As this and many recent articles point out, governments at all levels are allowing legalization of Cannabis for all the wrong reasons and based on all the wrong assumptions.
First of all…there are no real product differences between “medical” and “recreational” marijuana. It’s as if somehow when you cross the line between using the plant for medicinal versus recreational reasons, it somehow defines whether you are a “criminal element” or not. It’s like saying “if you consume this as medicine, you are good. If you consume it because you like it, you are bad”. Like the old saying from the 70s…”if it feels this good…it MUST be illegal”.
When governments lift prohibitions just because of economic values and being able to add “sin taxes” to societal freedoms…it sends the strong message to everyone young and old that morality is subjective to “social needs”. This means that most regulations on food and drugs are not based on true moral expediency, but about the bottom line of what the government wins in exchange for “allowing” these products. Then look at all the gambling laws both local and online. Why is it legal to have government lotteries, but casinos or other fund raising organizations are not allowed to run lotteries for THEIR financial needs? Why do governments permit Big Pharma opioids that kill tens of thousands every year, but not Marijuana which product has killed NO ONE? We think we know…
Governments both federal and local use prohibition to negotiate their “cut” in all adult products and services. Once they “allow” a certain product such as cigarettes, alcohol, gambling, and/or marijuana into the marketplace, they all jump on the pile of adding oppressive, ridiculous sales and use taxes to these products or services. By the time states, counties, and towns/townships add all their taxes and licensing fees to products such as Cannabis, the price is more than double what it has been or should be to the end-user.
Just wait until the FEDs in the USA dictate the price for nationally releasing Cannabis from the list of prohibited substances. More taxes will pile onto just this one set of plant products to where it will still be worth the risk to buy from the “black markets” (cartels). So…we will have legalization, but we will still have the “drug war”. Why? Because the war will become between government providers and underground providers. It has always been this way…and it is not the fault of the “illegal” sellers and buyers. It is the fault of these governments who in our view unconstitutionally tax and regulate one product such as Cannabis at a much higher rate than statin or Opioid drugs.
Citizens should not have to obey this thievery. Why should we the consumers accept such over-reaching taxation on the healthiest product so many of us consume? Should we justify paying this “for our health”…or do we begin pushing back on these systematic over-regulations and overpayment for a simple, healthy, plant product?
“Taxation without representation” is totally at play here. What historically cost $100-$200 per unit now costs $400+ per unit through these state level programs. No wonder the old supply chain remains strong and steady even in reaction to 28+ states now having some form of legalization. This is pure robbery by governments. Of whom? The citizen buyers! The retailers and growers simply add or reflect taxes in the bottom line price to the market. So…when you see government highly taxing Cannabis at every level…they are using this as a trick to get more tax income from the citizenry. So, now they can get huge taxes from legal sales, or huge revenues from freezing assets and bank accounts of those even suspected of dealing or using products outside of their tax system. The government can’t lose.
So next time you American or European aficionados of marijuana wonder why you pay 2-3 times the amount for INFERIOR cannabis product compared to developing countries such as Colombia or most other LatAm countries…this is a pretty good explanation. And they only charge at these levels because you are willing to pay it. Just like all the other highly up-charged drugs your system is deluged with at the retail level with Big Pharma.
Governments should be legalizing Marijuana because it is healthy and positive to do so as all the recent statistics prove…not because it is a way to live off the tax payers at a whole other level. It should be a FEDERAL right to own and use our own Cannabis plants anywhere in the country. We don’t need this commercial system to produce, use or self-medicate on Marijana. This prohibition has been based on government misrepresentation for 70-80 years now. It is time to end this…and the unequal tax burden all levels of government are placing on the legitimate industry of Cannabis.