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PROPOSITION NEWS: Assemblyman says taxing marijuana sales would raise $1.4 billion

Original post made on Oct 8, 2010

A new bill introduced by a San Francisco state assemblyman could generate annually about $1.4 billion in revenue from taxing marijuana, officials said Wednesday.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, October 7, 2010, 3:34 PM

Comments (19)

Posted by Danville Mom
a resident of Danville
on Oct 8, 2010 at 7:19 am

"We're really not putting enough money in and around addiction and substance abuse," Ammiano said. Really??? So let's get all of our kids stoned, which will only increase the need for substance abuse care.

Also, "Nothing is really set in stone," he said, but added that he would like to see it go to education and substance abuse programs. That's good because it will be desperately needed once more kids start flunking out of school because they're "legally" stoned and cannot focus on their work, nor care to. Again, this will also help to fund the newly increased substance abuse care costs needed due to this situation.

Hello? Tax money is great but not when it further breaks down our society. One other thing, have you ever seen a really high person drive a car? Just another set of people to dodge on the road. So let's legalize it and then spend millions or billions in cleaning it up in hospitals, school education teaching kids the dangers of it, more police work, etc. Sounds like we're robbing Peter to pay Paul to me!

Posted by Dawn
a resident of Alamo
on Oct 8, 2010 at 7:46 am

Uhm... okay.

Who's going to write off their state taxes paid on the purchase of 'CA legal' marijuana?

The Feds will arrest them for breaking Federal law.

Was a good article about this topic recently in the WSJ.

Thinking. A practice dropped by legislators in the mass grab for revenue.

Posted by American
a resident of Danville
on Oct 8, 2010 at 8:49 am

First, the liberal democrats from San Francisco pass an ordinance promoting illegal aliens to come to their city as a "sanctuary", and then are surprised when a violent illegal alien shoots and kills a father and his two sons who were simply driving in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now, these same liberal democrats from San Francisco, want to legalize pot to raise money to spend on more of their ridiculous programs. They will not let McDonalds put a toy in a kids happy meal, but have no problem with children smoking pot? Enough! In this upcoming election, I suggest all voters with common sense check to see the position the liberal democrats from San Francisco have on any person or issue, and then simply vote the opposite way.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Danville
on Oct 8, 2010 at 10:00 am

I am sure Tom Ammiano has lost his mind. He thinks that we will be better off getting more tax money from marijuana sales! I disagree!First of all those who sell this stuff are not most reputable people and probablly won't report most of the income anyway. Secondly, look at how much we are taxed on property, sales, etc. Doesn't our government have enough money and really aren't using it properly? Thirdly, does he really think that cartells in Mexico are going to suddendly fade away because they may loose a little revenue? And finally, aren't Californian's opposed to second hand smoke? Haven't we gone out of our way to ban it from most buildings? Aren't there going to be more consequences and cost from increased use of marijuana?

Posted by Derek the Doper
a resident of Danville
on Oct 8, 2010 at 11:57 am

Hey, wow man, like you guys are total buzzkills! Chill out dudes and dude-ettes!

Seriously though, you republican flag-tweakers need to come to term with a few facts.

First, eventually, if not now then later, the evil weed will probably become legal in CA. And I doubt users thereof care about tax deductions.
Second, it could turn out fine or it could turn out to be a bloddy disaster. I'm man enough to admit I have no crystal ball, and none of you four do either.
Third - and this is by far the most important detail everyone keeps forgetting - if legalization comes about now or later, it is not carved in stone. If it is a disaster, it could still be overturned.

Many of you Bushies support or at least used to support our war of terror (no, I didn't mean "on"), when some of the worst threats we face are from gang bangers and cartel members on both sides of the southern border. It's possible that legalizing pot could diminish their numbers, or not. None of us can know for sure. But whether it helps or not, these drug cartels and gangs fit the definition of "domestic terrorists" to a T. So why don't we keep our troops at home to deal with this instead of having them serve the cause of the PNAC in the middle east?

Posted by collins
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Oct 8, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Judging from the first three comments, I doubt that you know much about "Prohibition". Have you ever heard of bootleggers? (Think drug leaders.) Read about the crime that ensued when alcohol was banned. Normal, honest American citizens had to break the law to have their evening cocktail. My grandfather made bathtub Gin and Elderberry wine. He was also an MP in WWI, and a Colonel in the State Guard in WWII.

My grandmother used to buy Marijuana in packs from the corner drug store in Chicago. At the time, she was a sudent and, after graduation, an instructor at the Chicago Art Insitite.

If any of you think your teenagers are not smoking pot because it is illegal, think again. Most people I know smoke it, spanning all professions, Republican and Democrat alike. Did any of you nay-sayers drink alcohol when you were teenagers? C'mon, be honest with yourselves. This would be a great tax revenue for our state!

I think that pot should legalized and taxed. It just makes sense. Oh, and by the way, I DO NOT smoke it and wouldn't if it became legal!

Posted by cardinal
a resident of Diablo
on Oct 8, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Ya know, American, every dam' morning the rooster next door to me crows -- and then the sun comes up.

I hate that rooster, but since he causes the sunrise, I guess I'll give him a pass.

Posted by Freckles
a resident of Danville
on Oct 8, 2010 at 7:58 pm

Kids are drinking alcohol and it is illegal for them to drink. It is a way bigger problem than cannabis use.

Alcohol contributes to 599,000 unintentional student injuries each year, no such stats exist for marijuana use. (Task Force on College Drinking).

200 total patients were admitted to California hospitals for marijuana use or dependence. 73,000 annual hospitalizations in california were related to the use of alcohol.

The U.S. Center for disease control says alcohol is highly associated with violent crime, domestic violence, sexual assault, date rape and emergency room visits. Excessive alcohol consumption is the 3rd leading preventable cause of death in the U.S.

Soooo, me thinks we are focusing on the wrong dangerous drug! Not sure if Prop 19 will do anything for California but confuse the whole legalization issue. It will still be a federal crime. I guess ideologically the prop is trying to chip away at the present anti-weed culture. By the way, the medical cannabis clubs add sales tax now.

Posted by Alamo parent
a resident of Alamo
on Oct 11, 2010 at 8:19 am

Not everyone in San Francisco wants to legalize pot. As quoted from the S.F. Chronicle, dated October 3, 2010 - Even Californians who support the legalization of marijuana should be extremely wary of Prop 19. This is a seriously flawed initiative with contradictions and complications that would invite legal chaos and more than likely, fail to deliver it promised economic benefits. They are urging a NO VOTE!

Only California could possibly consider this stupid idea. It's illegal to smoke cigarettes in public building/restuaruants, etc. Oh, but's let smoke pot in the name of profit ? California is broke, for many reasons, so let's legalize pot to offset our financial mismanagement. Great point about the McDonald's toy !

Who's going to determne when "high" is "too high"? Alcohol has a legal limit of .08, which can be legally tested. Who's going to monitor and pay the health expenses when kids are eating "pot ice cream" and related "pot products"? Who's going to ticket the teenager I followed last week on the freeway, who was smoking pot while driving ?

Posted by Louise
a resident of Danville
on Oct 11, 2010 at 9:36 am

I disagree with Ammiano on many issues- (including the MacDonalds toys) BUT that's not a reason to vote against legalizing POT- Can we think on individual issues please?

I am a 50+ year old, and do not consider myself a "liberal democrat" and do not smoke pot, but have many friends who do. I will not start smoking it just because it's legal. I believe making it "legal" will have a negligible effect on number of Pot addicts- either you self-medicate with drug of choice already or you don't -

Reasons I am voting FOR legalization:

Proposition 19 does not legalize POT for minors (driving under it's influence for minors is illegal and still would be!)

History has taught us that prohibition does not help the problem go away- Why wouldn't we want to put money currently being spent on prosecuting/incarcertaing pot smokers/dealers on rehabilitation for those who need it instead? Does one really think by keeping it illegal, that there will be less teen drivers smoking it while driving? (As the Alamo resident observed above) I say let's spend money on helping those already addicted rather than putting them in jail. This offers a real chance for success at reducing addictive behavior! Better yet, Deciding to spend our tax dollars on incarcerating REAL criminals would be a better use of tax dollars to promote public safety. And hey, if we tax payers can benefit from the revenue instead of drug lords, all the better- so as much as I hate to admit it sometimes- I'm with Ammiano on this one!

Except buying into some irrational "fear" that it may increase the number of "addicts" (May reduce it if there is money to spent on treatment)- Or that the usual campaign rhetoric- it is poorly worded, or confusing. Change has to start somewhere. Can someone explain why this is so "stupid" that it isn't worth at least a try? Change has to start somewhere!

Posted by Mike
a resident of Danville
on Oct 11, 2010 at 10:30 am

You would think that the nation learned from the failure of prohibition in the 20s and 30s. The effort for one group to impose its values on others almost always fails. It simply turns an act which has been practiced for thousands of years into a criminal activity.

Posted by John Tanner
a resident of Danville
on Oct 11, 2010 at 11:11 am

For all of you conflicted morality moms out there that have thrown away the reality of your own high school and college years and cling to the irrational idealized perfection of your own child rearing skills... Do you really think it has gotten ANY harder for our youth to get pot or alcohol these days. No! What has happened is you became a Mom with blinders. You don't know what is really going on, your kids don't tell you the truth because you hypocrittically denounce pot while they know you lived amongst it and likely partook. As such the drinking and smoking go raging on right under your pointed vertically noses. All the while the controlling snooty gossipy Mom social networks have eliminated any frank and honest discussion about their own personal use of pot, past or present.

Of alcohol, tobacco, sex, and music, pot is the one that has caused the least amount of problems, but of course, since it is not legal, any purported problems are "invisible," hypothetical fantasies used to advocate against legalization.

I wager the most significant thing that will change with legalization is the distribution channel, not a persons penchant for partaking... which should be left to parents to parent... And for those parents that are honest and truly skillful, not "social network pressure" blind, you know we have a major say in what our kids do and how they view the vices and dangers of the world.

Posted by Duffy
a resident of Danville
on Oct 11, 2010 at 11:54 am

To quote George Orwell in his book "1984"..... if you feed the populace enough happy pills they won't care whaty the government does to them!

Posted by Sharon
a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 11, 2010 at 1:22 pm

What is the cost of rehab? Will committing a crime under the influence exempt criminals from prosecution? Driving under the influence? Seems like more problems will be created rather than solved.

Posted by Louise
a resident of Danville
on Oct 12, 2010 at 9:05 am

I'm sorry Sharon, what "problems" are you saying legalization creates? Drinking is "legal" and we still have drunk driving laws. Are you saying we need to get rid of the current DUI laws because it's now legal? YOu made a broad statement- what specific problems are created, what is the list of problems it solves are you comparing to?

Do you have any data that would suggest that legalizing marijuana would create significantly more addicts? (One could make the argument that legalizing it could have the opposite effect- ) Seems to me those who are already addicts could use the extra tax money for rehab!

Posted by George
a resident of Alamo
on Oct 12, 2010 at 10:56 am

The only reason legalizing pot is being pushed is for tax revenue... a very sorry reason indeed. Perhaps we should also legalize prostitution and tax that as well? I employ many, but do not employ pot smokers, legalized or not.

Posted by John Tanner
a resident of Danville
on Oct 13, 2010 at 11:15 am

I highly doubt that most employers know who smokes marijuana. HP recently suspended marijauna drug testing as a requirement for a job, because they finally figured out that since California has an "Employment at will" clause that allows either party to give two weeks notice that that provides them all the legal leeway to terminate employees whose performance is not up to the requirements of the job. Thus employers have a most efficient means to "weed" out poor performers.

Posted by somebody
a resident of Alamo
on Oct 14, 2010 at 12:14 am

I don't have a budget, I continue to spend using my credit, guess what else I do? I let my wife and kids and of course I buy anything without knowledge of what we buy or where we buy. Oh and wait my neighbors do not have jobs so they borrow money from my family. So needless to day were broke. We are in debt big time maybe 20 years in debt.
So guess what we do? I have my wife work 14 hours I will work 14 hours and continue with everything in the first paragraph (I.e. California) is this how we get out of debt? Just spend and do what we can to make more money (I.e. legalizing pot to bring more money to California) no this is not the answer!!! We need to create a budget, CUT SPENDING, oh and cut spending some more. Create harsher rules for our lovely social services. How about we cut some more. bringing more income for California is not the issue we had plenty of income in the housing boom and we were still in debt. So I don't if we legalize pot. Either way it will not help our debt. We need to cut spending

Posted by jrm
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Oct 14, 2010 at 9:39 pm

I will say it again...get rid of the "Reefer Madness" hype propogated by the Feds in the 30's as prohibition ended and they needed another boogieman to chase. I know "american" and the rest will bellow but I join many others and say times have changed. My parents were from Kansas and there were "dry" counties up until the 1950's...get over it...if "american" and the rest are so sanctomonious about controlling our lives alcohol should be prohibited along with tobacco. Remember the right to grow tobacco was a key part of our country's founding in 1776.....Big Pharma is concerned about the loss of narcotic revenue for pain management of course but the patient testimonials and clincial results in random controlled trials in peer review journals are indesputable. More science, less law enforcement
rhetoric please, we are now educated about this as a population.

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