The economic situation has impacted us all. We have become creative in our attempts to cut our spending and increase our income. Well, the State of California is becoming creative too. They are discussing a way to bring more income to the state, which is strapped with a huge revenue shortfall. Their new plan? Legalize marijuana.
Here is a quote from Tom Ammiano, who is the Democrat who introduced legislation to legalize marijuana:
“The state of California is in a very, very precipitous economic plight. It’s in the toilet,” says Ammiano. “It looks very, very bleak, with layoffs and foreclosures, and schools closing or trying to operate four days a week. We have one of the highest rates of unemployment we’ve ever had. With any revenue ideas, people say you have to think outside the box, you have to be creative, and I feel that the issue of the decriminalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana fits that bill. It’s not new, the idea has been around, and the political will may in fact be there to make something happen.”
Get that? Economic times are hard. It’s time to think outside the box when it comes to raising more revenue. Those are his reasons. Here is a reply by John Lovell to this new idea:
“The last thing we need is yet another mind-altering substance to be legalized,” says John Lovell, lobbyist for the California Peace Officers’ Association. “We have enough problems with alcohol and abuse of pharmaceutical products. Do we really need to add yet another mind-altering substance to the array?”
And a last one from USC professor Joel Hay:
“Marijuana is a drug that clouds people’s judgment. It affects their ability to concentrate and react, and it certainly has impacts on third parties,” says Hay, who has written on the societal costs of drug abuse. “It’s one more drug that will add to the toll on society. All we have to do is look at the two legalized drugs, tobacco and alcohol, and look at the carnage that they’ve caused. [Marijuana] is a dangerous drug, and it causes bad outcomes for both the people who use it and for the people who are in their way at work or other activities.” He adds, “There are probably some responsible people who can handle marijuana, but there are lots of people who can’t, and it has an enormous negative impact on them, their family and loved ones.”
Exactly what are we willing to do or sacrifice when it comes to money? Is money the sole reason that this issue is even being considered? Yes, these are hard times, but do we operate based upon our convictions of right and wrong, or are we motivated only by the bottom line on the balance sheet?
What are your thoughts on this issue?
By the way, my quotes come from an article written by Alison Stateman. You can read it in its entirety here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20090313/us_time/08599188495600
I think that’s absolutely ridiculous. Why can’t we cut some things out of our budget. It seems that the state is unable to manage their money, so legislators are just trying to find ways to gain more money. The solution isn’t to add something that we can tax. It’s to stop spending money on things we don’t need. (Education is not one of those things, in case anyone was wondering. 😉 )
I really doubt legalizing marijuana will do us any good. It will just make drug abuse even more common than it is now.