July 21st, 2009
07:02 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Tax Pot?

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight, voters in Oakland, California could take the battle over medical marijuana to a new level. Should it be taxed at city dispensaries? That's the question on a mail-in ballot.

If "Measure F" is approved, Oakland would become the first city in the country to tax pot directly. The idea actually came from the dispensaries. They see the proposed 1.8% tax as a way to help Oakland with its more than $80 million cash shortage. But there's another reason they're backing the measure. We'll have the details on their agenda. And, would the city even get a big cash boost from the plan? We'll break down the numbers for you.

Not everyone likes the idea. "With the state in dire straights in finances and the country looking for ways to pay down debt, looking at illegal drugs is the absolute wrong thing to do," said Paul Chabot of Coalition for a Drug Free California

What do you think of "Measure F"? Should it pass or fail? Sound off below.

Also tonight, Pres. Obama's fight for health care reform. He's not backing down under GOP opposition. Today at the White House, Mr. Obama said Republicans "who openly announce their intentions to block this reform" would "rather score political points" than confront the ailing health care system. But, keep in mind, Democrats also can't seem to agree on your coverage. We'll have the raw politics.

And, we'll take you to Cambridge, Massachusetts where charges have been dropped against Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates. Police have issued a statement calling his arrest - while breaking into his own home - regrettable. Was it racial profiling? We'll let you be the judge.

Join us for these stories and more starting at 10pm ET. See you then!

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (166 Responses)
  1. Stacey T

    You nailed it Shawn–

    The ONLY reason why it's still illegal is because of the pharm. industry! If people can aleviate certain symptoms by simply smoking some weed, they lose out.

    Those companies WANT us to feel like crap all the time, and keep on swallowing pills. Ah..the rich get richer...

    July 21, 2009 at 11:29 pm |
  2. JB

    Gary said:

    "I’d like to see pot taxed in L.A. County to subsidize the entertainment industry so my friends can have their jobs back."

    Thanks for making me laugh, Gary. I liked your comment. And, I needed a good laugh after all of the debate over Health Care and the "Me, Me, Me" Attitude, and "Scare" tactics from "Conservatives" who are AGAINST any kind of Health Care Reform for ALL people.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:29 pm |
  3. RJ

    The reason cannibis was made illegal in the first place was due to racism and the intentional stifling of industrial competition. It was not banned on the basis of any established medical danger. It has continued to be scheduled incorrectly for many years for no justifiable medical or scientific reason. Studies have found it to be less dangerous than legal drugs such as alcohol, tobacco and many prescription painkillers. There is no toxicity to THC, it has never been recorded as the cause of a drug overdose or death. Marijuana continues to be percieved by laypeople as being some kind of dangerous drug, due to it's ongoing propagandization and association with "undesirable elements" of society- beginning with mexicans, blacks, jazz musicians!, hippies, "stoners", and liberals. This association was capitalized upon by early proponents of the ban who realized they could throw mexicans and blacks in jail for smoking it. Thus was born propaganda like "Reefer Madness" which misrepresented pot as some kind of hallucinogen and psychotic agent. But a vast majority of adults smoke or know someone who smokes and they will attest that the effects of this substance have no relation to the behaviors sensationalized by "Reefer Madness". It is a mild relaxant and appetite stimulant. Part of the reason behind it's ban was because corporate entities in the industrial era recognized the threat posed by a fast-growing, strong, sustainable fiber source such as hemp- marijuana's drug-free cousin. Paper, textiles, rigging, construction materials, plastics, fuels, food, and many other valuable products can be derived from hemp and it grows quickly with minimal damage to the land. If hemp were legal, we would have a much different economy today. But barons such as DuPont and Hearst conspired to discredit marijuana to enrich themselves and stifle competitive industries from being born. By villifying marijuana they could thereby ban hemp production based solely on the physical resemblance of these two related plants. Politicians including Obama continue to be dismissive of calls for change to the absolutely ruinous federal policy toward marijuana over the years. The suggestion that only stoners want to see the law changed is the utmost insult. Nearly a million drug arrests a year are made related to this harmless substance. The danger posed by legal persecution and improsonment is far greater than the danger posed by using the drug. Making marijuana illegal makes it more dangerous for police to do their jobs and makes normal peaceful people afraid of police. Arguably it would stand to increase marijuana use if it were legalized, but it could also be conjectured that people would choose marijuana instead of alcohol and cigarettes, which could lead to even fewer societal and aggregate health problems due to these substances with well established toxicity. However it would almost certainly threaten the use of many other expensive drugs and would therefore threaten established corporate powers like pharmaceutical companies and insurers. These companies profit by selling less efficable alternative drugs for terminally ill patients, cancer patients, and persons in palliative care. So again it will be oppoesed on the grounds of greed and stifling competition. Please stop sending our kids to prison, breeding hatred for the police, and banning one of the worlds most important resources (hemp) just because it looks like one of the worlds most loved and harmless recreational drugs(marijuana). Stop the madness. Legalize marijuana, regulate and tax it, and free the world from this antiquated and misguided prohibition policy.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:28 pm |
  4. ulysses

    You know who would really HATE to see marijuana decriminalized? The criminals who sell it. The drug cartels would go broke and couldn't afford bullets to shoot cops if they no longer had a monopoly on recreational drugs.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:27 pm |
  5. Ryan - Phoenix AZ

    Pot should be legalized, regulated, and taxed. It is a plant and it is not harmful. If we are truly a free country we should be allowed to put whatever we want in our own bodies. Prescription pills, alcohol, and tobacco are the big killers in our country yet those are completely legal. Let's stop the hypocrisy.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:15 pm |
  6. jon stein

    This is the best idea i've heard in a LONG time. DO IT!!!

    July 21, 2009 at 11:15 pm |
  7. Lisa

    One comment: Why is CNN pushing the Republican agenda? I thought the News was supposed to be neutral? Not according to John King. He pushed the Republican agenda so hard tonight, it was ridiculous. Clearly, all the republicans care about is getting back into the White House - not the American people. Because if they did, they would be pushing THAT agenda instead of the stream of lies the continually pour out from this station. CNN, it's time to regroup. Your fangs are showing.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:15 pm |
  8. Daniel

    In California the glaringly obvious stupidity is that people are already spending this money with or without a tax. We, as citizens of this state, are being denied our rightful skim of this booming economic sector.

    There are many forces aligned against legalization. Mostly law enforcement, lawyers, prisons, rehab centers, etc etc. However, it's easy to see with a brief glance into history that prohibition is a bad idea.

    Crime thrives on prohibition and dies under legalization. One poster suggested that people would just buy illegal pot to avoid the tax. This is a ludicrous suggestion. Does the poster buy illegal cigarettes and moonshine to avoid paying tax? Would any average citizen willingly choose a legal risk over a tax?

    1.4 Billion a year is the estimated tax revenue for California. Our schools and our citizens need this money. Arnold, get us our cut!

    July 21, 2009 at 11:15 pm |
  9. Dina

    I know it is important for media companies, like CNN, to stay objective in presenting news about marijuana law but the news I have seen on CNN and other channels has been obviously neutral to negative on the marijuana discussion. Why is this?

    Marijuana is Big news in this country right now, and it seems that everyone is talking about possible legalization, smokers and non-smokers alike. I have seen and heard so many comments supporting legalization, and so few against it, that I don't see why we all don't get on the bandwagon right now and openly support pot reform.

    Taxing pot is a good thing!!

    July 21, 2009 at 11:14 pm |
  10. Hayes

    Marijuana should be legalized for everyone but of course we have already put people in prison for their whole lives over it so it will not be easy to say, "It's okay now." It should gradually be decriminalized, definitely taxed for "medical users", which is really a joke because anyone with $250 and a sad story can get a prescription in CA, and eventually all out legalized. Look at The Netherlands, it's tolerated there and they are one of the most modern, productive countries in the world – and they're BANKING off of American tourists coming over to smoke a J without having to worry about getting shot or thrown in jail forever. It's time, if ever there was a time, it's now.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:13 pm |
  11. bobbie-jo

    I think there should be a tax on it and make it legal. the systems are already making money on it anyways. since we have to pay wasted court cost and do time or what ever the punishment is we still pay so why not tax it so we to can enjoy it with out being harrassed.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:12 pm |
  12. Andy

    I read somewhere that one acre of industrial marijuana (hemp) produces the same amount of paper pulp as 5 acres of hardwood trees... But you can grow it back every year.

    I guess it just makes more sense somehow to cut the trees instead of using a well known, easy to grow alternative.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:12 pm |
  13. Paula in NC

    After going through 6 weeks of ABSOLTE HELL to quit smoking cigarettes after 30 years, I cannot believe we are still having a debate about marijuana. I guarantee that no person would ever have the withdrawal from pot like I have had from cigarettes-god help those poor people who are struggling with alcoholism!
    What in the hell is wrong with America? The Government has made billions from taxing booze and cigs-2 of our WORST drugs ever. Yet our country would rather see malnourished children in the streets and grown men begging for change than give those "hippies" their right to smoke a non addicting plant.
    I feel like I am living in the Matrix.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:12 pm |
  14. davis

    tax it and legalize it. the only people getting rich is the one's selling. i pay taxes but they don't have to. plus we,ll save money on healthcare beause more people will be using pot and less # of people will be dying of alcohol and tobacco.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:10 pm |
  15. Bryan from North Carolina

    It is the alcohol and pharmaceudial industries that don't want it legal. It will cut into their profits. I pray this country will come to its senses, and realize it would be to the best interest of the country as a whole to legalize, control and tax cannibus.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:09 pm |
  16. Kevin

    Did people forget about lobbyist? well, that is what is going on in congress by people you voted for and put in office for your state. Now we have to see that these people do not have your intrest at heart! They are trying to down play the President because he is trying to do something for you as people. See, some medical companies have lobbied with some of the republicans, remember Bush and the Private sector of Health care? Come on people forget the republicans because everything the president do they are trying to make you and I see him as a bad person when actually he is actually doing some work when these other idiots did not do anything. So we owe him to stand with him and stop these dumb critics like Steele from talking, Vote those guys in congress out unless they are their for all people!

    July 21, 2009 at 11:09 pm |
  17. Shticky

    Alcohol and tobacco kill approximately 1/2 million Americans every year (not including drunken driving and domestic violence incidents). Marijuana hasn't killed a single person in written history.

    Do the math. Vote accordingly.
    There are too many Americans who are in denial based on 40+ years of government propaganda and lies and lack of facts.

    If it's legal to get drunk, smoke cigarettes, and commit violent crimes, then it should be legal to get high, down some twinkies, and go to sleep.

    Do the right thing. Cast your vote based on facts, no propaganda!

    July 21, 2009 at 11:07 pm |
  18. Brian

    Pot should be legalilzed.

    1. People are going to smoke it anyway. It is readily available just about everywhere. My local high school was polled and it was revealed that pot was easier to acquire than alcohol.

    2. Pot is far less destrictive than alcohol. No one smokes pot and decides to go drive around like an idiot and get someone killed. Potheads are usually content to chill out and listen to some music or watch tv.

    3. Pot does not make people violent like alcohol.

    4. The legalization of pot will not make everyone start smoking. Chances are, most companies will enforce a drug policy and most people will not be willing to risk their jobs for an occasional joint.

    5. When there is demand for something, someone will find a way to profit from it. So, who should profit?

    By not legalizing pot we support violent drug cartels around the world. Look at Mexico right now for example. So instead of keeping that money here, we are giving a sizeable portion of it to the bad guys. By taxing pot, we could keep those dollars at home to help out where it is needed.

    Toke up – and save the economy. Its the american thing to do!

    July 21, 2009 at 11:06 pm |
  19. jp

    Do you really think that taxing pot will make money? Pot being illegal hasn’t stopped people from smoking it. Why would they buy legal taxed pot when they can get illegal non-taxed pot?

    Well, seems as if you should be for 'pot' with that statement.

    Easy, the price of pot is HIGHER due to it being illegal. Simple supply and demand. Supply is strained due to our laws.

    Funny, we just tossed 10b to Mexico to fight against drug lords that are funded by all of this money that we dont get. It is a double negative.

    Why spend and fight whereas you can just legalize it and save. I don't even smoke and to me this makes perfect sense.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:06 pm |
  20. Chris

    I live in Canada and I find US media coverage of our health care system laughable. They really have no idea or are being influenced by some larger power.

    Wait times are really not an issue, especially for critical care. We can walk into any hospital in the country and get the same care as any other citizen, which in my experience has been excellent. You also have the security of knowing no matter what your station in life that if life throws you something terrible you can focus on recovery and not how to pay for it.

    Next time you hear a Republican calling it evil "socialism" ask yourself if you would feel comfortable having your military privatized and run by insurance companies. By definition having a government run military make you socialist too....

    July 21, 2009 at 11:04 pm |
  21. Jessy

    Alcohol destroys your body. Marijuana does not, get on board and look to the future or get off the bus and go home. Prohibition did not work in the before and it is not working now. look at all the violence. of all the money spent on trying to punch out marijuana, that would equal more then half of California's state budget deficit. Get Smart. it's the 21st century.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:04 pm |
  22. dklee

    that professor was trying to make matters worse.

    if someone reported me breaking into a house, and the only ID i gave them was my Work ID, which doesn't prove i live there, i would hope they arrested me.

    All he had to do was say, hey, i locked myself out, here is my ID with my address on it. Thanks for checking.

    Instead, he is trying to make it a racial thing and instead of thanking the officers for checking a breakin, he say, i'm black, why are you harassing me. of course the always racist Rev. Sharpton came to his side right away.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:03 pm |
  23. Shay Leene Chandler

    I have to say that crowding our court systems and prisons/jail with non-violent marijuana smokers is getting ridiculous. No, not everyone should smoke marijuana, but not everyone should be allowed to drink, either. Taxing marijuana would clear up our courts, prisons, etc. and help a depleted economy. It would also help out small time farmers who have been the backbone of this country for so long. If we utilized more hemp for paper products, clothing, etc. then we could save millions of trees and do something proactive for our planet.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:01 pm |
  24. TR

    tax it

    July 21, 2009 at 11:00 pm |
  25. Fernando

    make pot legal.
    prepare with a lower potency than the one in the streets.
    make all those drug dealers close doors for good.
    move the profits from Colombia/Mexico to the US (people are consuming pot anyway).
    start selling Coca Leafs The... is great for the stomach.
    Some people, if they don't have Pot, they will eat glue or smell markers or thinner.... you can't make illegal everything.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:00 pm |
  26. Steve - Maryland

    I've heard reports that marijuana is the largest agricultural cash crop now in several states. The idea of continuing the criminalization track this nation has been on for only a few decades is absurd. We pay "sin" taxes on alcohol and tobacco – why not pot? Let's help bring revenue to those localities which need it, rather than spend our tax money to arrest, prosecute, and even jail relatively harmless dope smokers.

    July 21, 2009 at 10:59 pm |
  27. Neil

    It should pass. First off the issue of taxing medical marijuana has nothing to do with "illegal drugs" since medical marijauna has been approved in California and therefore medical marijuana is distinct from illegal marijuana in California. Secondly, Mr. Chabot should look at some statistics and realize that the two deadliest drugs, alcohol and tabacco, are 100% legal and only require the companies that manufacture these products warn of their harm (This product causes cancer). Yet he fails to realize that there has NEVER been a recorded death solely caused by marijuana, whereas there is hundreds of thousands of deaths caused solely by alcohol and tobacco EVERY year in this country. Simple put, Marijauna is safer than both Alcohol and Tabacco but I don't see Mr. Chabot discussing these issues. If he wants safety maybe he should start lobbying for legalized marijuana and illegal alcohol and tabacco.

    Health Care: I have heard how this government is corrupt or ineffecient yet people think that health care is going to be the opposite once it becomes government ran. POOF! all the problems with government are gone and you can get that appointment tomorrow. CNN reported a story of some lady in California getting a $350 wheelchair for $1400 because she was on Medicare. Yet people think this is the solution to our problems. Lets go back to the issue of medical marijuana. Notice that Mr. Chabot won't tell you that marijuana has something like 25 medical purposes and has yet to be proven to cause harm that is any worse that alcohol or tabacco. (Don't believe me? Go on Youtube.com and search "The Union" you will find the head of Harvard Medical School discuss how marijauna is essentially a wonder drug). Think about that for a minute and ask yourself who lobbies to keep marijuana illegal. Drug companies don't want it to be legalized because then they won't be able to sell their products. But hey, if I could make that kind of money I would put 1% of my profit into remaining in business by lobbying against my competition too. (Michael Jackson fan? Well guess what he died being addicted to prescription drugs and was able to easily obtain them).

    Harvard Professor: If he identified himself to the police, then the police should be sued under Title VII for racism and the professor should win. Additionally, the officer should be fired for being a racist. If he failed to identify himself, he needs to drop his claims, realize his mistake, and appologize to the police department and the officer in question.

    July 21, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  28. Kevin

    First of all, My hat is off to California for doing the right thing. I always believe that legalizing marijiuana is the right thing. Alcohol is the worst thing we could have done, it has caused a lot of deaths. Now, Marijuana has not and it also is a more chill drug and it is from Gods creation of herbs. NOw alcohol is chemically made. More States should allow this also. Make marijuana LEGAL for ONce!!!

    The President is doing a wonderful job and I personally have had experiences with being able to go to the doctor and not having insurance. What the President is doing is trying to say us and those idiots that dont like it , well, they need to find another job and stop eating off of us. AFter all the republicans forget one thing , we pay for their health care! so why cant they pay for ours!!! they do in the military!! and we as tax payers fund it all. So Go President Obama you are doing the right thing!!!!

    July 21, 2009 at 10:56 pm |
  29. Kelly

    Buying legal pot will put the illegal dealers out of business. If it is legal and readily accessible it is a win-win. Taxed, legal, safe available.

    July 21, 2009 at 10:55 pm |
  30. Rob

    Shawn, one point, if it were legalized the drug companies would be the ones with the money to grow it and distrubute it, it would become their biggest seller!

    July 21, 2009 at 10:55 pm |
  31. LW

    This is the first step that may actually be a way to generate enough revenue for the US to get us out of all the financial mess we dug ourselves into. at least half of the US population uses marijuana without a prescription, so if it was legalized and taxed (even at a low %), it would take maybe a year to pay off the national debt. Has anyone looked into this at all or are we still afraid of the substance?

    July 21, 2009 at 10:55 pm |
  32. Duff

    Since we live in the land of the FEE it only makes since to tax pot. The issue will be debated in congress for ever but the peoples consensus in voting for medical marijuana was like 60%, a clear majority. Even at that alot of OUR state congresspersons were still balking at leting it pass. Remember this is supposed to be a land for the peoples wishes. If Oakland people decide to pass this with a clear majority, God bles them. After all he did create it. Tax IT.

    July 21, 2009 at 10:55 pm |
  33. Darren

    Every one of these comments are for reform of marijuana laws. I think most people are in favor of reform, at least every person I know. So who are these people that keep things like this from happening? Once the country sees how California will benefit from reform, then the rest of the states will follow suit. It will take time but it will happen.

    July 21, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  34. Dee

    I agree with Tom and the rest that say
    It should be legalized nationwide and taxed. This is the only way out of this economic mess. It’s legal in other countries, why not here?
    I don't use it but know people from all ages and social backgrounds that do. I have been saying this could be the solution out.
    If it is taxed and legal the jobs and revnue are endless:
    Farmers, taxes, dispenseries, Govt inspectors, production plants etc. not to mention the money we could save by not housing pot users in the jails, not paying for legal defense of pot users in court, not paying for policemen to bust them.
    I hope people wake up to the times that are a changin and find a resolve to something that isn't going away and finally help our economy out too.

    July 21, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  35. Barry Hart

    Probably 95% of the people over the age of 18 who wants to smoke pot are smoking pot. Legalizing it won't suddenly cause everyone to start smoking it. Let's quit wasting resources strying to stop it and incarcerating people for it and tax it.

    July 21, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  36. nic

    Hey Tech Guy Dudes and Dudettes – I just composed an insightful and intelligent response. Unfortunately, the invalid email error message I recieved was displayed on a new page, with no way to recover my comment. Not worth rewriting it. Could ya fix that?

    July 21, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  37. Lamar

    the governator entertained this thought b/c my homestate is broke... the "establishment" will not allow Oakland, CA to set a precedent, surely to be followed by other near bankrupt counties & states

    July 21, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  38. Matt

    What people don't realize is that by making Pot legal, the price would go down to almost nothing.....so there wouldn't be the crime that there is now.

    July 21, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  39. Matt

    Legalizing marijuana could be devastating to the economy – you'd take thousands of people out of jail and add to the already high levels of people looking for jobs. Add this to the loss of the jobs for people working on the war on drugs (including prisons) and you've got an empty void of doom.

    As to simply taxing what's already being sold, there aren't any links to the bill so I can't say that I would have a well informed opinion on the matter.

    July 21, 2009 at 10:53 pm |
  40. george

    Professor Gates should be thankful someone showed up to check and see if someone was breaking into his house instead of whining about "profiling" and giving grief to the officer that showed up.

    The photo of the police on the front porch of Prof. Gates' home showed a black man there also why didn't he intercede in the incident?

    Instead of always crying racism, just watch the eveing news in almost any city in the US and see who is committing the crimes....almost 90% black or some degree of minorities.

    July 21, 2009 at 10:52 pm |
  41. Rob

    The biggest drawback to legalizing marijuana is it shut down small rural sheriff and police stations, which is fine with me because where I live there are far too many cops per capita for the small tax base that exists. These departments are making a killing off of marijuana busts. Here in Michigan if you get caught in a car they have the right to search your home and if they find pot in your home they can take everything you own while the guy down the road gets squat for raping kids and certainly doesn`t have to forfeit his belongings!

    July 21, 2009 at 10:52 pm |
  42. Matt

    Pot should be distributed as Liquor is in certain states...like Utah. You would cut down on crime as there is no black market. People that want to smoke Pot, are going to do it no matter what. So why not Tax it? Its not like I would run out and buy a joint tonight if it is legal. I don't smoke! But for those that do, lets get the tax instead of the money going to the drug loards!

    July 21, 2009 at 10:52 pm |
  43. scot mills

    tax pot – the money will help the state – beer and wine are legal pot should be also – it is logical to tax it.

    July 21, 2009 at 10:51 pm |
  44. Ian

    Illinois is the only state in the USA to tax prescription drugs (at 1%). Would anyone support raising the costs of blood pressure medication or chemotherapy drugs? Why is medical Cannabis any different? If we're talking recreational use, by all means tax it. Otherwise it's a step in the wrong direction.

    July 21, 2009 at 10:51 pm |
  45. Ron

    I think marijuana should be legalized and taxed for all. Legalizing for medical use only then taxing that seems totally wrong.

    Tobacco is taxed, alcohol is taxed, legalizing and taxing will kill two birds with one stone. Less tax money being spent to fight it and a new tax stream coming in.

    July 21, 2009 at 10:50 pm |
  46. Jay R

    Its high time America has actually moved on from past propaganda against Mary Jane. It can serve a real need to a public that's already clamoring for it. America is great because we are innovators. Its getting harder and harder to say that lately. Corporations are pushing status quo in every industry. From energy reform to agri-businesses policy making is been easy. Lets show the world we can get over ourselves, this will bring us closer every nation on earth and increase tourism. The amount of money to made by creating this industry is staggering. Its almost a crime if we don't.

    July 21, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  47. brian

    I worked for the first dispensary to pay taxes in California. The dispensary paid over one million dollars in 2006 and over four million in in 2007. We followed all state laws and had a permit to dispense medical marijuana that was issued by the Alameda county Sheriff office. In nov. of 2007 the dispensary was raided by the federal govt and myself and three other men are currently awaiting trial. Please contact your congress person and tell them to support the medical marijuana protection act of 2009.

    July 21, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  48. Ed

    I gave up smoking a year and almost three weeks ago, on July 2nd 2008. I was smoking too much and could not get anything done. I'm much happier having stopped.

    Still, i think marijuana should be legalized. It is not as devestating to the body or the family life that alcohol use can be.

    Legalizing marijuana would shift the cash flow from the criminal cartels to a cash flow made up of taxes back to our country and our government.

    Some people might think shifting a cash flow from one criminal group to another criminal group doesn't matter, but at least our government is OUR criminals, which is preferable to foreign criminals.

    Don't you agree?

    July 21, 2009 at 10:47 pm |
  49. Jackie Paper

    If marijuana was legalized and taxed, this recession would be over by Tuesday. Friday in California.

    July 21, 2009 at 10:47 pm |
  50. Alex

    Pot should be legalized and be taxed like alcohol. Unlike Alcohol you cannot have to much and die, the worst that would happen is that you eat all the food in your fridge and go to sleep. People that are not for the legalization are ignorant and need to read the facts. People should not go to jail for something as petty as pot, it has been legal before in the US, it should be again!

    July 21, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
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