Reflections from the trenches of a recent statewide debate on legal marijuana.Read More
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This year American workers tested positive for illicit drugs at the highest rate in 12 years with marijuana positivity increasing 75%. Being in construction and manufacturing business for over 40 years I know well the challenges of finding, training, and maintaining an effective workforce. There is also the demand for creating and maintaining a safe workplace. None of these business demands are assisted by having marijuana legalized.Read More
The NFIA study, Tracking the Money That’s Legalizing Marijuana and Why It Matters, exposes, for the first time, the money trail behind the marijuana legalization effort during a 13-year period. The report lays bare the strategy to use medical marijuana as a runway to legalized recreational pot, describing how financier George Soros, insurance magnate Peter Lewis, and for-profit education baron John Sperling (and groups they and their families fund) systematically chipped away at resistance to marijuana while denying that full legalization was their goal.Read More
Homeless people in the streets are a staple of the landscape in downtown areas of Colorado Springs, Denver and most other Colorado communities. Visitors from other states are struck by the dilemma, even when visiting from large cities on the coasts. Experts on homelessness point to marijuana.Read More
“The judges are sending a message, and so are we: Marijuana dispensaries can either follow the law or they will pay a high price for their actions,” City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said. “Every business has to comply with zoning laws. You can’t open a dog kennel or a dry cleaner anywhere you like, and neither can you open a marijuana dispensary in neighborhoods where City zoning laws forbid them. My office will continue to close these illegal dispensaries and see that their operators face stiff consequences.”Read More
In 2005, for every $1 collected in taxes on alcohol and tobacco, almost $14 was spent to repair the vast social damages caused by their use. Legalization of marijuana will see increased use and increased social damage as a result.
The “medical” marijuana experience has shown that growers and dispensaries sell marijuana on a cash basis "under the table" and are not paying taxes. It is also impossible to track sales, unless they are investigated by law enforcement. This has put a huge burden on the already stretched budget of our police force.
With legalization, dispensaries will be primary sellers of marijuana. Do we expect them to suddenly start paying taxes?
A Regulatory Mess
The tax burden falls to cities and counties under the legalization initiative. The state of California cannot collect taxes from the sales of marijuana, therefore this monumental and expensive task falls to each of the state’s 416 cities and 58 counties. The end result will be a patchwork quilt of taxes and procedures across all local governments. Will your city or county be able to collect taxes from the large, powerful marijuana cartels operating in your area?
Regulating the growing and selling of marijuana will also default to the same under-funded cities and counties. Anyone will be able to grow and sell marijuana, even those with a criminal record. Much of the marijuana in California is supplied by illegal drug cartels and marijuana grow sites that ravage our environment. Legalization, as proposed, does nothing to fix these problems. Drug cartels and other, smaller operations will always want to operate in the black market, as they won't have to report their sales, pay their taxes, or adhere to marijuana-related laws and ordinances. As a Rand research report concluded, “There is a tremendous profit motive for the existing black market to stay in the black market, as they can cover their costs of production and make a nice profit.”
A further problem occurs when employment is taken into consideration. Employers will be forced to accommodate marijuana usage and will not be able to test for use in their employees. The federal government, which employs more California citizens than any other single entity, requires a drug-free workplace. If this can’t be guaranteed, jobs will go to other states.
The proliferation of pot will affect our workforce, bringing slower upward mobility to our citizens and stifling their income (as well as the taxes they would generate). Less qualified workers will hurt employment and our economy as a whole.
No employer, public or private, will be able to protect themselves from the liabilities of marijuana use.