California In Financial Hardship: Turns to Drugs
by Byrne Hobart
California is dealing with the most intense budget crunch in the country. One proposal for dealing with the financial hardship is one quite familiar to glassy-eyed freshman on 3 a.m. Taco Bell runs everywhere: marijuana.
Who says money can’t grow on trees?
While this plan doesn’t involve special heatlamps and a closet full of contraband, it would seek to profit from the growing and distribution of marijuana. Growers, retailers and distributors in California (where the drug is legal) would have to register with the state and pay a licensing fee. The drug itself would be subject to a tax of up to 41%.
State Senator Ron Calderon is to introduce the bill, which is being pushed by Board of Equalization member Jerome Horton, who sponsored similar legislation aimed at quashing illegal cigarette sales. Calderon was careful to note that the proposal would not legalize the sale of marijuana (that proposal was introduced by Tom Ammiano, and died a legislation timeline death but should be reintroduced in the next several days).
The Senator says the plan would not only help control legal dispution (and crack down on illegal sales), it could also bring nearly 2 billion dollars in yearly revenue to the beleagured state.
Lets just hope that money goes to something more than Natural Light and a really sweet bong.