Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Tax on Your Pot

First, your state has to be progressive enough to legalize pot. But you can bet that will never happen here in Ten-uh-see where elected officials are hell-bent on regressing the state back to 1796 when it was granted statehood.

But, in California a measure to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes passed in 1996. CBS/AP reports that a new measure was just passed in Oakland to tax the sale of marijuana. The four clubs where over-the-counter pot is sold have been charging $1.20 for every $1,000 in gross sales applied in all retail sales.

The measure to raise the marijuana tax to $18 passed by 80 percent of the voters and will take effect on New Year’s Day. Oakland’s auditor estimates that the tax will generate nearly $300,000 for the city.

Club owners supported the measure that was decided by a mail-in vote.

A movement, Measure F, is underway in California to legalize and regulate marijuana like alcohol. Such a measure would generate almost $1.4 billion in revenue.

Just think, Ten-uh-see, the state would have some money for schools, parks and road improvements.


  1. Originally hailing from California, I noticed Measure F very quickly. It's author is also submitting a bill in the state legislature, which he will attempt to pass before Measure F goes on the ballot for the next state election. Whether it will or will not pass is an open question. I was living in CA during the medical marijuana debate. Republican elected officials opposed it pretty much across the board, as did urban Democrats with a law and order focus, and it failed to pass the state legislature by a significant margin. Then it passed as a ballot measure, in the next election, with wide bi-partisan voter support despite organized opposition from the major leadership of both state parties.

    Since it has become law, Democrats have become more pro-medical marijuana, a larger number of 'rogue' conservative Republicans have been supporting it for libertarian reasons (though not the majority by any means), and 'states rights' conservatives in both parties have been very critical of the DEA's attempt to enforce federal drug laws in California when there is no interstate crime to justify the intervention.

    I expect this to go much the same as the previous medical measure. The legislature will stonewall it as 'too radical' and it will pass in the election as a ballot measure by a solid bipartisan margin. California legislators appear to be as behind their voters on drug policy as California judges are ahead of their voters on civil rights.

  2. I just wonder if 80% of the voters in Oakland are Dems or that there was a much larger than usual number of liberals who turned out to vote while the other side mostly stayed home.

  3. Oakland is a VERY Democratic city for demographic reasons. A great majority of the black population of 'San Francisco' actually lives in Oakland. In California, African-Americans trend Democratic on many issues and it is black Americans in big cities who are the most common /casualties/ of the Drug Sietzkrieg. So racial demographics probably have a great deal of effect on the final numbers.

    And of course Oakland is across the bay from San Francisco and is part of what is arguably the most liberal metropolitan complex in the United States. One doesn't start finding a lot of Republicans until one gets to San Jose and the Silicon Valley, which are business centers which naturally tend toward pro-business neocons of both parties as a result.