Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Different Kind of Tea Party

While many of my friends will be participating in tax-day "tea party" protests across the country and across the Commonwealth of Virginia (in Charlottesville, Richmond, Newport News, Reston, and other locations), primarily to draw attention to the federal government's rapid and unconscionable expansion and the accompanying increase in the taxes extracted from citizens to pay for bloat and imaginary "stimulus," a different kind of "tea party" will be taking place in New York City.

According to an announcement from NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws:

On Wednesday, April 15, AT 4:20 PM, representatives of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), including the organization’s national director Allen St. Pierre, will stand on the steps of the General Post Office in Midtown Manhattan and present a check for $14 billion to the US Treasury Department.

The check total is an estimate of what American taxpayers spend every year to maintain marijuana prohibition, according to the report, “The Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition in the United States” (prohibitioncosts.org), Americans spend some $6 billion on law enforcement costs related to enforcing marijuana laws. Taxing and regulating the production and sale of cannabis like alcohol would reduce these costs while raising an estimated $8 billion in new tax revenue. That’s according to Nobel Prize Winner Milton Friedman and over 500 other accredited economists.

“We’re representing America’s millions of otherwise law-abiding cannabis consumers who ARE ready, willing, vocal and able to contribute this huge sum to our struggling economy, while providing truly ‘green’ jobs and allowing police to focus on more important priorities,” says Allen St. Pierre, NORML’s Executive Director. “All we ask in exchange for our $14 billion is the right to smoke our pot responsibly and in peace – just in the same way as the millions of daily consumers of alcohol products in our country.”

What was it that Ronald Reagan said?
Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.
Taxing marijuana and regulating it are long overdue. I can guarantee there will never be a need to subsidize it.

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