In honor of the Obama Idiocy to not view legalization from rational scientific and economic standpoints.
City, cannabis sellers try to clear the smoke left behind by Prop. 215
Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal
We've seen a new breed of entrepreneur with the passage of Prop. 215 in November.
The measure made legal the sale of marijuana for medical purposes.
Meanwhile, would-be pot peddlers and wary local civic authorities are trying to work out the kinks for an industry that has heretofore thrived underground.
There are still many points to negotiate.
The powers that be are none too happy with Prop. 215.
Voters essentially said they wanted this part of the war on drugs to come to a halt.
But those who enforce the laws aren't willing to walk away from a battle they have been fighting for decades.
So San Jose city officials are busy setting down guidelines on how marijuana will be sold.
After consulting with city attorney Joan Gallo, the City Council decided last week that outlets catering to cannabis consumers must conform to all existing rules and regulations, plus a few new ones.
For example, entrepreneurs who open so-called buyers' clubs must operate in commercial areas.
They may not deliver their product like Domino's.
And they must keep regular business hours.
Thus, they won't be competing with 24-hour Denny's--yet.
Marijuana use may be more socially acceptable in the wake of Prop. 215, but it won't be sold like cigarettes or liquor for years to come.
Still, even sales for medical purposes will take some getting used to.
Three Oakland city council members have proposed raising the business tax rate on medical marijuana sales to $12 or $24 per $1,000 of gross receipts. The current rate is $1.20.[Cygnus says Quick! Somebody do the math! is that a 100 or 1,000% increase? And how does it rate per $1,000 of gross receipts compared to tobacco? Could revenue legitimately be more or less?]
The council members, Rebecca Kaplan (at-large), Nancy Nadel (district 3), and Jean Quan (district 4), said in an agenda report that the move would bring in an additional $200,000 to $400,000 in annual revenue.
Richard Lee, president of Oaksterdam University, an Oakland-based trade school for the cannabis industry, said that he has been working with the city council on this proposal. He also said the industry is fully behind it.
“We believe we should be paying more taxes, and we want to help the city more in its economic crisis,” Lee said.
He also said that the taxes should extend beyond the cannabis clubs and be applied to suppliers, and nurseries. Lee estimates that medical marijuana in Oakland is a $20 million industry, and that further taxing will help further legitimize it.
The council members could not immediately be reached for comment.
Cannabis Law Reform
As for those tens of millions of you who believe that cannabis should be legally regulated like alcohol -- and the tens of thousands of you who voted to make this subject the most popular question in the White House's online Presidential Town Hall -- well, your voice doesn't really matter.
Asked this morning whether he "would ... support the bill currently going through the California legislation to legalize and tax marijuana, boosting the economy and reducing drug cartel related violence," the President responded with derision.
"There was one question that was voted on that ranked fairly high and that was whether legalizing marijuana would improve the economy and job creation, and I don't know what this says about the online audience," he laughed.
"The answer is no, I don't think that [is] a good strategy."
Please, go read the entire thing. And consider adding your name to the well-written form letter, to which you can amend in any way you see fit. What follows is their form-letter...
You pledged "to open up the White House to the American people." I'm one of the tens of millions of Americans who believe that cannabis should be legally regulated like alcohol. I'm also one of the tens of thousands of Americans who voted to make this subject the most popular question in your online Presidential Town Hall. I'm disappointed to learn that you believe that my voice doesn't really matter.
I understand that you may oppose this position, but that is no reason to deride this issue.
Mr. President, please tell me: "What is it that you think is so funny about the subject of marijuana law reform?"
Since 1965, police have arrested over 20 million Americans for violating marijuana laws, yet nearly 90 percent of teenagers say that pot is "very easy" or "fairly easy" to obtain. Do you find this funny?
According to your administration, there is an unprecedented level of violence occurring at the Mexico/US border -- much of which is allegedly caused by the trafficking of marijuana to the United States by drug cartels. America's stringent enforcement of pot prohibition, which artificially inflates black market pot prices and ensures that only criminal enterprises will be involved in the production and sale of this commodity, is helping to fuel this violence. Do you still believe that this subject is humorous?
Finally, two recent polls indicate that a strong majority of regional voters support ending marijuana prohibition and treating the drug's sale, use, and distribution like alcohol. A February 2009 Zogby telephone poll reported that nearly six out of ten of voters on the west coast think that cannabis should be "taxed and legally regulated like alcohol and cigarettes." A just-released California Field Poll reports similar results, finding that 58 percent of statewide votes believe that regulations for cannabis should be the same or less strict than those for alcohol.
Why do you choose to laugh at these people? Why do you choose to laugh at me?
The American public is ready and willing to engage in a serious and objective political debate regarding the merits of legalizing the use of cannabis by adults. The time for joking is over.
Please consider apologizing for your dismissive tone, and please consider treating those of us who believe that there are viable alternatives to marijuana prohibition with the respect we deserve.
Cygnus says judging by the two articles above, looks like an economic hit--pun intended-- to me!!!
Hey folks, I didn't print Livia's addendum to the letter-- it's worth few more minutes of your time to go read!
4. Go and look at THESE numbers for Federal Income Tax Revenues for alcohol and tobacco. What d'ya reckon legal marijuana would garner?
About the same, I ken. A vice less harmful than alcohol and less addictive than nicotine. Honest to all the gods it is!
See ya soon, Folks!
P.S. smokem if ya gotem...