The Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 – The Tax Cannabis 2010 Initiative would generate billions of tax revenue by legalizing marijuana. The Initiative could go on the California’s 2010 ballot if enough voter signatures are collected. It proposes to tax and regulate marijuana similar to how alcohol is regulated and taxed.
The Initiative would “allow people 21 years old or older to possess, cultivate, and/or transport marijuana for personal use.” Each city/local government would be able to decide independently whether to tax and regulate the production and sale of marijuana. Other key aspects of the Initiative include: prohibiting possession of marijuana on school grounds, public use, or smoking it while minors are present. It maintains current prohibitions against driving while impaired and outlines serious punishment for anyone providing marijuana to those under 21 years of age.
Legalizing marijuana would benefit States by providing much needed tax revenue. Take the profit from the underground and untaxed and place it in the hand of government to support libraries, schools, roads, police, firefighters, etc. An immense amount of money and resources would be saved. Prison would be reserved for serious offenders and probation officers could devote more time to serious probation and parole violations.
If passed, the Tax Cannabis 2010 Initiative would create contractor jobs as regulated stores open to market marijuana products. Regulation would make marijuana safer. To avoid the negative effects of smoking, marijuana can be ingested by drinking, eating or taking a pill! Vaporizers could be sold as a safer alternative to smoking. It eliminates tar and other harmful chemicals and emits very little second-hand smoke.
46% of Americans favor legalizing marijuana for personal use, according to a Views on Legalizing Marijuana polls from ABC News/Washington Post and Time/CNN.
56% of California voters support legalizing marijuana and taxing its sale, according to The Field Poll.
A number of U.S. cities have already changed prosecution priorities making adult marijuana possession for personal use their lowest priority.
Marijuana possession of up to one ounce is currently punishable with a fine of only $100 in California.
Massachusetts Joint Committee on Revenue held a public hearing October 14, 2009 on H2929, An Act to Tax and Regulate the Cannabis Industry. Richard Evans provided notes on the hearing.
The Federal laws on marijuana have little to do with a state decision regarding legalizing marijuana. The Feds only get involved in high-profile marijuana offenses.
Only 434,000 signatures of registered California voters are needed to qualify the Tax Cannabis 2010 Initiative for the November 2010 ballot. Richard Lee, the founder of the Oaksterdam University, in Oakland, California, is backed by former State Senate President Don Perata. Lee has already collected 25% of the needed 434,000 signatures, and he has pledged to spend $1 million of his own money to support the Tax Cannabis 2010 Initiative!
California has been known for setting standards in America and most of its residents recognize that a time for change has presented itself. The state is closer to passing the 2010 ballot since medicinal marijuana laws passed over a decade ago, in 1996. Medical marijuana advocates in California are not opposed to taxing the sale of medicinal or legalized marijuana sales. They understand the benefits legalizing marijuana would have for their great state.
Most residents of Oakland, California recognize the benefits their city would reap from legalizing marijuana to tax and regulate sales. “The new tax revenue will help save libraries, parks, and other public services, and that the once destitute area where Oaksterdam now thrives has seen a clear boost,” City Council member Rebecca Kaplan told Newsweek. Medical marijuana in smokeable and edible variations, sold at competitive prices, is available in Oaksterdam at multiple cafes, clubs and patient dispensaries.
Personal views on marijuana
Erin, my neighbor and mother of two, said she would be more comfortable with her kids smoking marijuana than getting drunk. Erin worries about the loss of inhibitions experienced with drinking. Erin recalls doing things she normally wouldn’t do while drunk but never doing anything she wouldn’t normally do after smoking marijuana. I tend to agree. I also know many doctors who would prefer marijuana over alcohol. In my experience, marijuana users are nonviolent as opposed to alcohol – a legal, highly addictive drug. Drinking often leads to brutal bar or spousal fights or people getting behind the wheel without understanding how impaired they are and take someone’s life.
I purport the days of work missed by the alcoholic are much more than that of the chronic marijuana smoker. There is opposition to this point of view but I disagree. I believe in essence, most everything in life that is done in excess has negative effects.
Marijuana is said to be a gateway drug. Is this true or is it political propaganda? I believe it is the latter and found no supporting research. I have seen serious negative effects of heroine users, i.e. stealing, breaking and entering, to get money to support their habit. I have not seen this with alcohol or marijuana users or abusers.
I challenge anyone reading this to offer opposing views on why marijuana should not be legalized. It is legal for medicinal purposes in 13 states. There is a host of indications for the use of medical marijuana; over 250 to be exact. Why are prescription drugs handed out like candy while marijuana, with proven efficacy, remains completely illegal in most states? My answer – politics! Regardless of legality, marijuana is available for those who know the right people; prohibition doesn’t work. The law does not stop them from purchasing it. Legalizing marijuana has serious benefits for cities and states through tax revenue and I do not understand why politicians do not get it.
Let’s look at the Netherlands as an example
Hard drugs versus soft drugs: Holland differentiates “Hard drugs are those such as cocaine, ecstasy and heroin. Soft drugs are those such as marijuana and psychedelic mushrooms.” Here is a statistic that may surprise those who think legalizing marijuana will lead to increased use – Marijuana use in the Netherlands is lower than in many other European countries and a lot lower than the United States. In Holland, only 6% of had used marijuana in the past year, compared to 11% in the U.S.! The Dutch Ministry of Justice reports that the Nederweit industry (aka Netherlands weed) employs approximately 20,000 people. I found no negative criminal repercussions, such as increased crime activity. Even though marijuana is legal in the Netherlands, there is still an underground marijuana market.
List of Sources:
The Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010, Tax & Regulate Cannabis California 2010
Changing Views on Social Issues: Allemande Left. Allemande Right, ABC NEWS/WASHINGTON POST POLL: HOT-BUTTON ISSUES
Mervin Field, The Independent and Non-Partisan Survey of Public Opinion Established in 1947 as the California Poll, The Field Poll
Ranee Wright, Massachusetts Act to Tax and Regulate Cannabis, Associated Content
Richard Evans, Notes, Materials on Cannabis Taxation & Regulation
Oaksterdam University Faculty Oakland, Oaksterdam University
Jennifer Molina, Welcome to Potopia, Newsweek
13 Legal Medical Marijuana States, ProCon.org
Marijuana and Dutch Law, Amsterdam Review
If Marijuana Is Legal, Will Addiction Rise?, The New York Times
Should the U.S. Legalize Marijuana?, Opposing Views