Hash is Cash?

by Mike on July 16, 2009

in Politics

Some Californians with “liberal tendencies” are using their state’s abysmal fiscal situation as another argument in favor of legalizing marijuana.  According to our hippie friends, marijuana should be legalized in the west-coast paradise because doing so would generate $1.4 billion in revenue for the state when it needs it most.  Of course we have no reason to doubt that the motivation behind legalization is strictly financial (heh).  Well, let’s assume fiscal concerns are the motivation.  Legalizing pot will not turn California around.    

Sure, a tax on the liberals’ favorite plant would generate some revenue in the short-term.  What the advocates of legalization fail to mention is the loss of revenue that would result from a decrease in motivation of users to put down the bong, turn off Olbermann, get off the couch and go to work every morning.  Look, California is not desperate for cash because they lack revenue.  They’re desperate for cash because their government spends money like Michael Jackson at a black-market pharmacy.  

Even assuming that legalizing pot would generate revenue in the short-term, California would still be carry massive deficits because, as they always do, the y would spend the money on more government program that don’t work.  Kind of like those who want their favorite plant legalized.

UPDATE:  While we’re on the subject of California  (HT:  The Corner)

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ryan July 16, 2009 at 4:10 pm

If the potheads would put down the bong for a second, they would have a different view: the money raised in California from the pot sales would be eaten up through increased health care costs for all the new accidents, new health problems, and subsequently new gateway drug use which will come along with the large numbers of new users; increased drug enforcement (do they really think the black-market is going to dry-up overnight?); increased costs of the bureaucracy in order to deal with this new controlled substance; and stuffing the courts with all sorts of unexpected complications of a huge number of new drug users being even more dumb than the current users. That’s all on top of Mike’s point about the other costs associated with lacking productivity in the economy.

All in all, it’d probably cost more than it’s going to raise in revenue. But, doesn’t that just fit right in with California’s direction nowadays?

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