From a leading voice with MassCann/NORML.
"I believe the tobacco model is not a good one to promote. I am writing a detailed argument stating the reasons. Adults who do not have a history of selling drugs to kids should be allowed to buy a $200 license to grow up to 50 plants. Growing more than 50 plants or growing without paying for the $200 license should be discouraged by reasonable fines (not jail). Failure to buy the license should be a $600 fine. Every plant over the 50 allowed should be a $100 fine.
We don’t need to promulgate a huge series of laws and fines regarding sales and distribution. Vastly reduce the penalties in place now and allow “gifting” between adults."
Part of my response:
What you are suggesting is to allow police to search people's houses. What you are suggesting is for the state govt. to compile a list of growers.
You later make the case, that you can write the law, so the license doesn't later get raised to say a $1000 a year but yet the government can do anything they want after the fact. They can vote to amend or change any bill or law that exists.
How does this tax, I mean license help get it legalized? What's the projected revenues vs. if they legalize the way that tobacco and beer are?
I am opposed to all efforts to tax or license personal grows for non commercial use. How about you?
Is it ok, to create a license to grow for personal use? To fine those who don't get the license? Many will not register, we know this from the compliance rate for dog licensing. Why allow the police into your home to count your plants when it's clearly not going to help pass a legalization bill? I've yet to hear any politician ask for it.
I contend this as a stand alone without commercial legalization will get less support from the cannabis business community, from the general public and the politicians themselves. So again, how is it better than no tax on personal use which does better or about the same across the board with these three categories that are needed to pass a bill? I don't get that. That's really the biggest issue here, above all the others.
Why be so desperate to pass a restrictive bill? Will we support anything? Is a $1000 where this will go? Taxachusetts.
But really, if this bill seems to have less support, then why present it?
I hope MassCann/NORML doesn't.
December 14, 2009
Boston NORML Examiner
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Local NORML chapter debates taxation/legalization models