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Stoners Volunteer to Save California by Being Taxed

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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.

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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 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 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.”

One thing the Prop 215 medical marijuana dispensary craze has shown - people are willing to pay far more for legal marijuana than ever expected.