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Stoners Volunteer to Save California by Being Taxed
Update - May 18, 2009: A year and a half later, Gov. Arnold Schwarzengger is now willing to take this idea to the store.
While Sacramento scrambles to cut hundreds of millions of dollars of funding for public transportation and other programs around the state, a serious group of underground marijuana professionals are offering to pay at least a billion dollars in taxes, if only California would legalize pot.
A coalition of California marijuana growers and dealers has offered Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger one billion dollars to solve the current state budget crisis. The group, calling itself Let Us Pay Taxes makes the offer through its web site LetUsPayTaxes.com. The offer comes at a time when the California legislature is deadlocked on a new budget and California has stopped issuing checks for vitally needed social services. Legislators are currently arguing over which programs will be cut in order to balance the budget. “It is ridiculous that California can’t pay its bills,” said spokesman Clifford Schaffer. “It is a tragedy that they will cut badly needed services and programs such as medical care for the elderly and prison drug treatment when the money to fund all these programs and more is there and available. Everyone who is currently waiting for a check from the state should be enraged at this foolishness.”
Regulation and taxation of marijuana could produce six billion dollars in additional tax revenue, according to economic studies linked from their web site LetUsPayTaxes.com. In addition, it could save up to ten billion dollars in enforcement costs. “That is a conservative estimate,” said Schaffer. “By other estimates, the revenues could be five times that. The economists are with us all the way on this one. Marijuana prohibition is an economic disaster.”
If there was a $25 tax on an eighth of an ounce of marijuana, like there seems to be on medical marijuana, the government would reap $3,200 per pound in taxes. To make $1 billion in taxes, California would have to sell about 320,000 pounds of the green stuff, the equivalent of 14 tons.
It seems like a lot of pot until you realize that every week it seems theres a story of a ton of weed being discovered in a truck over here or a half ton of weed being nabbed by the cops over there. Which makes us assume that there are tons and tons of marijuana being smoked and sold every day. Thus, the theory that pot could save Cali could be true.
Too bad we have a Governor in office who was perfectly happy smoking weed when he was younger, and saw first hand that it did not hinder him from achieving wild success, but who now has no interest in sharing that experience regardless of what the people who he was elected to represent think, and regardless of the fact that the harmless plant could very well save the world - or at least the budget.
Political girlie men are the worst.
photo by The Mad Pothead via flickr