With the legalization of Medical Marijuana many years ago California has always been a pioneer at the forefront of establishing a newly accepted, wiser attitude toward cannabis.
Unfortunately, although California has some of the most reasonable cannabis laws on the books, there exists a large number of individuals in the MMJ business who are not out to help people. Not only that, they make those who do it for the right reasons look bad in several ways.
Not paying taxes, circumventing the State’s medical laws for greed, and a variety of other shady activities conducted by these people have given some the idea that California is becoming the example of how NOT to handle Cannabis law.
Still, in reality, the Golden State remains a strong voice and its history a testament to the many, many benefits of legalizing pot for medical use. Weed may very well not be legal in Colorado and Washington today if California had not paved the way.
The medical marijuana or cannabis legalization movement has never been about money or profit to me. It was and is only about one thing: Rational marijuana laws. People should not be jailed for using it, for growing it, or for being stigmatized or lose their place in society for possessing it.
Some will tell you that it should remain illegal, that the government will “take it over” if it is legalized. These people have no other interest than their own bottom line and how much skinnier their pockets will be when there is no demand to ship their legally grown medical pot illegally out of state, for one. That or they are just seriously burnt out and paranoid.
You see, what they don’t realize is that as long as cannabis is not flat out legal and regulated we ARE stating that it is STILL OK to persecute people for pot possession and use. I think we can all agree at this stage that no person should be deprived of their freedom for using a substance that is nowhere near as dangerous as alcohol. Which by the way, we seem to get along fine with being taxed and regulated. In fact, I can’t seem to recall when the last time I got in an uproar over the “rising alcohol taxes” when I took a trip to the liquor store. 😉
I mean did anyone really ever think the government wouldn’t tax it? THAT is what they DO! Experienced growers will be able to pay the taxes and turn a substantial profit without any question and these are the guys and gals in the business who you DON’T hear complaining. They are good at what they do and excited to be able to provide their primo product to customers in a safe, legal way – and more power to them. We must understand that the legal vices, which like it or not is how legal pot will be looked at by Uncle Sam, have always been heavily taxed and my crystal ball is telling me that is going to probably continue.
Personally I could give a shit less how much of a financial hit my grower has to take because of paying taxes. If that is the law then deal with it, pay your taxes like any legitimate business, otherwise show your true colors and go back to being a criminal when a legal avenue is paved right in front of you. Paying taxes is part of being a legitimate business and at least for now, lawmakers are not going to consider legalization otherwise.
Do I WANT to pay taxes on my ganja? Of course not, but when I weigh that against the potential loss of my personal freedom it becomes an easy decision. There will be plenty of money to be made by people who know the basics of running a business and can play within the rules. Ideally, taxing would be reduced or done away with over time. Or is it better to keep a medical law which does not allow for profit, makes it nearly impossible to do business with banks, and forces dispensary owners out of business at will? You tell me, comment below.