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"Best Idea" to Close Wash. Budget Gap? Legal Pot

By Balzafire, Aug 1, 2010 | | |
  1. Balzafire
    A website set up by Washington state Gov. Christine Gregoire’s office asked citizens to vote on different ideas to help plug the state’s $3 billion budget gap. The most popular—out of more than 1,700 submitted ideas—was legalizing and taxing marijuana. (Not the first time we’ve seen such a result in an online forum.)

    So what does the governor think about ending the state’s prohibition on marijuana?

    “It’s a legitimate idea,” said her spokesperson, Karina Shagren. “But we’d have to see how the federal government would respond.”

    Though it’s not a ringing endorsement, this response is quite encouraging for a governor whose state this year considered both a legislative bill and a ballot initiative that would have made marijuana legal for adults.

    The initiative didn’t gather enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, but with polls showing more than half of Washington voters supporting an end to marijuana prohibition, it’s all but certain local organizers will try again in upcoming years.

    Even more promising, this year the initiative received an official endorsement from the Washington state Democratic Party. And Gov. Gregorie just happens to be a Democrat.

    Opinion by Marijuana Policy Project


  1. Wanderer
    But why just stop there? End the silly "War on Drugs" and reap a Peace dividend as well. Shift efforts from enforcement to treatment. Shift revenue to taxation rather than enforcement budget and property forfeiture. Produce safe, controlled, clean, and fixed measurable dosages for users safety.

    SWIM knows this will probably not happen for quite sometime, because for instance it takes about $3M per day to run a nuclear submarine. These have been re-tasked from fighting the cold war to fighting the "Drug War". There's way too much money to be made by the military industrial complex by keeping the status-quo.

    The pharmaceutical industry is also against this because they make lots of money from their patents on anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, and other medications.

    The cartels are against this because there is too much profit in this for them. The privatization of LEO and Prisons are against this because it would result in decreased revenue and funding for them as well.

    Prices would fall, so the revenue generated in taxes would have to keep prices high. A very high "sin tax." But then there's the peace dividend by shutting down the enforcement budgets to other things, but that would cost jobs and require retraining.

    Not sure where this is going, but it's a self-perpetuating loop. Somehow the cycle must be broken and shifted to a much more sane policy, not just in the US, but globally.
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