Saturday, February 28, 2009

California's jobless rate hits 10.1%, and that's not all that's high.

This is the highest percentage in twenty-six years. The state is bankrupt. The Assembly couldn't decide whether to kill the rich to save the poor (i.e., raise taxes and keep safety-net programs) or kill the poor to save the rich (i.e., lower taxes and gut safety-net programs), so they opted for maiming both (i.e., raising taxes halfway and cutting services halfway). 

I'm beginning to like the idea of State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) to decriminalize the sale of marijuana under state law and then tax the sh¡t out of it. Proposed Assembly Bill AB 390 would basically treat pot like alcohol, even applying an age limit of twenty-one to buy it. 

Of course, the tax is a fee:
Until a different fee is determined pursuant to Section 34032 there is hereby imposed a fee of fifty dollars ($50) per ounce (avoirdupois) for the sale of marijuana sold at retail in this state on or after the date determined by Section 25406 of the Business and Professions Code.
I have never smoked marijuana in my life, except as a second-hand bystander, so I have no idea how much it costs. Is $50 per ounce too high a fee for people to pay for the privilege of smoking legally? Will there still be an underground trade of illegally produced and untaxed marijuana?

Those details would have to be worked out later, but tax-and-toke Democrat Ammiano is saying that marijuana has long been California's number-one cash crop (which is saying a lot when it's coming from the number-one agricultural producer in the country), and Sacramento is losing out on $1 billion per year in tax revenues. 

To make this Korea-related: I support the idea of making light drugs legal, such as marijuana. Their prohibition has by no means stopped their use but instead has engendered a lawless world that provides them through whatever means are necessary. 
South Korea, on the other hand, is nowhere near that point, so it would be stupid to do the equivalent of raising the white flag. And maybe then all the drug-addled English teachers in Korea would head back to California. 


  1. I couldn't tell you what current prices are. According to this discussion it ranges from around $100-300/ozbut just imagine that marijuana was grown and marketed like tobacco. You're realistically looking at around $70/oz total (or less). That is some CHEAP dope.

  2. Wow, what a discussion over there. It's an interesting exercise in free speech on Al Gore's invention here that people can openly talk about how much it costs to do something totally illegal.

    Anyway, so right now its $100 to $300 per ounce, but if legalized it could go to $70 per ounce (before the $50 tax/fee, I assume.

    So the tax/fee is not some ridiculous impediment to people wishing to buy pot legally, then. In that case, this could work. Frankly, I'd like to see them try it.

    I still probably won't partoke myself, because some day when my hypothetical future offspring ask their daddy if he ever tried drugs, I'd like to honestly say, "No, and you shouldn't either."


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