Are we that desperate for tax money that we’ll sell ourselves out for a dollar?
Micky Shober, Campbell County, Wyoming commissioner about fighting efforts to legalize medical marijuana in Wyoming. He didn’t see legalizing pot as a way to make up for declining energy tax revenues.
He’s about half right. He is wrong to oppose legalizing marijuana but he is right to call into question legalizing something JUST to make money off it. If making money is enough to justify legalizing, than we should consider legalizing murder and just tax the hell out of it…., but of course that makes no sense.
But we highlight this quote to show the risk of over-emphasizing legalization’s tax benefits. There are countless better and far more moral and defensible reasons for legalizing cannabis. Taxation is more the icing on the cake than the cake/reason itself
If you need some reasons for legalizing, consider the following:
1. Incarcerating people in some states for cannabis while allowing people in other states to sell and use it is unfair.
2. Jailing people for cannabis gives them an education in crime and a criminal record, which makes it harder for them to make it in the non-criminal world. These things increase crime, not reduce it.
3. Enforcement of our cannabis laws is so unfair and uneven that it has become the poster child for bad police and a bad legal system and that weakens our entire system. Again, lawyers love this argument for legalizing. See Marijuana And Racism: Bearing The Blunt Of The Problem.
4. Explain to us — using logic — why alcohol is legal (and it should be) but marijuana is not.
5. Why when cannabis is so clearly safe should the government get to decide who uses it, rather than the individual? See They Said It On Marijuana, Quotable Saturday, Part LXIII.
6. If you want to keep pot out of the hands of children, legalization and regulation is how to do it.
7. If people are going to use cannabis anyway, and they are, should it not be taxed like any other product?
8. If people are going to use cannabis anyway, and they are, should it not be regulated for things like pesticides, just like any other farm product? See Is Your Pot Safe? Don’t Be So Sure.
9. Who would you prefer to profit from cannabis, American business owners or foreign drug cartels which then use their cannabis profits to expand their criminal empire? See Marijuana Legalization: Bad For The Cartels.
10. Why prevent the sick from access to a safe medicine that alleviates their symptoms?
12. Why make criminals of 90 year olds who use cannabis to stimulate their appetite in their dying days?
14. Why allow for the firing of a disabled person who was very much an able employee simply because he consumed cannabis (for medicine) during his off hours? See Firing Employees For Medical Cannabis: Colorado Supreme Court Says That’s Okay.