Marijuana Market Dynamics: Why Weed Won’t Ever be Taxed
November 22, 2012 in Economics
A surprising rebuttal to the notion that marijuana should be legalized comes from those supportive of smoking it; that overt government oversight of marijuana would result in outrageous sin taxes much like legal alcohol and tobacco suffer. Many people who want the right to privacy and enjoy the benefits of marijuana, for recreational or medicinal purposes, are leery about marijuana legislation as it may allow the situation to deteriorate. The results of legislation might mean sellers in the black market would face even stiffer fines and legal sources would undoubtedly be taxed or require restrictive registration.
It is true that if marijuana was sold legally, similar to, say, tobacco cigarettes, then there would undoubtedly be insane taxes and undue government oversight. Perhaps even to the extent that all users would have to register, then added to a database which may prevent employment opportunities, which is currently the case with medical marijuana. Something else many people didn’t consider is that FDA would likely permit Monsanto or other huge agribusinesses to develop genetically modified marijuana without feeling the need to inform the public. As scary as most of these real and potential scenarios are, they are unfounded in the current social climate.
Were marijuana to become completely legal and decriminalized tomorrow, it is unlikely any large company would be able to compete with the black market. “But wait,” you may say, ”alcohol and tobacco ARE overly regulated and still compete with the black market,” which is true. However, marijuana has proven itself much different than those other substances in that it’s easy to grow(hence “weed”), it isn’t addictive, and it isn’t at all dangerous.
Marijuana is grown in every corner of the globe, as all that’s really needed is light, water, maybe fertilizer, and a temperate closet. It is desirable, which is why it’s grown all over, yet it is not addictive. Then why is there such a market? Because people who smoke weed are doing so to avoid being addicted. They are economical, logical, “smart”; they ensure that they have at least enough money, as if weed were a staple the same way coffee is. Because marijuana can be grown and stored easily, growers may sit idly on their product without worry of any surplus, as the buyers will buy in bulk if offered. They can afford to drop up to $1,000 without living in the gutter like some crack heads or homeless winos. The only real worry is the law, yet all a grower needs to do is keep to himself and only offer product to trusted friends and family, and still no worry of surplus.
The law would be concerning, especially the police state America exists in today, but not so much for marijuana growers. Drug dealers yes, pot dealers no. Yes, it’s true that 40% of the jail population is there on marijuana related charges, but that’s a sad side effect of a pursuit for drug dealers. Drug dealers sell pharmaceutical pills, exotic imported opium, bad acid, and laced shrooms. Pot dealers sell something they grew in a flower box. Drug dealers are what investigators from the local precinct up to the FBI want to bust, they are supporting an international drug trade known for murder. People that grow and sell marijuana support local garden depots and to some extent Pepsi and Nabisco, the latter is definitely unhealthy though not technically murderous. Why do cops and FBI go after shady drug dealers as opposed to dissenting pot smokers? Because it’s more respected and looks better on a peacekeeper’s credentials than some dredlocked kid living at his parents’. Even that kid gets caught up in the prison system just because marijuana is included in the DEA’s narcotics list is further evidence of the police state, flying in the face of our constitutional rights and simple reason. Reason dictates that such a substance as weed should be decriminalized, not taxed, and can go further to the futility of trying to control people.
Weed is harmless, and even if it weren’t marijuana could never top the chart that other drugs, especially alcohol, have set for death tolls. Pharmaceutical pills have only recently become American’s #1 cause of unnatural death, edging out death from drunk-driving accidents which has been the title holder for decades. Overdose happens frequently with all other drugs except marijuana, because weed is harmless. As it is harmless there is even less reason to regulate it; there’s not one good argument for it. To not allow people to grow their own plants and ingest what they desire is to go against liberty, and taxing those plants is just as insidious.
To argue and vote against marijuana being legalized (decriminalized is a better word) out of fear for this overbearing police state is how they win, keep to the principle of liberty and true freedom can be achieved for all!