana:
Marijuana would be sold and taxed openly in California to adults 21 and older if legislation proposed Monday is signed into law.
Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, said his bill could generate big bucks for a cash-starved state while freeing law enforcement agencies to focus on worse crimes.
"I think there's a mentality throughout the state and the country that this isn't the highest priority – and that maybe we should start to reassess," he said.
(Via Hot Air.) This was always my argument against my libertarian friends who want to legalize weed -- if it's legal, it will be taxed. Since government is fundamentally evil (Our Enemy, the State), every cent of extra tax revenue serves only to empower our oppressors. Ergo, keeping marijuana illegal has the effect of preserving a tiny bastion of real economic liberty, untaxed and unregulated. This is the oxymoronic effect of modern government: Nothing is really free until it's against the law.

If marijuana is legalized, the weed growers will soon be subjected to the inevitable process of liberal economic policy famously described by Ronald Reagan: "If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it."


1 comment:

  1. I responded to a similar post over on HotAir today. Regardless of whether one is pro- or anti-legalization, expecting the CA govt. not to f*ck this up royally is an exercise in wishful thinking.

    For every $1 of additional tax revenue this brings in, they'll probably spend at least $2.

    The inevitable weed bureaucracy that is formed in the wake of legalization will probably interfere with growers (e.g., with all kinds of environmental restrictions, etc.). As such, state-sanctioned producers will be forced to sell a product that is considered substandard to weed smokers, who will just go back to getting the good sh!t on the black market.

    Nevertheless, a lot of weed traffickers that benefit from the status quo will certainly make sure some of their profits make their way in the the pockets of CA legislators, and that might end up swaying things to the "keep it illegal" proponents.